Kyrie Irving vs Damian Lillard…Must See TV


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If the NBA really wants to advertise their League Pass, all they’d need to do is show you clips of last night’s Cavs/Blazers game and say “Hey cheapo, if you had League Pass you could’ve watched this”.

What a game! Highlights can’t really explain how epic this point guard battle was, but you need to see how it went down…

Yeah, that really happened at the Q. You won’t find too many plays better than those last two buckets. Lillard is a grown ass man pulling up from that deep and I’m still trying to figure out how in the hell Kyrie saw Varejao on that pass. And if you didn’t live in those cities, the only way you saw that game was if you had the LP.

And this is where I have a bone to pick with NBA fans. Last night was Fan Night where the fans choose the showcase game for the night. These nitwits picked Thunder vs Nuggets…Really???

 

I feel your pain Marc Gasol, I really do.

How do you not vote for a match-up of the two best young point guards in the league? The last two rookies of the year going at it, that’s not attractive? I guess that Kevin Durant/Wilson Chandler match-up was just too juicy to pass up.

Last night was the perfect time for David Stern to use his veto power. I don’t even know if he has any, but the NBA needs this kind of showcase for their up and coming players. We need Kyrie vs Lillard every time it goes down Commissioner.

Maybe they can work that into the future television contracts

They meet again January 15th in Portland. Someone, ANYONE, needs to step in and put this game on tv for all us to see.

– N.D. Face

Michael Beasley’s Redemption Song


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There’s nothing more frustrating than wasted talented.

To see someone naturally gifted squander their gift is infuriating. But the most talented among us seem to always get a 2nd and/or 3rd chance, especially athletes.

But at some point, you will run out of chances. Who would’ve thought at age 24, Michael Beasley would be on his last chance at an NBA career.

The former “can’t miss” prospect couldn’t seem to stay away from that herb and was in basketball purgatory.

That is until Pat Riley pulled him off of the Island of Misfit Hoopers and gave him his chance at redemption. So far, the results have been pretty good.

He’s averaging 11ppg’s in only 17 minutes per game, shooting almost 55% from the field, including 53% on 3’s, and if you watch him on the bench, he looks to be having the most fun he’s ever had playing basketball.

The comfort level with his role is growing by the game and he’s starting to flash all of that talent that made him the 2nd overall pick in the draft.

The game is starting to look easy to him again.

Now comes the hard part. Handling success in Miami.

His name is buzzing in the 3-0-5 again. People are even asking if he’s better than Bosh. He’s not, but they’re asking. Inevitably, the Miami nightlife will come beckoning. Calling his name like he’s Pookie from New Jack City

I think the Heat have the structure and leadership he needs to reach his potential. The Big 3, Spo, and Riles are great influences for sure. But being around true professionals like Ray Allen and James Jones, plus having a hard nosed assistant coach like Juwan Howard in his grill daily will do wonders for him.

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So will he stay on the path to basketball salvation or will he have another mug shot and be a candidate for ESPN’s 30 for 30?

What say you?

 

– N.D. Face

Quick Hits


From time to time, we like to do this quick hits section to log a few things that have our attention.   And away we go…

1. Drizzle

Fresh on the back of his latest concert in Portland, Oregon, it has been leaked that Drake and Jordan Brand have reached an agreement.  I think that it was confirmed on Michael Jordan’s Twitter feed.  I am going to be scratching my head about this one for a long time.  Last week, Kanye was burning up the airwaves shouting about how NIKE, Jordan Brand’s parent, wouldn’t pay him royalties.  So he was taking his ball and leaving to take his talents to adidas.

This week, Drake signs with Jordan.  I am not sure who made that decision, but Drake will never be the artist or the style icon that Kanye is.  We can also be certain that Drake is not getting any royalties in his deal.  Granted Kanye is a loudmouth loose cannon, but his NIKE Air Yeezy was one of the hottest NIKE shoes of the past few years.  Will Drake offer similar heat?  I think NOT.  I would love to be wrong about this one, but I am imagining a lot of lame Drizzy rhymes with Jordan Brand.

As a child of 1980s, I must step back and admire how far the art form of rap has evolved.  I am almost certain that Run-DMC got their adidas sponsorship many years after their mega-hit “My Adidas.”  Now, you have a Canadian artist signing with basketball’s only luxury brand and he is not even close to the hottest rapper in the game at the moment.  Get yours, Drizzy!!

2. If it is nice, do it twice.

The NBA marketing office must be salivating over this one.  Any time you put a basketball player next to the world’s #1 soccer player, it is a huge opportunity to attract a legion of soccer fans to the game of basketball.  Turkish Airlines decided to repeat their extremely successful ad campaign featuring Kobe Bryant and Soccer giant Lionel Messi.  Their first ad campaign got 105 million YouTube views alone.   The newest ad campaign, The Selfie Shootout, should be equally successful.  If you ever ask yourself why the NBA is playing pre-season games in Turkey, ad campaigns like this one by Turkey’s #1 airline show you just how popular the sport of basketball is in Turkey, a country of nearly 80 million people.

-GPABaller

MCW Ballin’ On A Budget


I guess Michael Carter-Williams won’t be waking up in a new Bugatti any time soon.

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His management team aka his moms and nem, have his rookie salary being deposited into a trust that he can’t touch for 3 years.

As the father of an infant son, who’ll one day be a lottery pick (hey a brother can dream), I think this is absolutely brilliant!

Think about it. If all goes according to plan, MCW will be eligible for his 1st big contract extension after year 3. He’ll sign his extension for $50-60 mil guaranteed and finally gain access to the millions he stashed away, plus some interest. He’ll be much more mature at that time and having lived a semi-normal lifestyle to that point, he’ll have a greater appreciation of the money, and will be well on his way to financial security for the rest of his life.

It’s really a great idea, kudos to his mom for thinking ahead and making sure her son isn’t in the Broke sequel.

But the South Beach side of me, the poppin’ bottles side of me, the Liv on Sundays side of me, the ballin’ outta control, let’s make it rain on ’em side of me is livid!

3 years?!?! Mom and I would have needed a serious negotiation session. I’m talking fiscal cliff style negotiating.

“3 years?!?! Naw mom, we need to talk. I can’t live off of this $2 million from Nike. I got kids to feed!”…Oops, I accidentally slipped into Spreewell mode for a second, but you get the idea.

Hopefully, this begins a trend of the financially responsible athlete. Investing in their futures, rather than a shiny new Jesus piece or some other gaudy, pointless purchase

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– N.D. Face

Creating travel delays for your fellow traveler is bad basketball juju


Check out the video above to see how UF lost to UConn last night.  In Gainesville, there were at least 50 people who were not annoyed by the loss.  Delta cancelled a flight of 50 passengers in Gainesville who were traveling to Atlanta, so it could give the plane to the UF basketball team to be used as a charter to take the team to Connecticut for the game.  Of course, the UF program is disclaiming any knowledge that their charter screwed over the waiting passengers.  Hey Gators, follow the golden rule next time and maybe you won’t get your hearts broken at the buzzer.

-GPABaller

The Future Is Now


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The world of sport is rapidly changing as a result of the digital frontier. A few weeks ago, Under Armour, a relatively new brand in basketball and a significant player in the athletic training business, invested $150 Million to buy an app company, Map My Fitness. Map My Fitness is a digital fitness platform that runs on both the iOS and Android platforms with over 20 million users worldwide and also includes its flagship brands, Map My Ride and Map My Run.

This acquisition is quite significant for a few reasons. The first is the purchase price represents nearly 10% of Under Armour’s annual revenues, but several of the app company’s products are free and would offer no substantial immediate revenue. It almost seems too expensive for the value that it delivers. Secondly, the traditional model for growth in sporting goods business has been through expensive sponsorship and endorsement deals. Under Armour has yet to find an elite signature athlete in any of its big sports — soccer, basketball or football. Its biggest to date are Stephen Curry, Cam Newton and Auburn University, quite popular as of late after the miraculous Alabama upset over the weekend. However, rather than saving this money to attempt to sign one of the elite NBA prospects joining the league next season (Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, etc.) or to throw crazy money at Kevin Durant who will be a free agent soon, Under Armour opted to invest in the digital world. Third, it places Under Armour second in the digital sport world behind NIKE with its NIKE+ running and Fuelband communities, but ahead of adidas and Puma. I think that this is the real reason that Under Armour spent the money.

By the way, if you know the founders of MapMyFitness, you might want to call and ask for a loan or even their hand in marriage. They got a sale price of $150M for a company that is only 6 years old. OMG!

-GPABaller