The NBA, as well as all professional sports, is a league fueled by contrition and managing talent in a manner where you “get the most for what you pay for”. Greg Popovich or Coach “Pop,” who was born in 1949 to a Serbian father and Croatian mother, has been exemplary in making the most out of the resources he’s been given. From draft picks to free agent signings, this “team” has made some pretty good choices over the last few years and a couple of decades now.
Kawhi Leonard was drafted 15th overall by the Indiana Pacers , and traded immediately, along with two other players in exchange for point guard George Hill of the Spurs. By 2013 with the Spurs, he was averaging 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.7 steals per game – – all while shooting 52% from the field. He recorded 26 points against the Grizzlies in the playoffs and 29 in a game 3 win in the finals against Lebron and the Heat. They won that series 4-1. After this display of development, Leonard was one of the most sought after players a year ago when his contract was up, it doesn’t look like it was such a raw deal for the Spurs.
There’s also a guy by the name of Danny Green who was drafted 55th overall by the Cavaliers in 2011, but waived soon thereafter due to his lack of performance. Green was subsequently picked up by the Spurs and sent to their D-league team in which he managed to average 20 points and 7 rebounds before having his number called by Coach Pop. By 2013, he had finished 9th overall in the “Most Improved Player in the League voting,” and was one three-pointer shy of breaking Chuck Person’s record for most three pointers in a game by a single Spur. Green finished that game against the Timberwolves with 28 points and was 5 out of 5 from the three point line.
Tony Parker, who is now a perennial all-star, was sent away by Coach Popovich prior to the 2001 draft due to his lack of toughness against former NBA player Lance Blanks in summer camp. Parker returned after improving his fortitude against larger players and the rest was history. The list goes on and on with Spurs players who improve under Pop’s system. These players may struggle with other teams, but this organization with their formidable coach at the helm, bring out any potential in the players they work with.
I can’t give ALL the credit to Popovich, but when I look at coaches like Phil Jackson or Red Auerbach, I don’t see the same type of manufacturing when it comes to talent. I can’t take anything away from them because they’re great coaches with multiple championships. But from day one, with players like Michael Jordan, Shaq, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and Scottie Pippen I could probably win a couple with those guys on my team. Those coaches had players who were going to win championships at some point, even without good coaching. They were that great.
Therefore my G.O.A.T award for best basketball coach at the professional level goes to POP. I know many will disagree with the Zen Master leaving so many years on the table where he could’ve done more, but if he were as great as Popovich, he would’ve kept coaching without superstars the way my pick for the G.O.A.T has done. I’m not a Spurs fan AT ALL, but I bet they’re going to be right there challenging your favorite team in the playoff this year – – especially with recently acquired LaMarcus Aldridge at their disposal. No doubt. Go get ‘em. Pop.
People who know me know that I am a very avid Fantasy Football player. I am always a top manager in every league that I play in. This year I have been studying the tapes and I have 5 bold predictions for the 2015-2016 Fantasy Football season. Personally I feel that a bold prediction has to be a prediction that not many people can see coming. An example from last year would be the Broncos running back situation of C.J Anderson being a top 10 fantasy running back even though Montee Ball was a first round draft choice by most. Now I don’t have the cojones to make that type of prediction but here are mine.
1. Peyton Manning will lead all quarterbacks in Fantasy scoring. Everyone thinks that Manning is done but not many people are talking about the fact that he was injured the second half of last season. Manning as always been a stud and the running game will make him even better! Why you may ask? Just look at his numbers the last time he had a great running back(Edgerrin James). He has the weapons to do it and he will bounce back in a huge way.
2. Ben Roethlisberger will not finish in the top 10 of Fantasy quarterbacks. I know people are screaming at me right now because of the monstrous year he had and maybe also because of the weapons he has but hold on my friends. He had two crazy back to back games in which he scored a total of 12 touchdowns! Even with that historic run he still only finished 6th in most standard leagues. How about the fact that he has a tough schedule. Big Ben will play a good Cleveland secondary twice, a great Cardinal secondary, and a historically great Seahawks secondary to say the least. Oh and about the weapons he has. Anyone remember Hines Ward, Plaxico Burress, a young Heath Miller, and Antwaan Randle El? Look at what he did what does guys…not much!
3. Ameer Abdulah will be a top 5 fantasy running back. Not much History to back my case but I really like what i see from this kid. I think he will benefit from Calvin Johnson getting back to being the most feared WR in the league. He will never have to worry about 8 man fronts and his receiving skills gives him the 1-2 Punch. The biggest Kicker to me is the Fantasy injury bug, which has already bitten the Lions. Joique Bell has been hurt and it is opening the door for Abdulah. Many times when we see this happen the results are pretty good. Think C. J Anderson, Jeremy Hill, and Justin Forsett. This has the makings of a really nice Fantasy Football story!
4. Rob Gronkowski will lead all WR’s and TE’s in Fantasy Points. Gronk is a beast and he is being drafted in the 1st two rounds in most leagues so we all know he is great. This year however, he will be legendary. I know that the Tom Brady suspension is looming around but this is going to work in his favor regardless.
If Tom Brady doesn’t get suspended then we will see Brady to Gronk(healthy) all season long barring any injury. I mean that in itself gives him a chance to beat out all WR’s. If Brady get suspended then I think we will see Gronk in Super Saiyan Form(Dragon Ball Z Reference). He will put up good numbers as the safety blanket for Jimmy Garoppolo but when Brady returns we will see the pissed off Patriots! Think 2007 Patriots when they wanted to destroy everyone! Brady will be so pissed and he will want to destroy every opponent and show that he is one of the greatest. This is actually the prediction i feel most confident in.
5. Eli Manning will turn back into…wait for it…it’s coming…ladies and gentleman…Eli Manning.
That’s right he will turn back into his pathetic Fantasy Football self. I see so many people buying in to Eli Manning as a Fantasy QB. Eli will be this year’s Jay Cutler(who won’t be bad this year). Remember when everyone looked at Jay Cutler’s team and thought that they would be a juggernaut? Yep seems like yesterday when we thought Cutler was destined for Fantasy greatness. This is what will happen to Eli Manning. He has never been a top Fantasy QB and this isn’t even the most talented team he has been on. Both his starting WR’s are an injury waiting to happen in my opinion. I mean how many times have we seen a WR such as Odell Beckham put on a recieving clinic just to fall off the face of the earth. Now i do believe that Odell Beckham will be great but I feel that he will take a step back this year. This will lead to Eli Manning becoming Eli Manning again!
Those are my Bold Fantasy Predictions! Tell me what you think and please give me some of yours
Do you love them?
Several Months ago I wrote a blog titled “Do you love her?” It was basically a funny story about me being in High school trying to be a “player.” A friend of mine asked me about one of the girls I talked to. He wanted to know if I cared if he talked to her seeing that I was so occupied trying to talk to as many girls as possible. Even though I kind of really liked the girl, I boasted about how he couldn’t take her away from me and to talk to her if he wanted. My friend looked me in my eye and asked me a simple question: “do you love her?” He laughed simultaneously. I was like heck naw you can have her. Let’s just say he got her in more ways than I could have imagined and that coined the phrase “do you love her?” Now even though I didn’t love her in my heart I knew I didn’t want him to talk to her. So whenever one of us asked each other that question about a girl we liked, we would say “yea,” – – basically to keep her off limits.
Now that was High School, so let’s fast forward to current times and the reality of relationships. So now most of my buddies including myself have grown up and gotten married/started long term relationships, so of course we don’t play those types of silly games with the opposite sex. Or do we?
I mean I talk with my friends quite often just like I’m sure most of you all do, and we always talk about relationships. Whether it is about how well it is going, how terrible it’s going, or on whether we miss our last partner. The common theme on those conversations usually consists of issues that are not serious at all, while some are more complex.
So that brings me to the question of the day: Do you love him/her? I mean really…do you love them? We all know the divorce rates and how terrible they are. 50 percent of all marriages will go through a divorce but my question is “why”? I have one opinionated answer. Sometimes we play games with ourselves and when asked the question do you love her/him, we say “yes.” You see saying you love someone is just like it was in High school. We are telling others that this person is off limits. The reason is because we don’t want anyone else to have what we have or to know what we are really going through, so we fake it hoping to make it. We post pictures of “me and babe” this and “me and babe “ that. We try to force feed our peers this perception that we are the power couple and you should want to be like us. Then, behind closed doors, you both want to rip each other’s heads off. I mean most people go through this. We see celebrities, religious leaders, politicians all go through divorces or separations after a lengthy relationship.
I have another opinionated response: How many of you have heard or actually been a part of this answer? Let’s do it for the children’s sake. Most people with children know exactly what I am talking about. I grew up in a split house hold and thankfully both my parents did marry again and have pretty good lives, but sometimes we can take “doing for the children” too far. People end up staying in abusive relationships, being with someone they don’t really like, or being with someone they don’t even know. Sometimes it’s not even that complex. You can be a good person, and your partner can be a good person. But maybe you are just not compatible. You continue having a relationship, children and the “whole 9” just to realize you’re not as happy as you would like to be.
One might think that I am coming from the perspective that Love conquers all, but I’m not. You can easily be in love with one another and life just swallows you whole and spits both of you out. You can be in love and fall out of love from just growing apart. Nothing in life is perfect so please don’t expect love to be. The purpose of this post is really just to challenge you to ask yourself that question. I am a firm believer that everyone should be in Love, whether it works perfectly or does not, I think it is something we should all experience. So instead of settling for the person that only makes you laugh or that makes you look good in public, ask yourself. Do I love him/her? Chances are that if you don’t, you’re not as happy as you could be or maybe you don’t care.lol. Anyway that’s my two cents.
#behappy #beyou #beinlove #whatsyourlotto
Have you ever been driving down the road, going barely above the speed limit, possibly in the far right lane, and someone speeds by you to make a right turn – – RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU? You’re thinking, “Why did this Nutcase do all of that just to slow me down?? Why couldn’t they just fall in behind me instead of impeding on my progress?!?! WE’RE THE ONLY TWO CARS OUT HERE!” If you live in Texas, like I have for the past 3 years, you definitely know what I’m talking about. It’s hard to drive a couple of miles in DFW without this happening to you. Trust me.
After an incident like this, you may become more prone to speed up just to make sure you stand your ground or at least limit the amount of cars that do this to you. This has pissed me off in the past. I’m not going to lie about it, but the older I get the more I seem to realize about myself and the world around me. When I think about these specific isolated incidents that happen within my Road Rage, I begin to wonder how many cars out here are thinking just like me. I’m sure I can’t be the only one experiencing a series of psychotic assholes every time I get on Highway 75, 635, or 35.
Rush Hour is definitely understandable if someone is running late, but how can this many people be this late on every single day of the week, every time I get in my car? I’m beginning to think there’s more to it than that. Sometimes I get caught up in the competition on a Saturday morning when I have absolutely no timeframe to meet, but I’m simply sick of people driving this way. I get to a point where I don’t want to allow them the pleasure anymore. I’ve gotten more than my fair share of speeding tickets when I had absolutely nowhere to be, and this is why.
The last ticket I received was completely avoidable, and I was caught up in the madness of competition on the road. Maybe I’m still maturing, but hopefully these people will infuriate me less as I am beginning to get older.
Before I ramble on and on about traffic and getting cut off in the right lane, I say all of that to say this: Life is too important to get caught up in the trivial problems this world bestows upon us. Look up at the sky. Imagine yourself traveling through space and the millions of stars that are so big it would take thousands of lifetimes to only travel around a few of them, then think about your problems. Your problems become miniscule – – especially things like Road Rage.
I’ve been practicing this technique for about a year now. I guess you could call it a mild form of meditation, but it always puts my problems exactly where they belong.
What if the next time you’re out driving on a Saturday morning when you have nowhere to be at a particular time, and someone cuts you off, you simply let it go? You turn on your favorite song, forget about it, and at the very worst you reach the same destination 30 seconds to a minute later. You won’t be thinking about that particular asshole who cut you off for much longer, and you save yourself a lot of stress. What if we could all just relax when the time is right? If you’re late for work or whatever, I kind of understand. But you know as well as I do that’s not the only time people drive that way. I don’t really have a “moral of the story” climax within this message other than “let it go”. If someone breaks in front of you at the movie theatre with their kids, but you’re 30 minutes early, let it go. The movie isn’t going anywhere, and there’s plenty of time left.
I challenge anyone who took time out to read this to take ONE WEEK, and eliminate your attitude where it isn’t needed. Maybe you have a problem yelling at traffic like I do or maybe you’re one of those people in the drive-thru who thinks you’re double cheeseburger shouldn’t take as long as everybody else’s. Regardless of what your trivial pet peeve is, let’s charge ourselves to let go. Happiness is similar to money, you have to earn it. It’s a process. One thing that all of the aforementioned situations have in common is you’re allowing someone else to determine whether you have a good day, possibly a good life. Who knows how much negative energy is perpetuating by so many people allowing these things to aggravate them. Spread peace and tranquility in these moments instead.
Laugh more, complain less, and let it go.
Thanks for reading!
The epitome of hard work is represented by two of the most underrated ballers in the NBA, Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas. I started following Nate and Thomas’ careers a few years ago when Nate made his first appearance with the Chicago Bulls and Isaiah was drafted, respectively.
Robinson has spent the majority of his career as a back-up point guard, and he finally showed what he was made of when Derrick Rose began experiencing his litany of injuries in 2012. Robinson averaged over 20 points during Rose’s absence, but his height has been the barrier in earning him a starting position in the league – – at least a permanent one. Regardless of his shortcomings in the height department, he has won 3 slam dunk championships.
Isaiah Thomas is similar in his own way: He was the last pick in the 2011 NBA draft, but earned rookie of the month in the following February with 12.2 points and 4.4 assists per game. He recorded his first double-double the following February against the Cleveland Cavaliers with 23 points and 11 assists. His adversary in that particular game was none other than Cleveland’s own, Kyrie Irving.
These two miniature guards show time and time again that anything can be achieved against all odds. The simple belief of themselves and outworking their opponents subsidize anything they lack in height. Below is an episode from T.J. Regan’s “State of Nate” showing the two Seattle products living their dreams and working hard to achieve them. We all could learn something from these guys: