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“At the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have their same life…they have to get back to the real world at some point”. Translation, I’m Lebron James and I’m rich, b*tch – you’re just an NBA fan and your life sucks. That was Lebron James’ retort when asked what he’d like to say to those who rooted against him in his 2011 NBA finals lost to the Dallas Mavericks. The finals series that saw him shrink from the moment. He had his brain toyed with by the likes of the diminutive Jason Terry, succumbing to trash talk and resorting to hiding on the court in every fourth quarter – praying the ball wouldn’t find him. Lebron has often branded himself as an emotional midget. A young man with phenomenal physical talents and an exceptional basketballl I.Q. while in concert showing his hand as an egomaniacal and entitled jackass. He has become impossible to root for.  Yes..you guessed it….I hate Lebron James….and here’s why.

Lebron was once the leader of the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers. You know he was the leader because he dubbed himself “King James” before he joined the NBA. Like many greats before him Lebron didn’t experience immediate team success. He grew frustrated with his teammates after just game 3 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Orlando Magic saying afterwards. “I took Hedo in the first game and Rashard hit the winning shot. I took Rashard in the second game and Hedo hit the shot. If I could clone myself we’d be alright. But I can’t.” Lebron has a penchant for throwing his teammates under the bus. A talent he’s brought with him to the Heat, quoting for reporters easy missed shots by Dwayne Wade during the 2013 Conference Finals vs. the Pacers. And who could forget his constant on-court berating of Mario Chalmers during his 2012 championship run. The in game berating became so vitriolic, so demonstrative, it was obvious to the TV audience. After much embarrassment Chalmers had to pull James and Bosh aside and ask them to quit it. James acknowledged his mistake, one year later he turned his eyes toward Wade as soon as his game went south in the playoffs. One wonders when his teammates might do the same. Did Bosh ask reporters why over the course of 5 fourth quarters Lebron scored 11 total points vs. the Mavs? That’s 2.2 points per fourth quarter…for 5 games. Zero rebounds, zero shots made close and late. Not a single ill word was uttered by his teammates, because teammates are supposed to back each other not tear each other down whenever you meet a hurdle.

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“I’m taking my talents to South Beach.” Lebron took to TV to rip the heart out of Cavalier fans and the team owner, opting to publicly embarrass his longtime loyal fans on live TV rather than making a typical announcement as every single NBA player has ever done in free agency. Then he promptly took part in a championship celebration before he even played a single practice in a Heat jersey. During the celebration James mimicked Michael Jordan’s famed hand gestures, counting how many championships he will win with the Heat. Jordan did that while celebrating the 5th of his six championships. James counted up to 7…he had yet to win one. Then went on to embarrass himself in the finals. I hate Lebron James.

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Last year Lebron elevated his game, he evolved and put himself and his teammates in a position to succeed. He finally won that elusive championship and ripped that monkey off his back. And in the series clinching game, in the waning moments of a tight game, Lebron caught a cramp. Not a regular cramp…an epic cramp. The kind of cramp that forces teammates and coaches to….CARRY YOU OFF THE COURT?! Come on you actress. Kobe tore his Achilles mid-game. He waved off help and limped off the floor under his own power, he then walked back onto the court to take his free throws…hit them, then walked off the court once more. He had season ending surgery days later. Lebron caught a cramp and he was as able bodied as a paraplegic? You can’t just lean on someone and limp off? God, I hate Lebron James.

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Lebron has had to sacrifice and buy this modest home in Miami.

“I’ve never had a max deal yet in my career…I don’t get credit for it. That doesn’t matter to me. Financially, I’ll sacrifice”. So let me get this straight, you intentionally signed a short extension with the Cavs that allowed you to bail on them before the Collective Bargaining Agreement expired. You then sign a contract with the Heat that makes you the ninth highest paid player in the league – you did this to form the “Big Three“. You then play the part of the hero because you only make $18mill a year rather than $19.5mill? You consider this a sacrifice? You’re paid $18 million a year and an additional $40 million a year in endorsements. Also Lebron fails to mention he plays in Florida, a no income tax state, vaulting his salary well above the likes of Carmelo Anthony and other “max contract” players. You would think respected veterans such as Udonis Haslem who took ½ his market value to remain with the heat, or Ray Allen who took a huge pay cut would make this claim. Not the $18 million dollar a year player. Editors note: Jordan’s salary once averaged $3.25 million over an eight year stretch before he got his pay day. He had already won three championships at that point.

“I don’t need to flop. I play an aggressive game. I don’t flop. I’ve never been one of those guys”. It’s sort of ironic that Lebron would make this claim given that many would say the NBA’s newly imposed flopping penalty was created in-part due to Lebron’s and his teammates talent for flopping so skillfully. Lebron flopped his way through the playoffs in 2012, highlighted by his collapse after being screened by Tyson Chandler. Lebron was also fined for flopping just a few weeks ago vs. David West in the post. James recently drew the ire of NBA hall of famer Dennis Rodman for his lack of toughness and penchant for begging for foul calls “Michael came into the game back when you can hit people, knock him down. And Lebron can’t do that. All they do today is complain about a foul” For you viewing pleasure, a link to Lebron’s greatest hits…or his imagined hits as he hurls himself to the ground over and over. You may not need to flop Lebron but you sure do it well….and often.

Some of his best flopping highlights below:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L8rGCH_HRdQ&feature=related#

Lebron has just won his second championship, further cementing his legacy as one of the greatest talents to ever play in the NBA.  However if game 6 would have ended with Ray Allen missing his clutch three pointer that ultimately sent the game into overtime, a completely different depiction of Lebron would be made.

The last two minutes of game 6 saw Lebron flopping to the ground, missing clutch shots and turning the ball over.  In each instance he simply sat on the floor, complaining to the refs about what he considered to be fouls.  He did this TWICE…while the Spurs were in transition – with the lead and the championship on the line with under two minutes left.  The ultimate selfish act.  ‘What about me?! I was fouled.’  I will sit here and stew because I didn’t get my way and leave my teammates to fend for themselves while they are outnumbered.  This from the self-proclaimed best defender in the NBA.

Lebron took umbrage with the fact that Jordan said a few months ago that he would prefer Kobe over Lebron.  Lebron stated that it was because Kobe has more rings and rings do not define you.  “A guy like Jud Bucheler has multiple rings.  He’s not better than Charles Barkley.  Patrick Ewing is one of the greatest of all time.”  What Lebron refuses to concede is that it’s not just about the rings.  Jordan has you figured out.  He know you have no heart.  He doesn’t respect you.  Neither do I.  As a matter of fact, I fu*king hate you.

A 30 second ESPN Clip on how seriously Lebron takes basketball while off the court:

A few more gems of wisdom from your highness, King James:

After getting booed by Cleveland fans after his blowout loss to the Celtics in the playoffs:
“I spoil a lot of people with my play. When you have a bad game here or there, when you have 3 bad games in a 7 year career, then it’s easy to point that bad game out”

On Finishing second in voting for 2013 Defensive Player of the year:
“It sucks. Who wants to finish second. I mean, I guard everybody on the floor. I don’t know if there’s one player in NBA history who’s guarded one through five (positions).”

On being one vote shy of unanimous MVP in 2013:
“It’s probably a writer out of New York that didn’t give me the vote. I know the history between the Heat and New York.”

On living in Cleveland:
“We didn’t actually like Cleveland. There’s a lot of people in Cleveland we still hate to this day”

While with Cleveland:
“I don’t want to go ring chasing, as I call it; you know, going to a team that’s already established and trying to win a ring with them.”

During an interview prior to his NBA Championship:
Interviewer: “What’s is your proudest moment?”
Lebron: “I’d have to say my proudest moment would be winning a national championship in H.S.”
Reminder to Lebron, you have two sons.

-Pierce

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MLB has finally found its golden goose. Seven years after its fruitless witch hunt sparked by the Balco controversy, Major League Baseball has found a willful party to testify against its own employees. Tony Bosch, founder and CEO of Biogenisis, will reportedly cooperate with MLB’s investigation and provide testimony implicating the use of performance enhancing drugs by nearly 25 baseball players. Most notably, former MVP’s Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.
Bud Selig and the U.S. government have long been after a big fish in baseball. They’ve spent over $70 million dollars on the Barry Bonds perjury investigation/trial, because…you know…they couldn’t prove he used steroids so they tried to prove that he lied about not using them. That didn’t work. A few years later the government spent $120 million on the Roger Clemens investigation and subsequent trial…another failure. Now MLB is putting its money where it’s mouth is, funding an investigation in effort to levy significant suspensions and they have flipped Tony Bosch in the process.
This promises to be a lengthy process. MLB will first have to build a case strong enough to prove each player has taken performance enhancing drugs since it does not have any positive PED tests to reference. Once they bring each case to the players union each player will have the right to appeal. Seeing as how MLB’s case hinges on the word and records of Bosch, who undoubtedly has self preservation in mind, the players union will channel its energies on character defamation and MLB’s execution of the suspension process. Selig will try to penalize both Arod and Braun twice each, once for using PEDs and once more for lying about it to investigators. That would bring the typical 50 game suspension to 100 games, a landmark move the union will undoubtedly protest. Also, the fact that the impending suspensions were leaked to ESPN’s Outside the Lines program will be a topic of conversation since all PED investigations are to be completely undisclosed until a suspension is announced. An apparent breach of the collective bargaining agreement.
There is a long road ahead of the Bud Selig and his minions but he is intent on catching a big fish. This may not see a resolution this season, but don’t you worry, they’ll spare no expense to get their man or more likely..an acquittal. I can’t think of a better way to spend $200 million, can you?

-Pierce

 

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Sergio Garcia hates Tiger Woods, that much is evident. That is why in the midst of a very public feud, Sergio let loose the kind of barb that has become far too common in the world of professional golf. When asked if Sergio would have Tiger over for dinner Sergio replied, “we’ll have him over for dinner every night” he began to walk away, turned and said “we’ll serve fried chicken”. Ah yes, the tried and true subjugating fried chicken reference – an infamous put down to the African-American community. One would think golfers would be sensitive to this sort of language after Fuzzy Zoeller, winner of the 1979 Masters and the 1984 U.S. Open, said after Tiger’s 1997 Masters win, “that little boy is driving well and putting well…” he went on to say, referring to the fact that the Masters winner selects the dinner menu for the following Masters dinner “tell him not to serve fried chicken next year….or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve”. Disturbingly enough these aren’t the only racially insensitive comments aimed at Tiger Woods by those in the golfing profession. Just 5 years ago, Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman offered up this solution to young golfers looking to unseat Tiger as the worlds top golfer during a live broadcast, she said they should gang up and “lynch him in a back alley.” Kelly was reprimanded by the public and suspended by the Golf channel. How did Golfweek Magazine decide to cover this huge misstep, their next issue featured a picture of a noose on the cover. Ouch, talk about twisting the knife.

Now are all or any of the aforementioned comments race driven? Perhaps not. Are Sergio, Fuzzy and Kelly all racist? We may never know, but the history of Golf, the PGA and it’s founders speak to a disturbing view of racial inequality and antiquated social views and practices. In 1975, not 1925, but1975, Cliff Roberts, co-founder of Augusta National Golf Club (yes, that Augusta), stated “as long as I’m alive, golfers will be white and caddies will be black.” In 1990 the founder of Shoal Creek Country Club in Alabama, site of the PGA championship that year, stated “we don’t discriminate in every other area except the blacks”. After public pressure following that statement both Shoal Creek and Augusta admitted their first black members that year. Shoal Creek, designed by Jack Nicklaus and rated the top golf club in the state admitted it’s first woman members in 2009. Augusta national joined the fray and admitted it’s first few female members in 2012, amongst them…Condoleezza Rice.

Now none of us are naïve enough to think racism and inequality doesn’t permeate each of the major U.S. sports in some capacity. However, many esteemed private golf clubs seem to be intently overt and sometimes even prideful of this shameful behavior. Their practice of membership via invite only (no applications allowed) almost seems to protect their shady interest. NCAA football still has leaps and bounds to go before it’s hiring practices are considered inclusive of all races and the NFL needs to revisit it’s Rooney rule to ensure fair hiring practices. However the latter has made tremendous strides in leveling the playing field in it’s hiring of front office and coaching positions. Meanwhile, Tiger is simply trying to go a few years without being chastised for perhaps enjoying Popeye’s Chicken every once in a while. I mean, who doesn’t love fried chicken? I wonder, what would these clubs say if he actually wanted to work at Augusta? Would he be offered a position as Sergio’s caddie?

-Pierce

 

 

Where Brooklyn At??!!

Posted: May 6, 2013 by OnDNxtLvl in Uncategorized

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Round two of the Eastern Conference Playoffs have begun without the disappointing Brooklyn Nets – even though they had everything breaking their way going into game seven vs. the Chicago Bulls. Derrick Rose was doing his best Jeremy Lin impression (sitting out even while healthy enough to play), both Luol Deng and Kirk Henrich were out with injuries, Nate Robinson was fresh off of throwing up into trash cans during game 6 and Joakim Noah was playing on just one foot. So all BK had to do was show up, right? Seems they took that sentiment to heart. The effort of the BK Nets during their game 7 showdown with the Bulls was just despicable. They got all around effort from their only two bulldogs, Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans, the rest of the team was listless and played uninspired ball.  Their big three, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez were handily out hustled by the Chicago Bulls. After the game, Brook Lopez said, “they just had more energy and focus than we did….we didn’t match their intensity”. That’s a sad statement and an indictment of the Nets roster.

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Marco Belinelli let the Nets know who had the bigger, errr, heart on Saturday night.

If you can’t get up for a game seven of the NBA playoffs on your home court, what will you get up for? The Nets are all in on their big three, so the easy fix here is to dump the coach.  PJ Carlesimo will not be retained, that announcement was made the day following the Nets ouster from the playoffs. There are a number of dream scenarios for BK fans. Phil Jackson or Jeff Van Gundy being swayed out of retirement to coach this group? Sorry guys, I don’t see that happening. The Celtics letting Doc Rivers out of his contract as Danny Ainge blows up the roster and starts over? Also, not likely. More feasible is the hiring of a Stan Van Gundy, famously fired during the end of the Dwight Howard saga in Orlando.  All this will be moot point however, if the Nets don’t find some heart, some guts and show up to play in the playoffs instead of botching the opportunity of a lifetime.  On the bright side, the Nets gave us the ever-lasting memory of allowing Marco Bellini perform the “big cojones” dance on their home court after hitting a big three-pointer with five minutes left in game 7.  The Chicago faithful thank you and longtime Nets fans aren’t surprised.  New building – same old Nets

-Pierce

Lin M.I.A. in the Playoffs…Again.

Posted: April 24, 2013 by OnDNxtLvl in Knicks, NBA, Sports

Linsanity..

I’m “only 85%”. That was Jeremy Lin’s answer when asked if he would join the Knicks as they battled for their playoff lives vs. Lebron James and the Miami Heat in the 1st round of the playoffs last year. Linsanity had taken New York City, and the world, by storm…but then Lin injured his knee. The typical timetable for his return was weeks before the playoffs were scheduled to begin.  A 39yr old Grant Hill had the same surgery that season and returned in two weeks, but after 7 weeks of recovery Lin deemed himself not 100%, stating “it’s a matter of me being able to jump and cut at 100%, not 85 or 90 percent.” And so the Knicks were embroiled in a hard fought playoff battle without him. Iman Shumpert blew out his ACL in game 1, Lin would not come in to help. In game four Baron Davis collapsed to the ground in pain, done for the season, still no Lin. He was petrified of the thought of being shutdown by Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole again, endangering his chances of landing a huge payday with his looming free-agency. A choice that his teammates lamented, and Knicks fans resented. He left them hanging, because he was only “85%”.  As if any player is 100% come playoff time.  Ask Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler this year.

Well it looks like Lin is at it again. He is M.I.A. in this playoff season. No longer able to ride the coattails of James Harden to easy buckets, Lin has been outplayed handily by the Oklahoma City Thunders backcourt. In game 1 he had more personal fouls (5) than points or assists while shooting just 1-7 from the field. It was as uncomfortable to watch, it seemed like he just didn‘t belong on the floor with the likes of Russell Westbrook or even Thabo Sefolosha. In game two he didn’t fare much better – with just 7 points and 3 assists. He was practically a non-factor. A liability on defense and a pg who isn’t allowed to bring the ball up-court – a duty befallen unto an already stretched James Harden. So now Harden knows how Iman Shumpert and Baron Davis felt last year, you leave it all on the floor for your team. But your teammate Lin is nowhere to be found.

 

-Pierce

Chip Kelly Won’t Duck Suspension

Posted: April 17, 2013 by OnDNxtLvl in BREAKING NEWS, NFL

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Coach Chip Kelly is overseeing the Philadelphia Eagles first team reps, watching Vick overthrow his receivers and Nick Foles mix-up audible’s.  Ah yes, the future is bright for Eagles fans.  But will Chip be around during week one to see it?  I don’t think he will.

Chip led the high-powered Oregon Ducks to four BCS Bowl games during his four year as their head coach.  But persistent rumors regarding impending sanctions for major recruiting infractions are coming to fruition.  Oregon has admitted to a number of violations including paying a recruitment firm over $25,000 to recruit players for them, placing over 700 illegal phone calls to recruits and utilizing too many coaches as recruiters during the recruitment period.  Oregon calls these, among other violations “major violations” but are levying very minor sanctions on themselves – 2 years probation and a reduction of one scholarship per year for three years.  The NCAA views Oregon’s misdeeds as true “major” violations and will likely impose much more harmful punishment – citing much of the info Oregon has brought to light is antiquated and there is more to the story.

So how does this affect Chip?  He was very much aware of the fact the NCAA was investigating his program during last season.  After initially rebuffing the Eagles advances he decided to make the jump to the NFL, leaving Oregon University in a lurch and escaping punishment.  But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NCAA have teamed up in the past to punish individuals leaving college programs under similar situations.

Nearly two years ago Goodell suspended former Ohio State star QB Terrelle Pryor for violations he committed while playing for Ohio State, saying in a statement “I do not believe that a player who has affirmatively acted contrary to NCAA rules should automatically and immediately be deemed eligible to pursue a potentially lucrative career in the NFL.  Doing so would be inconsistent with common-sense notions of accountability and personal responsibility…”  Pryor’s former coach, Jim Tressel, attempted to join the NFL after being fired from Ohio State.  He was hired by the Colts as an consultant.  The Colts issued a 6 game ban on Tressel, due to the fact that Tressel’s former players were concurrently serving bans from the NCAA and NFL.  Goodell said regarding Tressl’s ban, “I support their decision, I think it was a wise one.  I think it was clear that if they didn’t take the appropriate action, I would’ve taken appropriate action.”

Given Goodell’s love of suspending anything with a pulse I don’t see how it’s possible Chip escapes a suspension.  He bailed out on Oregon right on time, he won’t have to deal with the obvious reduction of scholarships, playoff bans and the embarrassment of being fired or dealing with the national media hounding him about his disgraced program.  However he and the Eagles will have to deal with his suspension, but maybe it’s for the best – he won’t have to watch Mike Vick’s four turnovers in week one.

-Pierce

Cano on Jay-Z’s roster

Posted: April 4, 2013 by OnDNxtLvl in Contracts, Yankees

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Scott Boras was blindsided.  Jay-Z, aka Hova, aka Jigga, aka the Best Rapper Alive, swooped in from seemingly out of nowhere and landed Boras’ prize client – Robinson Cano.  The 30-year-old (at least we think he’s 30) second-baseman for the N.Y. Yankees will be a free-agent after this season.  Come this offseason he’ll have his choice of numerous suitors trampling over each-other vying for a shot to pay Cano in the neighborhood of $200 million.  Cano’s former agent, Scott Boras was looking at a $6,000,000 payday for securing said contract and with a simple tweet that paycheck disappeared.

Cano

Robinson tweeted this picture shortly after signing with Roc Nation.

However, Jay-Z and his Roc-Nation sports agency didn’t stumble upon Cano.  This was masterfully calculated.  Jay-Z has spent time cozying up to Robinson over the past few years.  Cano has grown to revere Jay-Z, a business savvy entertainer who came from meager beginnings to a current net worth of nearly half a billion dollars.  Hova knows you only make a portion of your earnings as an entertainer, the real turn-key to wealth is branding.  Building an image and milking it for all its worth – be it via marketing opportunities or business collaborations.  This was all lost on Scott, which is why he couldn’t see this coming.  Boras is infamous for squeezing every last dollar out of an MLB teams coffers during contract negotiations – more willing to send his player to Siberia than accept $5 less than what he’s worth.  But he doesn’t have the vision or off the field connections a media mogul like Jay-Z brandishes.  Cano has stated he wants to be more involved in opportunities off the field much like his partner in the middle infield, Derek Jeter, who made $9 million in endorsements in 2012.  Jay-Z has the influence and leverage to secure his clients lucrative endorsement deals and the experience to create a viable brand.

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N.Y. Giants WR Victor Cruz has learned this first hand.  He parlayed his gimmicky touchdown celebration, a salsa dance, to guest appearances on morning shows and national advertising campaigns.  During the 2012 season Victor added another celebration to his repertoire, the Diamond hand sign – synonymous with the Roc Nation group.  Victor is a near lock to sign with the Roc Nation sports agency – another impending free-agent added to the growing agency.  Jay-Z lends credibility to this group and he’s after the sports worlds brightest talents.  He has eyes on building a sport empire.  Agents beware, the dominoes are falling.  Your star client could be next

-Pierce