Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to this week’s edition of Sexy Action Sports Saturday with IHM. Been a big week in the world of sports, starting with Monday’s revelation of the sexual abuse scandal in the US Swimming program. If you still haven’t seen it, please go check out Beeze’s Monday post, which highlights the sexual abuse of young swimmers at the hands of coaches which has pretty much been treated the same way that Penn State handled their “situation”… ignore it, cover it up, anything to save the name of USA Swimming. My bet is this story “breaks” just about a week or so after the Olympic games are over and advertisers/networks are fully finished profiting off of them.
Speaking of sports being run by networks/advertisers, how about what I’d like to call the “shoe company deal” in which Dwight Howard, the most talented young big man in the NBA, was dealt to the LA Lakers yesterday? Yeah, what did Orlando get out of all of this? Philly was involved, did they get Andre Igoudala? No. The Lakers were involved, did they get Andrew Bynum? No… Philly got Bynum. The Nuggets were involved, did they get anybody out of Denver? No… but Denver DID get Andre Igoudala. That’s right, the team that gave up the best center in the NBA right now, who is still young and still in his prime, got NOTHING for him. Officially, they got Mo Harkins and three PROTECTED first round picks. What’s the difference between what the Magic got and a bag of shit… that’s right, they didn’t get a bag!
Before I get into Stern and all the other garbage involved in this obvious fix, let’s stay with the Orlando Magic for a moment. New coach, new GM, BOTH of which because Dwight Howard told you he’d “consider” staying in Orlando if you blew them both out. You were stupid enough to do that. Now you have a rookie coach, a rookie GM, and you just got zero return for your biggest asset. Personally, I trade his ass to Brooklyn… even THAT was a better deal. If you don’t want Humphries, trade him elsewhere as soon as his plane lands in Orlando. Get a second round pick for him and trade him to Minnesota for christ’s sakes. At least then you get Brook Lopez and some draft picks… that WEREN’T protected. How do you face your fan base and tell them you’re really excited about this deal? How does the NBA tell the city of Orlando that they just got played? You built a new arena, you HAD a young superstar… now you HAVE a team that will be lucky to be .500 for the next decade now! You think the Magic MIGHT just have the ping pong balls fall their way next year… maybe a sort of “payback” like the Hornets “allegedly” got this year after Stern pulled the plug on their first Chris Paul trade? I would not be surprised… but they might play it coy and wait a year or two before Orlando wins the “lottery”.
Now, we get to David Stern. This is a guy who has been accused in the past of coercion, of doing unscrupulous things in order to benefit the top of the NBA food chain. And that is basically what the NBA has become. The 2004 Pistons might very well be the last “small market” team to win anything… the last team without a superstar player to win anything. The way I look at it, this is a “legacy” move by David Stern. Next year, he’s done, he’s stepping down as NBA commissioner, and Adam Silver takes the reigns of what will be “the house that Stern built”. When Silver takes over, the NBA will have Miami, OKC, the Lakers and Clippers, Brooklyn and the Bulls as five teams in fairly large markets who will be the main players for the NBA championship for the next decade. All set up and allowed under the watch of David Stern. When he walks away, he can watch his league flourish in the major markets and turn a blind eye to the fact that every other team in the NBA is going to fail. Hell, the only major failure in his eyes will be the fact that he was never quite able to fix a title for the New York Knicks.
I used to love the NBA. As my brother AFD can tell you, growing up, my favorite sport was basketball. I collected the cards, bought the jerseys and posters, and followed it religiously. By the time I was old enough to actually realize what the hell was going on with this league, I was disgusted. That’s why I was such a big fan of the 2004 Pistons, and even the Spurs team that won championships… they were basically a giant middle finger to Stern’s model NBA champion. Defense… role players… guys that aren’t in every commercial during the commercial breaks during the game? Unheard of. Probably not even possible with the way the league has been run the past five years now. The NBA is turning into what I call a niche league. A major market sport that will be impossible to follow unless you happen to be a fan of a team that happens to play in a major city. At this point, the NBA might as well just contract, become a 16-team league and tell places like Milwaukee, Sacramento, Detroit, Cleveland etc. to go fuck themselves… which is more or less what Stern’s actions over the past 3-5 years have been. The league is a joke, the fix is in, and the networks that would normally point it out have so much invested in this farce that they couldn’t point it out if they wanted to.
Damn it’s good to have football back! I know it’s just preseason, but even preseason games are better than any of this NBA crap. I know it kicked off last Sunday… but it just didn’t feel official until I got to see my boys in Honalulu blue and silver take the field. Actually a fairly watchable game last night, too. Sure, I wanted to see the first team, and I was actually surprised to see Stafford take the field for three series, but I was also interested to see how UFA Kellen Moore would look against NFL-level competition. The answer… not very good… 4/14 with a pick. On the plus side, we re-signed Shaun Hill to back up Stafford! The Browns DID pick up the win, 19-17, on a late FG.
On a side note, for all you fantasy players out there, I’d like to throw a name out there for a guy who might go under the radar this year, but who should be on yours. Broncos WR Eric Decker, who has become Peyton Manning’s favorite target early in the preseason. I doubt I’d use anything higher than a 7th rounder on him, but he might just be the breakout player at WR this season.
The Tigers are still a game behind the White Sox, as both teams picked up wins against AL West foes last night. Hopefully the A’s can take care of business against the Sox the rest of this series, and the Tigers can take another game or two from the Rangers. Hell, it’d be even if Benoit wasn’t giving up home runs at a record rate (10 in his last 15 innings pitched). Looks like we’re going to have to find a new 8th inning guy… at least til Benoit gets his shit straight. As much as Valverde makes Tiger fans nervous, he usually manages to get the job done.
That’s all I’ve got for this week, folks. Thanks as always for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out. Enjoy your weekend Gabbers.