H/T to Inside Hoops

When you get dumped, there are usually a few steps one goes through before they can get over being kicked to the curb.  Hell, most of these stages are the main reason why Facebook exists.  In any case, it is completely understandable why Dan Gilbert is struggling with losing LeBron.  And although five months have passed, he’s still not there yet.  The Five Stages of Getting Over Your Break-Up, applied to Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert: Read the rest of this entry

The man sitting next to Michael Jordan in the picture above is legendary sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield.  Take one look at Hatfield’s portfolio and you will quickly surmise he is responsible for some of the most iconic sneaker designs of all time.  Naturally, when Nike signed Jordan’s heir apparel apparent LeBron James, they assigned Hatfield to King James in order to develop the next line of legendary basketball shoes.  Just like Mike, right?  Well, not exactly.

Apparently, Hatfield jumped off the LeBron account because of the entourage Bron-Bron surrounded himself with (skip to 1:30):

Money quote [sic'd]:

Tinker stated that he used to work on the signature lines of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James; however, in regards to LeBron, he said, “I used to work on LeBron’s [shoe line], until his entourage kind of pissed me off.” He later stated that LeBron was ‘cool’ but his entourage is obviously Hatfield’s problem.

Now, let’s keep in mind that LeBron’s line of shoes and apparel do pretty well without Hatfield on board: the eighth edition of his shoe released last week with a $160 price tag and there is no doubt they’ll sell well.  However, none of the previous seven versions of his shoe have reached iconic status like Jordan’s — leading one to wonder if things might be different with someone like Hatfield on board.

Regardless of what LeBron’s biggest detractors have said about him, there isn’t much disagreement about the effort he puts in to becoming the best player he can be on the court.  However, Hatfield’s comments, taken within the context of “The Decision,” tend to make me think he could stand to put at least half as much effort in selecting the people he has represent him off the court.

(h/t to Nice Kicks)

Reading Between the Headlines

Was there a major upset in hockey this week?  I must’ve missed it.
Ok, I’ll take the hit, let’s have it.  The Capitals lost and my inspired prediction for this year’s Stanley Cup Playoff is already busted.  But as Smooth Jimmy Apollo once said, “When you’re right 52% of the time, you’re wrong 48% of the time.” 
Watching the Capitals the last three games of their series with Montreal was incredibly painful for any DC hockey fan.  Instead of the wide-open, rush-the-goalie style they’ve employed all year, they were completely unaggressive, playing not to lose.  Thirty-three times in this series the Caps had a power play opportunity and failed to convert on all of them but one.  Their three goals in Games 5-7 were the lowest three-game output they’ve had all year (previous low: 6 [!]).  And as a final kick to the nether regions, this is the second year in a row the team has lost a Game 7 at home.  Not good.
So where do they go from here?  Well, the core of the team should be back next year and with a farm team that has dominated its league the last two seasons, there should be more help on the way.  It’s not much solace, but it’s something… Until then, let’s move on to some headlines:
So now a reformed drug addict with Elvis Presley-like tendencies (not the “Blue Hawaii” good kind) is calling Ben out?  Man, that is rough.  Luckily for Ben, it’s not 2003 anymore, so it’s unlikely anyone will actually listen to the song.
The stadium will now include unprotected upper decks so fans can throw themselves off them when the team loses… Or when the line at Boog’s gets too long.
  • Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland was criticized for asking draft prospect Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute.
How Jeff Ireland is still breathing on this earth is a mystery to me.  Part of me wonders if Jeff’s just a little lonely.
Hmmm.  I wonder if it had anything to do with this story.  One hundred twenty mistresses is a pretty respectable number, Eldrick.  In fact, I’d wager that number is higher than Tiger Woods Fanboys Jim Nantz, Scott Van Pelt and Verne Lundquist, combined.  Here’s why I think this story is crap: Elin wants a divorce because Tiger bumped uglies with the next door neighbor.  Right.  Your husband is sleeping with strippers and porn stars but you’re more upset about the neighborhood girl?  Come on.  Six months ago, if you told me I could be anyone in the world at that moment, Tiger Woods would have easily been in my Top Ten.  Now?  Damn, I’d almost rather be Big Ben.  Almost.
Adding to the Rays good fortune, Patriots coach Bill Belichick sent Rays manager Joe Maddon a personalized hoodie.  I guess it’s only a matter of time until we find out Maddon has cameras placed in centerfield to steal signs.  Not to be outdone, Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan sent Yankee manager Joe Girardi self-tanner.
  • LeBron James has reportedly won his second straight Most Valuable Player award.
Congrats to Bron-Bron.  However, with this award comes the ominous news that LeBron’s elbow is mysteriously injured.  It’s pretty clear what’s going on here.  Know what happens when you play too many video games?  You hurt your elbow.  Through the magic of the Internet, I found LeBron playing online not too long ago.
That’s it for this week.  No more predictions for 2010.  At least until football season starts. 

Reading Between the Headlines

Sometimes I think sports are a lot like little kids; they always want attention, even if it makes them do something really stupid.  I know that consciously, professional football players would never purposefully sexually assault a young woman, throw a drink on her, or even carry a loaded gun to the airport.  But part of my subconscious wonders if they just can’t stand the fact that NCAA basketball and Major League Baseball are stealing all the attention so this is their way of getting it back.  Ok, I know that’s a stretch, but there has to be a reason to explain away this stupidity.  Oh wait, it’s called “Young Dummies with Money” syndrome or YDMS.  Did I just invent that?  Well, color me Bill freakin’ Simmons.  Now, a 20,000 word missive comparing the 2007 Patriots to some jackass on the Real World. 

Nah, we’ll just do headlines…  

Also known as “ESPN.”  How was this even a challenge for them?  Did they just pay some guy to create a NYC skyline graphic and put it up?  And at what point will we get ESPN Des Moines?  And will I ever write another sentence that isn’t a rhetorical question?

"If 'dis freakin' guy don't sign my bawl, I'm gonna chuck it at his groin over here." AKA, "ESPN New York target audience."

Now LT has something in common with Heath Shuler.  Not sure if that’s what he was looking for, though.  To borrow a phrase from Thomas Hobbes (is this a great sports blog, or what?), the life of a NFL running back is “nasty, brutish, and short.”  In 2008, LT carried the ball only 23 less times than in 2007 (his last great season) and had 364 fewer yards.  That’s a big drop-off.


I’m happy that everyone is ok, but sorry Mom, that’s what you get for naming your kid, “Denard.”  It always amazes me that more people haven’t gotten hurt at baseball games.  This sounds like a job for ESPN Des Moines.

  • ESPN had six of its basketball writers scrutinize the factors that may lead LeBron James to finding a new home this summer.

Hey, check me out!  I did the same thing!  Here’s my list of factors:

1. $

Let me double check the list, one more time, just to be sure:

1. $

 And I’mmmmmm spent.  ESPN, call me!

  • Cleveland Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers was arrested for carrying a loaded .45-caliber hand gun at a Cleveland Airport.

 I don’t understand the big deal — maybe he was there to shoot birds.  Has anyone asked him that?

How do you convey “pompous” and “insane” into a statue?

And at a private school just outside of Houston, Roger Clemens applied to coach the women’s softball team.

And somewhere, VORPies gather to collectively mock the tsunami of enraged fans inhabiting the ESPN comment section   Hey guys, you’re getting angry at a math formula.  Isn’t that what 3rd graders do? 

Lindsay Lohan is not impressed.  She calls those “Tuesdays.”

Boom. Roasted.

In any case, baseball season is here.  I cannot wait.