Tag Archives: Kevin Durant

ON BLAST PODCAST S3 E10 – I MISS THE OLD NBA (FINALS RECAP)

Kevin Durant won finals MVP as the Golden State Warriors ran over the Cleveland Cavaliers to win another NBA Championship, but did the fans enjoy the NBA season, playoffs or finals? In this episode, Sheldon decides to try something new and “cold calls” his friends asking their opinions on the “New NBA”. Let us know what you think and whether you agree or disagree with the callers.

Let us know what you think and follow us on twitter
@ShelAlexander

#UnpolishedUnapologetic
Hope you enjoy the show and don’t forget to #TellYoFriends

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ON BLAST PODCAST S3 E9 – NBA FINALS & CHILL

In this episode Sheldon and Webster talk about the NBA Finals and the Cavs chances at coming back during this series as well as:

00 – NBA FINALS: IS THE SERIES OVER? IS KD THE BEST PLAYER IN THE NBA?
22:30 – PK SUBBAN VS SIDNEY CROSBY, CARRIE UNDERWOOD AND SMASHVILLE
30:00 – IF THE WARRIORS SWEEP THE CAVS, IS THIS GOOD FOR THE NBA?
36:00 – WHAT SHOULD THE RAPTORS DO THIS OFF SEASON
44:00 – WEBBY IS READY FOR THE NFL & HOW GOOD IS JOSH DONALDSON
48:35 – WHAT SHOWS ARE WE WATCHING?
50:30 – WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING THE CHALLENGE CHAMPS VS PROS

Also for more on LeBron and the NBA Finals:

https://onblastpodcast.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/i-was-going-to-write-about-the-nba-finals-but-then/

And the Toronto Raptors offseason:

https://onblastpodcast.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/masai-ujiri-kyle-lowry-kendricks-and-loyalty/

Let us know what you think and follow us on twitter
@ShelAlexander and @awebster84

#UnpolishedUnapologetic
Hope you enjoy the show and don’t forget to #TellYoFriends

 
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I WAS GOING TO WRITE ABOUT THE NBA FINALS, BUT THEN….

LEBRON KD

My plan was to write about the NBA finals.  To preview the 3rd installment of the Cavs and Warriors.  To break down LeBron surpassing MJ or KD getting his first ring.  That was my plan.  I had it all figured out, I was going to give you all of the reasons why I thought LeBron James and the Cavs were going to upset the Warriors and repeat as NBA champs.  And then this came across my timeline:

Suddenly whoever puts a ball through a hoop more times than the other matters a whole lot less.  Now I’m sure some people read the exact same headline and brushed it off as hyperbole or insignificant because “He’s rich and famous, he should be used to haters” or “It was probably just some random idiot”.   I’m sure it might have been easy for some of you to scroll right on by…and I’m sorry to be this blunt, but…

YOU’RE FUCKING MISSING THE POINT.

If someone who is at the top of his game, at the highest level of success in not only his field, but in life in general…If someone like LeBron James at the end of the day is still looked at by some as simply a “Nigger”.  Then what chance do the rest of us have.  Seriously stop and think about that message for a second.

“Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coupe” – Kanye West (All Falls Down)

Those words from Mr. West have always stuck with me as a reminder that no matter what I do or what I accomplish, to some at the end of the day I will always just be different.  But not just different, different with a negative connotation.  We both can wear jeans and t-shirts, but my jeans and t-shirts will always be different.  The worst part about this is, we’ve been told all of our lives “that’s just the way it is.  There will always be racist people in the world” And I’m always forced to fire back with, WHY?  Why are we just supposed to accept that some people are just blatantly ignorant and that others are just as ignorant…but only behind closed doors?  Why is that something that we should still be “accepting” in 2017?  Some may not understand this, but again what chance do the rest of us honestly have if that’s how LeBron James is perceived?  Think about it, we talk more about his hairline than we do about the $41 Million that he spent to send over a 1000 kids to college.

Just a few months ago, LeBron starred in a Nike campaign that centered on the concept of “Equality”

It was a powerful ad to some and to others just another attempt to sell shoes.  Regardless of which side of that you fall on, the irony of watching that same man sit in front of a group of media and recite the story of Emmett Till’s open casket was heart wrenching to say the least.

Of course he’s an athlete in the spotlight, but he’s also a human being who no doubt has to be worried about the safety of his family.  On the flip side, he’s also a man that wants to be known for more than what he does on a basketball court.   He’s aware of the platform the sport brings and lately hasn’t been shy about using it to deliver a message.

Basketball and sports in general, are supposed to be an escape from the negativity that plagues us in the real world.  But over the past few years, it’s also been an important reminder of the stage it can bring when explaining social issues.  As much as we debate the role race plays in “Why PK Subban doesn’t fit into hockey culture”….we all know deep down that language is coded at best.  Same thing for LeBron and his “posse” or Colin Kaepernick “disrespecting” the anthem and obviously for Boston fans and their relationship with Adam Jones.   Many people confuse these things with having to be “uber-politically correct” in 2017.  But in reality it’s much more about being honest with ourselves about what’s really going on.  Words have meaning.  Maybe some of us have forgotten that elementary school lesson, but that’s why LeBron James’ words today were so important.

He’s arguably the greatest athlete of his generation and on the eve of one of the biggest games of his life, he’s forced to answer questions about some jack ass spray painting “Nigger” on his front gate.  Again, stop and think about the ridiculous nature of that sentence.  You can hear the pain in his voice and I honestly don’t know how he was able to keep it together, much less articulate so eloquently the importance of the role he now understands he plays, in terms of keeping this discussion in the main stream.  It would be so easy to give a “no comment” or to say something as generic as “the police are handling it”.  But that’s not LeBron James.  At least it’s not person we’ve watched mature into the man who stood on stage with his brothers at an award show last year, to deliver an extremely important message at a very delicate time in our history.

Some will always ask, what is he REALLY DOING?  Or question whether he could be doing more.  But how about we stop and appreciate what is actually being done.  You see, the simple act of acknowledging this pathetic act, forces the media worldwide to discuss the topic of racism, while they promote the biggest basketball games of year.  And that’s the part people often miss.  While racism continues to be a huge problem, the even bigger issue is the reluctance by many to acknowledge the fact of it being a problem in the first place.  Racism can’t go away until we all admit that it still exists.  That’s when we can all demand that it stops.  I know this all seems like a crazy concept, especially when you consider the campaign ran by the current leader of the free world.  But again, until we all understand that it’s a very real problem…nothing will ever change.

So as I said, I was going to write about who was going to win the NBA Finals and then racism reared its ugly head yet again.  Some of you might be thinking “why does race always have to be a thing, let’s just enjoy basketball” and others might be smart enough to realize that some don’t get the chance to have it “not be a thing”.  Of course I could have went ahead and written about the finals and focused on the positives of having basketball as an escape, but to be honest…I’m so tired of being told to “accept it” and that’s what we all do to a certain extent the longer we allow racism to exist in our society.   I don’t have much of a platform, but I’m going to use the little one that I do have to say that I’m fed up and sick and tired of having to explain racism.  But it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop, despite always being worried about how I will be received.  Imagine how fucked up our society is when a segment of the population is made to feel bad about discussing their insecurities.  Insecurities due to things far beyond their own control.  Yes people should be upset about the act of racial slurs being plastered on a black family’s front gate.  But shouldn’t the other people that live around the James’ LA home be even angrier that something of that nature took place in their neighborhood?  Shouldn’t Boston fans be more upset that someone felt they were in a safe enough space that they could yell “Nigger” at Adam Jones?  Do you see where I’m going here?  This isn’t just an issue about how black people deal with racism, it’s about how we as a society will eventually demand that it stops.  You see equality is an interesting concept that many don’t really understand.  It’s not about just having a “token black guy” in your office.  True equality would be getting to the point where someone is a “shitty worker” who just happens to be black….just as I’m sure there are shitty workers in your office who just happen to be white.  Maybe as you look up from your computer screen you’ll get a better understanding of what I’m trying to say…or maybe not.

Maybe a better example of inequality is like that Chris Rock bit where he talks about the rich neighbourhood he lives in….well I’ll let Mr. Rock tell the joke.

They say there’s some truth in every joke and maybe by now I hope I’m starting to make a little more sense to you in terms of opening up the dialogue. Or again…maybe not.  Maybe I’m rambling, because I’m frustrated.  Maybe you’ll just continue to complain about how long it’s taking for the NBA finals to start, so that we can all go back to talking about the games.  But maybe, just maybe… it’s time we all realize the need to start complaining about racism and how that’s the game that really needs to come to an end. Cause if that’s how “they” feel about LeBron….then what do “they” think of me.

“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough” – LeBron James 

As always, just my thoughts.  Right or wrong.  Just how I’m feeling at the time.

And oh yeah…Cavs in 6.

@ShelAlexander

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WEEK 9 NFL FIX

pi-nfl-falcons-julio-jones-08072014-vresize-1200-675-high-46

HOME TEAM IN CAPS 

Falcons -3.5 over BUCS

I’m weeks behind on the FX show “Atlanta” and I’m pretty sure that over that same span I got all of my Falcons picks wrong.  BUT I finally made a promise to myself that I will get caught up on the rest of the season this weekend and guess what….THE FALCONS SMASHED the Bucs.   Even when they made GREAT plays, the Bucs got smashed.  Poor Mike Evans

Cowboys -7 over BROWNS

The Cowboys are the best team in the NFC and the Browns are the worst team in the NFL.  So lets talk again about Cleveland’s other team.  That might have been the best game I’ve ever seen and it just happened to be GAME 7 OF THE WORLD SERIES.  I wish I was smart enough to properly put into words the roller coaster ride of emotions I had watching that game despite the fact my team wasn’t even involved.  Both franchises looking to end long droughts.  Heartbreaking mistakes, followed by epic moments of redemption.  Just think about how many guys went from possibly being labeled “World Series Goat” to “World Series Hero” in a matter of minutes.  Javier Baez, David Ross, Rajai Davis, Aroldis Chapman all at one point were about to wear a “Bartman” level of embarrassment only to redeem themselves in some fashion later on in the game.  Well everyone except Joe Maddon.  Often labeled a genius, I think Maddon might of out thought himself on more than one occasion.   There was no need to take out Kyle Hendricks (who was DEALING), for Jon Lester, especially when Maddon boasted the day before that he wouldn’t bring Lester in mid-inning.  Then there was the Baez bunt attempt with two strikes and of course letting Chapman throw 97 pitches in 3 days.  Again, your closer threw 97 pitches in 3 days. That’s just crazy.  It was a rough ride for Maddon to say the least, so it was a good thing his players bailed him out and ended the drought.  Part of me thinks it was actually the “Baseball Gods” that felt enough was enough and so that’s why it rained.  The Cubs got to regroup and the rest as they say, is history.  But what are the Cubs going to be known for now?  They’ve been “The Lovable Losers” forever, but now they’ve won.  I just don’t know where that leaves them.  But back to Cleveland for a sec.  I still couldn’t tell you how they dominated the Red Sox and Jays.  Then took the 103 win Cubs to the 10th inning of game 7 of the World Series.  All this without two of their best starting pitchers and Michael Brantley.   Yet they were so close.  So I get it, they blew a 3-1 lead and that sucks.  But lets stop it with the whole comparison to Golden State.  The Warriors won 73 games, the reigning back to back MVP got COOKED by Kyrie and while whipping his mouth piece at a fan during a temper tantrum.  One of their best players got suspended after KICKING MULTIPLE DUDES IN THE NUTS.  The Warriors crapped their pants, while the Indians ran out of gas AND STILL almost pulled it off.  But either way Cleveland fans can’t be that mad, because the Cavs Championship is still fresh….and I mean, you still have LeBron right…

and more importantly….JR.

Never change JR and never forget “The Henny is undefeated”

Lions +7 over VIKINGS

I have to take the points, solely based on Minnesota’s performance against the Bears.  Even though it’s funny to see how quickly people jumped off the Lions bandwagon after the week long “Is Matt Stafford the MVP” debate.   In the end there just seems to be too much turmoil surrounding the Vikings.  But hey, at least Minny fans have KG back in their lives right? #Area21 #CussButton

Eagles +3 over GIANTS

Debated this for a while, but even though the Eagles seem to struggle on the road I’m taking the points because I can’t trust Eli to dominate a game that he should dominate if he’s really a top tier NFL QB.  Plus, I always find it to be the safer bet to take the points in any NFC East showdown, unless the Cowboys (this year’s edition anyways) are involved.  Then at least you have to give it a little extra thought, because the Cowboys might actually be the best team in the entire NFC.   WOW…I can’t believe I actually just typed that those words….lets just move on.  While I can’t fully rep Eli…I will always rep New York’s own Shawn Carter, who is doing his part in helping people in the US to get out and vote.  I’ve always been a Jay Z fan, but sometimes its still super surreal to see the career arc.

Steelers +2.5 over RAVENS

This line is obviously dependent upon the status of Big Ben.  But to be honest, I’m still not buying the Ravens regardless of who is under center for Pittsburgh.

Jets +3.5 over DOLPHINS

I’m only taking the Jets because I’m getting the extra half point and I can’t take Miami to beat anyone by more than a FG.

CHIEFS -7.5 over Jags

Alex Smith isn’t playing, but Nick Foles might actually be better than Alex Smith anyways.  Also the Jags are a joke.  But maybe the best example of how fantasy sports is ruining Football, is the fact Blake Bortles is considered to be a “good fantasy QB” because he puts up great numbers in garbage time each and every week.

NINERS +4 over Saints

My rule stays in tact even after the bye week.  I’m rolling with my Niners against the spread every single week in support of Colin Kaepernick (1-6 so far this season).  So with the Niners coming off a bye week and the Saints on the road…I would probably be trying to talk myself into taking the points anyways.   But let me get a quick note off my chest, about San Francisco’s new favourite son…Mr. Kevin Durant.  First off Russ’ troll job was pretty funny and if you heard Thunder beat writer Royce Young on ESPN radio today, he explained what he heard was Russ’s real reasoning behind the outfit

“If you rewind it, Durant got to play photographer at the Super Bowl last year (in San Fran).  That Super Bowl was on Sunday and the night before on Saturday, the Thunder played the Warriors in Oakland.  As some people were led to believe, that’s where the Warriors recruitment process of Durant kind of started (On Super Bowl Sunday).  And this person believes, that’s really what Westbrook was digging at there “I know when they got to you, I know when they started talking to you and this was a nod to that”…Russell Westbrook is not the kind of guy that does anything by accident.”  – Royce Young on ESPN Radio 

Ok so, things didn’t go exactly how Russ and company were hoping.  But I think that was expected right?  No one actually thought the Thunder would win, but maybe at least Russ would try and score 81.  Well he didn’t do that either and in fact there were dudes getting major burn on the Thunder that I’ve never seen before in my life.  It was basically Russ bringing a knife to a gun fight.  But lets be serious, we were all there for the drama and it really looked like dudes were CHEESED.  Your boy Kanter was talking smack with the internet saying that he reportedly said to KD “How come you didn’t play like this in the playoffs last year?”.  No idea if that’s true or not, but something set Durant off cause he was still pissed off in the post game, calling out Kanter for playing only 3 minutes and probably running his mouth on twitter later on.  Again…the NBA is fantastic and so is the internet for this troll job of the Russell Westbrook Jordan commercial

Panthers – 3 over RAMS

I was on the Panthers last week, but not as much as I should have been.  By my math, I think the Cards are better than the Rams and I don’t think the Rams offence can keep up with Cam and company.  Plus, after all the noise Cam made last week about “not feeling safe” I expect him to get some extra calls in this game.  Hopefully Cam and co will go back to his happy self and dance a little.  Kind of like “Mr. Trump” and “Mrs. Clinton” at a Charlotte Hornets game

CHARGERS -4 over Titans

Much like the game directly above, I don’t think the Titans offence can keep up with the Chargers.  Also of note, I could very easily see both of these picks going against me and me frantically flipping the channel to the TFC game because I’m swearing off betting on the NFL…for the 483726th time.

Colts +7 over PACKERS

I have to take the points here, but I don’t like it.  I don’t like it at all.  Lets just hope the 1pm games go well for me so that I’m not relying on the late games to salvage an already embarrassing day.  Also, I don’t like the fact that Aaron Rodgers was selling out his teammates.  Not cool, the sports gods don’t like that.

RAIDERS +1 over Broncos

I’m only taking the Raiders a) because they’re at home and b) because their offence is better and has a lot more big play potential.  I can’t lie, I’m so nervous taking the Raiders…I just hope it doesn’t turn out like this dunk attempt.

SEAHAWKS -7 over Bills

At some point this season Russell Wilson has to have a breakout game and why not against the good ole Buffalo Bills.  I just see Buffalo’s offence folding under the pressure of Seattle’s crowd.  I know Russ is hurt, the line can’t block and they don’t have a running game.  But I still feel as if they have too many playmakers that at some point are going to…that’s right…make plays.  Also, Rex Ryan was at game 7 of the World Series.  He’s a Cubs fan, but left during the rain delay.  That might be the biggest C’Mon Man ever.

This week 1-0

Last week 6-6-1

Season 58-58-5

#OnBlast

@ShelAlexander

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BAD BLOOD? KD vs RUSS vol. 1

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Minnesota Timberwolves

Thursday night the Golden State Warriors will play host to the Oklahoma City Thunder. But lets be serious, the only thing any one cares about is Kevin Durant vs Russell Westbrook and more importantly how the latter will treat his friend, turned foe.  After an opening night loss to the Spurs, the Warriors have rallied to win 3 in a row behind Durant’s 31.3 points per game.  Although wins against the Pelicans, Suns and Blazers will do little calm the noise heading into Thursday night’s showdown, Durant’s already tried to get ahead of the “KD vs Russ” talk saying quote “We were brothers, we are brothers.”   Which is a shame because I feel like we already have an idea how Russ and the Thunder  might feel.

But I’m just guessing….right?!?!  Anyways, the Russell Westbrook tour got underway last week and lets just say, not everyone was a fan.

Middle fingers aside, Russ followed up his trip to Philly, with a 51 point (on 44 shots), 13 rebound, 10 assist overtime performance against Phoenix.  In fact, Westbrook is averaging 38.7 points, 11.7 assists and 12.3 rebounds per game over his first 3 games of the season (please read that over again…its ok, I’ll wait).  He’ll get his first real test of the season Wednesday night against Chris Paul and the Clippers…but we all know he’s gotta be looking ahead to Thursday, no?

Now, lets just get down to it…I’m firmly on #TeamRuss this season because I will never be able to understand being up 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals, blowing that lead and then jumping ship to the team that just beat you.  We’ve all heard the reasons…its a bigger market, better style of play, the Warriors have more fun etc. etc. etc.  But a couple things don’t add up for me.  First off, if Draymond was recruiting KD all season long, there’s no way you’ll be able to convince me that going to Golden State wasn’t in Durant’s head up 3-1.  How could it not be?  So the next question is, how did it affect his play?  Obviously I’m not saying he threw games, but what I mean is subconsciously it had to be in the back of his mind that he can’t go to Golden State if OKC upsets them in the West Finals.  That would be an unprecedented move, even for this  “Super-Team” era of the NBA.  He left because he needed a change of scenery, cool.  He left to chase a ring, cool (I guess, even though he could do that in OKC) and he left to have more fun?  Wait how is this not fun?

Anyways, my point is the narrative became “Blame Russ” for KD leaving.  And that my friends is where you lose me.  We all understand that Russ isn’t the “pass first” prototypical point guard that your high school coach wants him to be.  Yes he takes bad shots and at times makes poor decisions down the stretch.  But to me those are fixable traits, that could be improved with coaching or the other leaders of the team…cough…KD…cough.  But why are we acting as if all of the Thunder failures are Russ’ fault?  Why are we acting as if Russ hasn’t improved in every aspect of his game?  Over the last 3 years his assist numbers went from 6.9 to 8.6 to 10.4 assists per game and we’re acting as if Russ is the same ball hog he was earlier in his career.  I was a Westbrook hater early on, but eventually the guy won me over because of his BEAST MODE abilities.  Russ is an animal.  A physical freak.  A guy that plays hard on both ends of the floor ALL THE TIME.  Just ask Steph, Russ has him on MANNERS whenever they play each other, while Steph guards Roberson on D.  But seriously, other than LeBron is there another dude in the league that you wanna go to war with than Russell Westbrook?  While other people raise their level of play in the big moments, Russ is already there ,because he only has one gear…and that’s to GO HARD!!! (#JeezyAdLib).  Just watch any recent All-Star game, Russ is the only person actually trying for the entire game.  It’s just the way he’s programmed.  So if you have a partner in crime, that RIDES for you the way Russ RIDES for the Thunder, why would you want to give that up to experiment with the Warriors?  To me, I think Durant figures it will be easier to win a championship in Golden State, than it would be in OKC.  Which is fine I guess…but then my biggest question then becomes, where is the loyalty?  This article by Lee Jenkins (A MUST READ BTW) sums up the fact that Russ felt it was a “Cupcake” or a soft move to run to “The team that just beat us” (http://www.si.com/nba/2016/10/19/russell-westbrook-thunder-nba-season-preview-kevin-durant)

And I must say, I totally agree.  Then add the fact KD sent his “Brother” a text to let him know he was heading to G-State…C’Mon Man.   Now, I will say Kevin Durant is one of the nicest NBA stars that I’ve ever interviewed and in fact I don’t think he actually meant to throw shade at Russ or at the Thunder at any point during this situation.  I just think when people make difficult decisions, there’s always fallout on the other side regardless of your intentions.  But I don’t think Durant fully realized the impact a move like this would have on the rest of his peers…cause if he did, he would have done more than send the guy a text.  But hey I’m not complaining, because if there’s one thing the NBA does better than any other league, its drama.  Whether it’s Shaq freestyling “Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes” or LeBron having a Halloween party with a skeleton band called “3-1 Lead”, the NBA IS FAAAAANTASTIC.  And who are we kidding, if Russ shoots 40 times a night and OKC fights for the 8th seed, while Durant and company make it back to the Finals for Warriors-Cavs Rd 3, Adam Silver might as well stand at center court screaming “Are you not entertained?  ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?”

Either way, #ImWithRuss and the Jenkins article gives great insight as to why Russ is Russ (also why KD is KD) and it only solidifies why I’m on #TeamRuss.  This is why win or lose I hope Russ goes for Kobe’s 81 on Thursday night (I’m only half joking about the win or lose btw).   Anyways, I think this Jordan ad sums up Russ’ current mood, while also becoming my new favorite commercial.  I even went to Apple Music to download the song by some kid named “Lil Uzi Vert”….Yes I’m old…I’m fully aware.

#NowIDoWhatIWant #RussVsEverybody

Yes I know it’s been while….but as always…

Just my thoughts man.  Right or Wrong, just how I’m feeling at the time.

#OnBlast

@ShelAlexander

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