Monday, May 21, 2012

Marshall Anthony Wahl - 3 Years

I know it sounds cliché, but sometimes there are things that cliché for a reason.  They really are true.  The old adage says that “Time goes by too fast”.  I never really believed it, but as I sit here the night before my son’s third birthday, it really is true.  Time really does go by too fast, especially when you have a child.  I wanted to commemorate this date by walking you, my loyal readers, through everything I went through the day before and of my son’s birth.

Marshall Anthony Wahl was expected to arrive on Friday, May 15th.  Setting a precedent of stubbornness, he decided to hang out as long as possible and be forced to make an appearance.  We followed the doctor’s advice and set up an appointment to be induced the week after.  Up to that point it really hadn’t hit me that I was about to help raise a child.  I really had not changed much in the months leading up to his birth.  Softball was in full effect.  The NBA season had come and gone, with the playoffs in full effect.  I was distracted by the historic run of my beloved Denver Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals.  I was distracted and just hanging out, yet there was this small sense of fear coming over me as each day passed.  I almost felt that the Nuggets getting farther in the playoffs than they ever had was serving as a distraction to keep my mind at ease.

On Thursday, May 21st, Rachel and I arrived at the hospital in the early evening to check in and begin the process.  There isn’t much that goes on that first night.  The medical staff pretty much gave Rachel the drugs to start the process and made sure she was comfortable and relaxed, as Friday would be an intense day.  I sat back on my pull out couch, which is more or less a piece of board with a gym mat over it, and watched the proceedings.  Let me just say, as comfortable as they made Rachel’s bed, the pull out couch is completely opposite.  I will say that it is the last thing I would complain about given the discomfort I imagined Rachel would endure the next day.  Once the drugs had started taking affect, Rachel went ahead and told me to head home for a bit.  It was a nice gesture since game two of the Nuggets-Lakers series was tipping off that night, although I think it was Rachel wanting me out of there so she could rest.  I’m kind of intense during games and didn’t want to bother her.  I went home for a few hours, pacing maniacally.  As nervous as I was during the game, I knew what the next day would hold for us.  Life was changing as we knew it.  The Nuggets did give me a great distraction, though, beating the Lakers in LA behind Carmelo Anthony’s 34 points and 9 rebounds.
I returned to the hospital extremely pumped up after the Nuggets’ win and was ready to focus on the intensity of the next day.  When I got back to the hospital, Rachel was comfortably sleeping so I turned on the TV to relax and wind down.  I stumbled across the legendary Rocky IV and settled in for the night.  Is there anything better for me than the night before having my first born son watching Rocky IV after a huge Nuggets win.  I could feel God smiling upon me.
The next morning, May 22nd, the doctors came in to check on the progression.  Things were rolling along nicely and we prepped for the day.  My parents and Grandpa had come into town so they, along with a variety of friends at the hospital, stopped by to lend some great support.  Rachel took the epidural and had the water broke (probably not in that order, but I don’t really recall).  The doctors gave us a few hours and said to relax.  Rachel sent me off to McDonald’s with my parents to grab something to eat before everything began.  She lay in bed watching Paul Blart: Mall Cop and I went on my way.  I don’t remember much about lunch because my focus had completely turned to Rachel and the baby soon to arrive.  There really are an uncountable number of questions that pop into a first-time father’s head before birth.  Am I ready for this?  Do I have what it takes to be a good father?  What would I do in this situation?  What would I do in that situation?  Seriously, you can go crazy thinking about this stuff.  As I sat at lunch, I just paused and said to myself, “Everything you’ve done and been through in life has led you to this moment.  You are ready, whether you know it or not”.
By the time I walked back into the hospital room, things had started to progress faster than expected and Marshall was set to arrive within the next couple of hours.  In an attempt to relax Rachel, I popped in a disc of old Friends episodes and kept a lighthearted environment to make it easier for her.  My family was in the waiting room and I wanted to update them, but there was no way I was leaving that room again.  The last thing I wanted was for everything to progress quickly and me not be there for something, mainly to support Rachel.  As the time progressed you could feel the tension and anxiety fill the room.  I was my usual self on the outside, but my insides were on an entirely different level.  I felt like I was standing on the free throw line in game seven of the NBA Finals with a chance to win the championship…except multiplied by 100!  It was insane.
I’m going to spare you the details of what happened over the next excruciating 90 minutes, but needless to say it was crazy.  My main job was to count to ten over and over again, followed by an encouragement to push.  Watching Rachel go through it was mind blowing.  Despite, what I can only imagine as intense pain, Rachel rarely looked like it was too bad.  I think my super sweet wife is tougher than I ever gave her credit for!  I have to admit that my encouragement sounded more like former UFC champion Matt Serra cornering a fighter.  I sounded ridiculous and even Rachel would occasionally shoot me a look that said “You’re such a dork”.  Maybe my comical methods worked to make things better?  Sounded good, right?  I’m such a heel, though.  At one point while we had a second to break, Rachel popped on her oxygen mask.  While she turned her head the other way, I snuck a big drink of water from her cup.  What can I say?  Counting to ten over and over is tough of the vocal chords!
Once Marshall made his appearance, things became a blur.  I don’t recall his length or weight.  All I saw was this perfect little (big) guy, knowing his future would be shaped by the two people who will love him more than anything they’ve ever known.  After holding him for a few moments (which was the first time I’d ever held a baby that small), I took him to Rachel for their introduction.  After giving them a few moments, I brought my family in.  There was something special about the pictures, our first one as a family and our first ones alone with him.  There is one that was extra special to me, though.  There was me, my Dad, my Grandpa and my son; four generations.  It was a cool moment I cherish.
We took Marshall down the hall to have him poked, prodded, and looked over to make sure he was good.  Once everything checked out, we joined Rachel in our room for the next day or so.  I remember some of the silliest things.  While Rachel was working on feeling better with the nurses, Marshall and I turned on the TV.  We got to share our very first sports moment.  Anyone who knows me knows that I believe sports moments can be special.  I can tell you where I was for some great moments in sports.  However, I don’t think anything will ever match what happened for us.  It’s not very often that the first sports moment with your first born son is a special play.  We turned on the TV in time to catch the last play of game two of the Orlando Magic versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.  There was one second left and Cleveland was down by 2.  I held Marshall as we looked on to what would happen in this moment.  The pass came in to LeBron James, who turned and launched a shot…it’s good!!!  Our first sports moment as father and son was a game winning three by a player Marshall would grow up watching play.  In the years since, Marshall has gravitated towards LeBron as his “basketball guy”.  I always think back to that moment and it warms my heart.
It was one of the, if not the most intense 24 hours of my life.  The last 3 years have gone by too fast, yet just slow enough that I can appreciate every little thing we go through.  I’m blessed to have a wonderful wife to share this with and I could not ask for a sweeter, more genuinely awesome son in the world.  Happy birthday to my little buddy, Marshall Anthony Wahl!

Jon "Bones" Jones vs Internet Ignorance

As I am sure you aware by now, UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones was arrested this past weekend for suspicion of DUI after crashing his Bentley in Binghamton, NY.  Sitting back the last few days and reading various comments via Twitter and message boards, it is extremely disheartening to read the vicious attacks on Jones’ character and, on multiple occasions, his religious beliefs.  How did we get to the point where as a society, we can “verbally” assault someone without any repercussions whatsoever?

                Let me start by saying I do not condone what Jones is being charged with.  Driving an automobile while under the influence is an extremely dangerous action, and one not to be taken lightly.  I’m not trying to make light of it, but the reaction does not match the crime.  If we could sit back as individuals for just one moment and realize how hypocritical we sound.  How many of us have been in that exact same situation, made that exact same mistake or known/been related to someone who has been in that situation.  I’m not perfect and have made that awful decision.  I wasn’t caught.  I’ve had friends who made that mistake and were caught.  It’s a mistake of youth.  We all look back and thank the good Lord that we didn’t hurt ourselves, or worse yet, someone else.  Let’s be honest, though.  He didn’t hurt anyone other than himself.  This is likely going to delay sponsorships and a continued elevation to the mainstream, thus hurting potential deals for him and his family.  The thing is he’s the one that will face this head on and own up to his mistake.  Who are any of us to attack that?  Why should any of judge him for a mistake that will be learned from?  Just when did we become an internet society that allows us to anonymously attack others, while pretending to be what we wish we were?

He apologized to his friends, family and loyal fans for ”embarrassing” himself.  Personally, raising a 3 year old who loves Jones, I’m happy he made a mistake like this.  We’re going to either validate our belief in his character or we’ll learn that he isn’t what we thought he was.  Either way, when my son grows up and learns about this, I can tell him that no matter who you are in this world, you’re going to make mistakes.  We’re not defined by our mistakes, but how we react to those mistakes.  If you own up to that mistake, do what you can to make it right and not repeat it, then you’ve done a great thing.  I have no doubt in my mind that Jon Jones is a good kid (he’s only 24, making mistakes 24 year old kids make), and that he’ll handle this with grace and honor.

The real issue here isn’t about Jon Jones, though.  The real issue is the lack of responsibility and common sense out in the digital world.  I watched a war of words on Twitter between UFC president Dana White and an individual who kept blasting him for employing guys who are “boozers”, on drugs or steroids.  Here’s the interesting part of that conversation, though.  His Twitter name is glorifying the late Chris Farley…who passed away from a well-documented battle with drugs and alcohol.  Can you really be taken seriously when pointing the accusatory finger, while glorifying the same thing you are condemning?

Then, of course, comments started coming in calling Jones fake and stating he should stop the religious “act”.  I don’t know if I can ever understand how someone making a bad decision means they can no longer have faith in the Lord.  Without jumping on a religion soap box, one of the core beliefs in religion is that ability to make mistakes and be forgiven, to be given the strength to get through tough times.  Yes, the Bible is a guide to living life the right way, but at no point do I recall hearing that you must live a perfect life.  Mankind was not created to live perfectly.  We are all fallible, but faith allows us to be forgiven and learn from those mistakes.  Stating that Jones should quit with the religious “act” is one of the most offensive things I read this weekend because no one but Jones knows what he believes.  Emblazoned across his chest is Philippians 4:13 which read: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  That could not be truer for Jones right now as he will need strength to get through this storm he created.  However, none of us are in a position to make his struggle harder.

We are a forgiving society.  We vilified Michael Vick when it was convenient for us, yet loved him the second he started playing for our fantasy team.  We despised Kobe Bryant while he had issues in Colorado, but once that next championship ring appeared on his finger, all was forgotten.  Before we lump Jones into a category of “athletes gone wrong”, let’s let it play out and see how he responds.  He may have gotten knocked down for the first time in his career, but he’s not out.  He’s just getting back on his feet.

All I’m really asking for in this time of 24/7 social media is caution and intelligence.  If you want to post your opinion, post it.  Heck, I’m doing that right now.  However, I simply ask you to use caution and look in the mirror before attacking someone you don’t really know.  If you don’t like Jon Jones as a fighter, then don’t like him as a fighter.  However, before attacking his character and beliefs, step back and realize you don’t know who he is.  Just because Rashad Evans said he was “fake”, it doesn’t mean he’s right.  Maybe he is.  Maybe he isn’t.  I’d be willing to bet none of us will ever truly know Jones as a person.

Regardless, I’ll still cheer for him and happily let my 3 year old cheer for “Bones Jones”.  An outside the Octagon fight just started, and I’d bet anything it ends the same way the other fights did, with Jon Jones as the victor.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Big 3 Trade Response

My good friend Jamie posted a comment on Facebook that was requesting my viewpoint.  Let’s just say Facebook doesn’t allow the number of words I need to use to get my point across.  Below is Jamie’s comment followed by my response.  Enjoy!

If Miami loses this series I have an idea on what they "should" do. I don't think they would but they should. If I were Riley, I'm making/taking a call to/from NY & I'm asking for Melo. Melo for D Wade straight up. Melo loves to close & get the ball especially when the games on the line, pair him with LBJ who tends to pass it more than shooting it in those final seconds & it would be huge not to mention Bosh on the court as well. Wade right now is a top 5 talent in my eyes but this would benefit both teams tremendously. It gives NY a better player to pair up with Amare & a better style of play. Both contracts are about the same & they're 2 years apart on age so there's nothing on those ends as to why it couldn't be done. Not to mention that if MIA loses Spoelstra will be gone so they'll have a different coach or Pat Riley himself. This situation with LeBron & Wade, I don't know if it can work to get a ring. It isn't best for them. But by doing this it would be huge for all players involved, everyone becomes even better. & if not now bc of Bosh's injury I understand but then when? After year 3 if they still don't win? Doing this now makes sense. Now I don't think MIA will do this but try to convince me that this wouldn't work or do you agree?

Sorry bro, but the idea is ludicrous.  In all honesty, it doesn’t make sense at all.  This will be a long response so it has become a blog post.

First, the idea that LeBron is not a “closer” is the most annoying thing the media puts out there and people believe without doing any research.  People want to conveniently forget his first seven seasons in the league, in which he led a terrible Cleveland team to win totals of 50, 50, 45, 66 and 61.  He led them to the NBA Finals with people like Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Sasha Pavlovic and Eric Snow.  He led the NBA in 4th quarter scoring in multiple seasons during that time.  How can you not “close” and lead the league in 4th quarter scoring and be one of the best teams in the league, despite an atrocious supporting cast?  It doesn’t make any sense.  He had a terrible NBA Finals last year.  That’s it.  It doesn’t mean he can’t close a game.  Somehow the general mentality of fans and media has become the misconception that you have to take the last shot to be the closer.  What needs to be realized is that to be great, you just need to make the smart basketball play.  I discussed this in a blog yesterday, even Michael Jordan passed to open players at the end of NBA Finals games.  Why?  Because it was the smart play, the right play, the play that will give you a better chance to win the game!  For those who say that he shrinks in all big spots, enjoy these two videos and leave me alone.

I know that you believe Kobe Bryant is the epitome of a closer, but stats tell us otherwise.  I want you take the time to really dive into these numbers.  His shooting percentage, his lack of assists and high turnover rate doesn’t paint a good picture.  Has he closed in his career?  During the regular season, yes.  In the playoffs?  His first three rings were the result of big shots from Robert Horry and Derek Fisher.  He was a 3rd or 4th option.  Let’s also not forget game 7 of the Finals against Boston recently where he shot 6 for 24 and was carried by Pau Gasol.  Quite frankly, we can skew the numbers and opinions however we see fit.  The truth is the concept of a closer is a media fabricated idea.  Basketball is a free flowing sport that goes on the feel of the game.  True closers are coaches who put their players in the correct spots to succeed.

Now on to the proposed trade; the idea that New York would part with Carmelo Anthony doesn’t make sense right now.  He is clearly the guy to build around out there.  You are proposing that they build around Amar’e Stoudemire, which they tried two years ago to no success.  The problem with Stoudemire is he is unreliable from a health standpoint.  He also would mesh with Wade as well as you think because he needs the ball to go through him.  His success was largely due to the pick and roll offense masterfully run by Steve Nash (who I will mention later).  Wade will dominate the ball, in a similar manner that Carmelo does.  Given Stoudemire’s inability to stay healthy (he’s only played a full season twice in his career), do you want to match him with Wade…who also struggles with injury (he has never played a full season)?  That’s a dangerous thought and one they shouldn’t even consider.  Dwyane Wade is 30 and has much more wear and tear on his body.  Carmelo is only 27 and hasn’t had any real injury issues.  He’s reliable and not a chip you give away.

What style do you think they want to play in New York?  Woodson is an isolation play calling coach.  Wade would run that, but it doesn’t help Amar’e in any way. 

I don’t think that Riley will come back to the bench, nor do I think he should.  I don’t think that Spoelstra should be fired either.  He has done a remarkable job given the lack of depth on that team.  He deserves a chance to make this work.  He had them two wins from a title last season.  It wasn’t coaching that lost them those games.  It was LeBron playing poorly.  It was Wade taunting the Dallas Mavericks.  It was Dirk going crazy and putting up historic numbers.  He’s a good young coach that should retain his job.

Now here’s where things get interesting.  I agree that if the Heat can’t pull this off, and after last night it doesn’t look good, they should do something.  The Big 3 will have to be broken up and the piece that has to go is Wade.  He’s older.  He’s struggled with injury.  It’s clear that this has become LeBron’s team.  It’s time to give him the keys to the kingdom and build around The King and Bosh.  Here is how I would propose things shake out:

Miami Heat

- Trade Dwyane Wade and Joel Anthony to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard.

                - The contracts match up.

                - Orlando flips a bad situation into an All Star guard and a back-up center for Glen Davis.

- Miami gets a dominant big man, which allows Chris Bosh to play the mid-range game he absolutely thrives in.

- LeBron doesn’t mind because he gets another friend on his team and gets total control, like he had in Cleveland but no is surrounded by pieces that fit his style better.

- Sign Steve Nash to run the point.

- Your starting line-up turns in to LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Steve Nash and Mike Miller.  Bringing Mario Chalmers off the bench would be a great spark for the second unit and gives you a good back-up for Nash.  Nash will need games off so having Chalmers is an easy plug in.

New York Knicks

- Sign Jeremy Lin to an extension under the pretense that he will be traded (hang with me).

- Work with Deron Williams on a sign and trade.

- Deron Williams wants out of Brooklyn, but he does live and like the New York area.  He would love to be with the Knicks and team up with Carmelo, who was a great Team USA teammate.

- The trade would be Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin for Deron Williams.  The Knicks rid themselves of a bad contract and a piece that doesn’t fit in the direction they are going.  The Nets, who have no star power and know Williams is likely gone, get two proven commodities to sell tickets and improve their team.  Lin and Stoudemire play well enough together to make them relevant.  I don’t think this makes them a playoff team, but it improves them greatly.

I have just improved the situations for four Eastern Conference teams.  Miami gets better and improves in the places they need to.  New York gets a cohesive team that Mike Woodson could elevate.  The Nets get the ability to sell tickets and win more games with a Lin, Stoudemire, and Gerald Wallace tandem.  Orlando rids themselves of a huge headache and brings in a guy who immediately helps (and is loved in the South Florida region).  Simply put, Carmelo isn’t going anywhere.  His style would clash with LeBron’s the same way it is with Wade.

The funny thing is you said that you don’t think the LeBron-Wade dynamic can win a ring, which is a prevalent thought in the media.  How do we forget that they were 2 wins, 2 WINS, from the NBA title last season?  They were learning to play together and this year has been even better.  Wade took a step back because he knows LeBron is the best player on the planet, plus he’s getting older and more run down.  It can work but the Bosh injury is major.  You can’t be without Bosh and then have Wade give you as many turnovers as points.  No team can overcome that level of ineptitude, even with LeBron carrying the weight.  The sad thing is, if they don’t win the title, no one will mention Bosh’s injury.  The media won’t point to Wade’s terrible play and argument with his coach.  It will all get heaped on LeBron’s shoulders.  He could average 30-15-10 during the Finals, but if they lost, it’s his fault.  It’s a sad state of affairs.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

2012 NBA Playoffs - Musings

Who is up for some NBA Playoff musings from your favorite opinionated fan?  I thought you might be.

- For all the discussion regarding small market teams not having a fair chance, the NBA playoffs this year sure have shown different.  While you may not be able to name their starting lineups, there have been some amazing teams to come out of the woodwork the last year or two.  Denver, Memphis and Indiana are prime examples of franchises that are being run the way franchises should be run.  From the GM to the coaches, they are taking talent and putting them in the right spots to succeed.  You may not know the names Kenneth Faried, Rudy Gay or Paul George but you should.

- I was in a discussion about Larry Bird winning Executive of the Year last night and I am astonished by the lack of knowledge some people show.  While I would have voted for Masai Ujiri for the Denver Nuggets, Bird did an amazing job crafting this year’s Pacers team. The trades for Leandro Barbosa (former 6th Man of the Year and great off the bench scorer) and George Hill were masterful.  The signing of David West and the retaining of coach Frank Vogel, positions this team to be good for years to come.  It’s a shame more people aren’t paying attention to the job he’s doing there, as well as Ujiri and David Kahn in Minnesota.  Small market teams have a challenge in attracting and keeping players.  These three men, especially, have excelled at their jobs.

- Isn’t it funny how Lakers fans were so excited about the trade for Ramon Sessions, as if he was the savior point guard they needed?  As we’re in the midst of the playoffs, I think we all realize one thing…he’s still just Ramon Sessions.  He’s a mid-level point guard, at best.  He’s a guy who has been on four teams in seven years and there is good reason for that.  Congrats LA!  You have Jordan Farmar 2.0.

- While on the subject of the Lakers, isn’t it interesting how quickly the fans went for begging for an Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard trade to praising Bynum as the future of the franchise?  I think it is clear that, while Bynum can dominate in stretches, he’s not a guy you can build around.  This has nothing to do with maturity.  It has everything to do with a guy who clearly checks out of games for no reason.  The supporters will call him “enigmatic” or “misunderstood”.  Those are just code words for “aloof” and “underperforming”.  He doesn’t have the mental make-up to be “The Guy”.

- The Chris Bosh injury is a huge one, but few people are mentioning it.  Even fewer are mentioning the inability the Heat bench has shown to step up when needed.  If they don’t win the title, the backlash towards LeBron James will be ridiculous.  He will feel the brunt of the blame, regardless of how he plays.  It’s a sad state of affairs that a guy this talented and beloved two short years ago has become vilified and despised.  It boggles my mind how quickly “fans” jump on and off bandwagons.

- Speaking of bandwagons, I can’t think of any sports franchises that have more bandwagon fans than the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers.  I understand wanting to cheer a winner, but come on!  Sports fandom is born from proximity.  I grew up in Colorado Springs, thus I am a Nuggets and Broncos fan.  People growing up in Iowa as a Lakers fan?  Why not the Bulls or Timberwolves?  It’s always struck me as odd…

- Like it or not, I’m going to gush about the Denver Nuggets.  So many “experts” had them missing the playoffs and being one of the worst teams in their division.  It’s amazing what great coaching and good personnel moves can do.  The Nuggets were able to get a haul of players for Carmelo Anthony last year (Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Raymond Felton) and continued their “re-building”.  Funny thing is, they didn’t need to re-build as they were already in great shape.  They flipped Felton for Andre Miller, who is a tremendous upgrade and leader off the bench. While Chandler finished his obligation in China, rookie Kenneth Faried shined and allowed Denver to move the monster contract of Nené to Washington for JaVale McGee.  McGee, who has been a laughingstock for the Wizards, showed tremendous potential under the guiding hand of George Karl.  This team is constructed to win and win now.  They pushed the Lakers to the brink in the playoffs, despite falling down 3-1 in the series.  The Nuggets fought valiantly, but the Lakers were bailed out by the league and got Ron Artest back from suspension for Game 7.  Without Artest, that team was dead in the water.  At least Denver fans can take solace in the fact that they’re only going to improve.  Team basketball lives in the Mile High City!!  No superstar?  No problem.

- The concept of a team needing a superstar to “close the game” or “take the last shot” befuddles me.  I’d rather have a team make the smart basketball play than force feed an individual, who more often than not, will miss.  Even the best in history shoot between 35-40% in game winning situations.  Anyone can have a 50-50 chance, not just a star.  For example, in Denver, I watched game winning shots from Arron Afflalo, Ty Lawson, JaVale McGee and Danilo Galinari this past season.  If a defense doesn’t know where the shot is coming from, doesn’t that make it more difficult for them to defend?  Even Michael Jordan passed up game winning shots.  It’s called smart basketball, kids.

- As good as the Thunder look some games, they look awful the next…or even right after.  All the while, the San Antonio Spurs just keep winning and dominating.  They may be the most underappreciated franchise in the league.  Do not sleep on them.  They just may come out of the West and challenge for their 5th title.

- Is there another player in the league who has gone from easily likable to absolutely easily detested the way Kevin Garnett is?  I recall cheering for him in Minnesota, and even the first season in Boston.  Once he got a ring on his finger, he just has gotten so ridiculously arrogant.  His angry persona seems to have taken over and he is so unlikable now.  Paul Pierce is too.  The guy, who was the leader of a 24 win team, suddenly is talked about as an all-time great?  Garnett, Pierce and Allen are all guys who didn’t carry their teams to anywhere alone, yet get accolades like they did.  Garnett had the one great season, but was helped along by Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell, but the others never did anything alone.  True greatness is elevating bad teams, not running your mouth after you win with other underachievers.

- LeBron James won his 3rd MVP in four years and rightfully so.  I was ecstatic that the voters realized the error of their ways and awarded it to the best player on the planet.  Like him or not, you can’t deny how awe-inspiring he is to watch play.  The funny thing to me is that there was so much hype regarding his numbers this season.  “Historic” is how it was described by so many.  Yet, if you look at his numbers from last year, they are virtually identical!  Why the difference and why the MVP this year and not last?  Well, we all know the answer.  The voters were mad about “The Decision”.  Sorry Derrick Rose.  Your MVP has an asterisk and is a sham.  The voters used you to get back at LeBron like a scorned ex-girlfriend.   I hope you enjoyed your rebound MVP because you likely won’t see another.

After all of this, the one thing I have to say is…I love the NBA Playoffs!!!