Hello all. Hope you’re well. Happy Summer!
1. Dwight & The Lakers: the final chapter?
Let’s get one things straight: the Lakers were right to trade for Dwight Howard, and both sides are equally right to terminate their relationship after one season. Dwight wanted out of Orlando (remember that?), and LA answered; the Lakers really didn’t give up that much for a one-year rental, and with their massive salary cap issues they’re not in the wrong to want to restructure, provided that Jim Buss empowers his GM and stops interfering with player personnel decisions.
If Dwight goes elsewhere, the Lakers should seize the moment and honestly work towards the future; scrap the “build and compete” model, prepare for Kobe’s retirement, and develop younger talent.
Although I am not fond of Dwight Howard and his antics, I think he can thrive in the right system. Unfortunately, he sometimes seems to have the “grass is greener” mindset, which he needs to get rid of if he wants to have a better legacy.
2. The Sacramento Kings are staying…
After years (which felt like decades) of drama, the Maloof brothers have finally been forced to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group that will keep them in Sacramento. Granted, all the NBA Board of Governors did was deny the Kings the right to relocate, but for those of us who were either invested emotionally, or lived in Northern California and were exhausted of it hogging our news feed, it was a relief that it was over. For me, it was a most damning indictment of the Maloofs’ style of ownership and lack of class.
It seemed like the Maloofs always wanted to be somewhere else: first Las Vegas, which didn’t pan out when the NBA was reminded of its irrational fear of anything gambling; then Anaheim, which was snuffed when Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and the NBA worked out a new plan for an arena. Ultimately, the plan to sell to a group that would move the team to Seattle was the final straw; it felt petty, especially since Sacramento-based groups had been offering to buy the team for years.
The NBA apparently had had enough; it was an open secret the Maloofs couldn’t sustain ownership, thus voiding their “back-up plan” to retain majority ownership whilst selling a share to Chris Hansen and his consortium, which was another way of giving the league a middle finger and saying “we’ll talk about this later.” Thus, the NBA had two choices: Seattle or Sacramento. Hansen made a good effort, but the league wasn’t going to give the Maloofs the pleasure of winning this round, telling them “get out, and sell to who we want you to sell to.”
Indeed, the Maloofs sold their total shares to the Sacramento group within a day of the NBA denying them the right to relocate. While I truly feel for the Seattle fan base, and would have felt somewhat happy for them if they had gotten the team, I am glad the Kings are still in Sacramento.
3. The Knicks are out of the playoffs
Man the Knicks are overrated. The Knicks had a huge season. Whether or not it is a flash in the pan season remains to be seen. The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of belief that they have hit the glass ceiling, and let’s face it, they probably have. They don’t show the spunk, the potential that an up-and-coming team should, and don’t have a legacy like the Spurs to get away with it. I’m not sure what needs to be done, I’m not sure what can be done, but someone knows, and hopefully that person is in the Knicks organization.
4. Where are the Evil Empires?
The New York Yankees for a long time were known as the Evil Empire of Major League Baseball, because they spent a lot of money and won a ton, with the two being linked. However, the Yankees are not really the Evil Empire anymore; they are trying like hell to cut payroll, and haven’t had great post-seasons in the last few years.
Which leads to the following question: who is?
In Major League Baseball, you can make a serious argument that the Los Angeles Dodgers have taken the mantle, with their inflated current and potential future payroll; their acquisition of star players left and right; and their new ownership group trying to make as many waves as possible. However, other teams have made strong pushes for the title, although none as great as the Dodgers.
In the NFL, the best candidate is the Dallas Cowboys, whose fans rather annoyingly (at best), or arrogantly (at worse), will never let the nickname “America’s Team” die. That, on top of the team’s constant post-season failures, and the basic fundamental fact that they are, and always will be, the Dallas Cowboys, makes them really easy to dislike, unless you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, in which case, have at it. However, I will acknowledge that the Redskins, Patriots, Eagles and even the Jets all make a strong showing for the title as well.
In the NBA, the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers both qualify; big, bloated, seemingly bursting at the seams at times, but there really aren’t any major contenders.
Well, that’s all folks, so I’ll see you later.