I. Big Brother Is Watching
My goodness, how does the Internet know? Or, better stated, does the Internet know something that I need to know? Do I need to get my private investigator friend to follow my wife?
I’m just saying this because I get so many emails promoting available LDS – Mormon, that is – singles in my area…as well as from Ashley Madison, which promotes discreet affairs between married individuals. Wifey may have some ‘splaining to do…
II. Do The Write Thing
Previously I wrote that World Series MVP David Ortiz might have been able to do better in the New York mayoral race than Republican candidate Joe Lhota…and as it turns out, Big Papi finished third in the Boston mayoral contest last week. Ortiz received the most write-in votes of all of the candidates that received write-ins, placing him in third place behind the two candidates on the ballot, this despite not having any time to campaign due to travel for his job and carrying his co-workers on his back all October.
III. Do The Right Thing
During the past week it has been virtually impossible to go anywhere without hearing the voice or seeing the face of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, fresh off of his resounding victory and reelection. And of course, the main topic of discussion around the governor is if he plans to seek the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2016…which most observers expect him to do. Certainly one could think he had 2016 on his mind when he scheduled the special Senate election – in which Cory Booker was running – to be on a day weeks prior to the regular election day, so that Booker’s presence on the ballot would not bring out bunches of Democrats and potentially lessen his margin of victory. Since the extra election may have cost the state between fifteen and twenty-four million dollars, that was kind of the wrong thing to do.
As far as whether he should race to move to Washington, probably not so fast. Christie did the right thing for the people of New Jersey when he met and toured the state with President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. However, given that it was in the midst of the 2012 presidential campaign, being seen as working with Obama – despite being what his constituents needed him to do – was the wrong thing to do for someone looking to become the nominee of a Republican primary contest dominated by Tea Party voters and personalities. But it was the right thing to do to win a landslide victory in New Jersey over a candidate that the Democrats didn’t put real money behind and tiptoed around giving full-fledged support to.
IV. Wally Pipp or Thanks, Ice Cube
Trying to find a connection here between Wally Pipp and Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers…who would not even be in existence as a franchise until two and a half years after Pipp’s death in 1965. Perhaps Pipp lived in Brooklyn – where Lance grew up – while playing for the New York Yankees…though I kind of doubt that. Long commute.
Apparently Pipp was a pretty good left-handed hitting first baseman, finishing with a career batting average of .281 with 998 runs batted in. He led the American League in home runs in 1916 and 1917, and had three seasons in which he batted over .300…but is best known as the guy that was out of or asked out of the starting lineup one day, and his replacement was Lou Gehrig. Gehrig went on to start 2,130 consecutive games, so naturally Pipp never got his job back.
But back to Lance Stephenson, who messed around and got a triple-double the other night for the first time in his career. While people are focused on Paul George and his path to superstardom, Stephenson is growing by leaps and bounds as well, and his unbridled game is the perfect addition to the very solid but somewhat conservative Pacer team.
Stephenson and George could make former lead scorer Danny Granger – on his way back from injuries that basically sidelined him for all of last season – the 2013-14 reincarnation of Wally Pipp.
V. Forgot About That
As I scrolled through the available games on NBA League Pass the other night, I found Celtics vs. Heat, and naturally was overjoyed at seeing that early season matchup. For a minute I had forgotten that KG, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry had taken their talents to Brighton Beach…until I saw the five players that the Celtics had on the floor, at which point I turned away…only to return to it in time to see Jeff Green hit a game-winning three in LeBron James’ mug. Maybe they won’t be that bad after all upon Rajon Rondo’s return.
VI. …Or Maybe They Should Be
Recently an unnamed NBA general manager was quoted as saying that sometimes his job is to understand the value of losing. His point was that being a middle of the road team is not going to put you in a position to either win a championship or obtain a game-changing player in the draft by virtue of being really bad – so it might be in his best interest to field a team that would not be able to be very good in order to insure that a high draft pick would be forthcoming.
Mystery GM, I understand, but here’s the flip side to that: some long-suffering fans of teams that have not tasted much success of late would love to see their teams claw their way into the playoffs. Ask fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates…or for that matter, even the Knicks and Nets. And yes, they may then get roasted and toasted by a top seed, but the fan base will have been energized…and you may see another path to the top. Some of the free agents that you think would never come to your small market may wind up taking another look.
VII. Charles In Charge
First of all, I totally love Charles Barkley on Inside The NBA, which has been one of my favorite shows for years. He is funnier, in my book, than some professional comedians and his analysis can be spot on. But with all that said, what was up with his all-time teams?
Charles’ all-time greatest five were Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell. His second group was Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. Great players all, hard to argue with including any of them. But then he goes on to state that people that would rate James over Kobe don’t give Kobe and his five rings enough respect. So therefore my question is this: Where is Earvin “Magic” Johnson? He’s not among the top ten players? Really?
He seems not to be alone. Jason Kidd went with John Stockton, MJ, Scottie Pippen, Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal – and Karl Malone chose Stockton, Oscar, Wilt, LeBron and Pippen as his all-time starting five.
Give me Magic in there somewhere…and by the way, he has five rings as well.