I am a huge Boston Celtics fan, so where the best player in the NBA Lebron James plays in 2018-19 matters to me. After looking at the potential destinations and obstacles to each, I tend to think he is staying in his beloved Ohio. I say this for several reasons—some basketball and some non-basketball. But the number one reason to me is I think he likes being the good guy, he remembers how bad his first move was, and how it devastated Cleveland. He has a family and there is no ideal, ready-made landing spot a la Miami for him to join this time where he’d fit in. I think he opts for at least one more year with the Cavs.
Lebron the basketball player is a realist. He has faced Golden State with four stars. He sees what the Celtics and 76ers are building in the East. He is nearing 35 years old and cannot beat a great team without help. ADULT help, not kids down the road help. He has a small window. That very window eliminates teams. The Lakers, with all their young talent and cap space, are the clubhouse leader. But they need two players to pair with LBJ. The names most often linked to that super team? Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. And that’s the problem.
Both Lebron and Paul have to tell their currents teams by June 29th if they will opt in to current deals. Each is a one-year contract. Here Is the problem: which one commits first? Timing is everything. LBJ opts out, he sends message to PG13 that he is going to—?—Paul George stays? LBJ needs to find a team with more players a la Philly or Boston. I am not sure LBJ knows what he wants to do and I think PG13 will resign with the Thunder. That forces King James to stay in Ohio.
Kawhi Leonard is an elite player and a top ten talent. However, he is in a very public dispute with his current team- The San Antonio Spurs- and they are in no hurry to do a trade. Again, Lebron and Paul George know this. And they have deadlines to make decisions. And the Spurs do too. Leonard also has a tricky leg injury and if the Spurs move him they would send him out East. I think he is stuck in Texas and if LBJ is smart, he knocks this guy out of the plan.
Finally, think about how important the draft is and how it impacted Lebron’s decision. Let me explain- If the 76ers took Jayson Tatum at last year’s draft, they would be a PERFECT place for King James. Instead they took an injury-prone non-shooter while arch rival Boston took Tatum. That decision changed the entire landscape of the NBA. And makes the Cs a huge force for years to come. Golden State is too good and two kid stars plus LBJ is not good enough to beat this Historic Warriors team. By staying In the East, his route to the finals? Much easier. And family will be with him. In Ohio.
Sports and life have a lot of comparable situations and Tuesday the struggling New York Mets’ miserable season became secondary. Beloved baseball executive and Mets’ General manager Sandy Alderson announced he was stepping aside after his cancer returned in May. He broke the news to his team, which has lost seven straight and is 32-44 after starting 11-1, prior to Tuesday’s extra inning win. To say the team took the news hard is like saying Santa would be missed on Christmas. Many players broke down and team captain David Wright, who has battled his own injuries over the past two years, spoke with a cavalcade of reporters.
"When you get news with what Sandy is going through, it kind of puts everything into perspective," Wright said, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "And obviously you want to go out there and win baseball games, but when you're talking about—everybody in there, either a small part or a big part, is here because of Sandy."
When Alderson took over the Mets in 2010, the team was a MESS. He drafted, signed some free agents and made some great trades. He built the 2015 National League Champions. He made tough choices—Lucas Duda over Ike Davis, Wright over Reyes, R.A.Dickey trade—and hired Terry Collins. The team was fun, built the right way and appeared poised to win the third World Series in franchise history. Then a selfish me-first guy got in the way in the ninth inning of game five, and that dream was gone. Next season a one-game playoff pitching duel was ended by a homer from a guy who many major league executives could not pick out of a lineup. Since that game, NOTHING has gone right. And it defies logic. ANYTHING that could go wrong has. The roster has been riddled with injuries, hired-fired people, and wasted money. Now their leader is gone, and it stinks. A man who served in Vietnam had to step down. Welcome to the 2018 New York Mets.
This is not a pity party. If you told me Sandy Alderson would be okay, I would forfeit Mets’ wins for the next ten seasons. It is what it is. A terrible day for a terrible season. But this isn’t some dumb game where a team based on PITCHING gave up seven home runs. A good man who has done a good job structurally and foundation wise is sick and so is his team. And I am sick about that. Sandy Alderson built the Canseco-McGwire Oakland A’s. He gave Tony Larussa his second MLB manager job. He hired a burnt-out prospect to become an A’s scout. You might have heard of him. BILLY BEANE. He has done some incredible things. He turned the Mets around and leaves with both his health and the health of the franchise in shambles. Sports and Life. Neither is fair. Get well, Sandy. #LGM
One of my favorite sayings, and it often applies to sports, is it is always a good idea to profit off the stupidity of others. Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge applies this on a near daily basis, and again last Thursday he found a lot of suckers. Somehow a team that was picking 27th in the draft with a major need for a big man, found one. Texas A&M center Robert Williams—a lottery talent—dropped and around pick 17, Celtics management started hosting group prayer. The Big Man upstairs listened, and the Cs have a big-time talent who fits exactly what they need and augments an already loaded roster. Never in a million years did I think Boston would come out of this draft with a player of this caliber without trading. As always, Ainge played his cards and rolled Black Jack. I am hopeful that 26 teams have black eyes real soon.
Williams is a rim protector and rebounder—he also does things outside defensively and in today’s NBA of switching and rotations, this is key. He can be an instant impact guy and could and should extend Al Horford’s career. Al wants to play the 4-spot, and with a legit big on the team, this will happen. He is a two-time SEC defensive player of the year. Robert is not a perfect player -he has a limited offensive game and is a poor free throw shooter. This is a Ben Wallace, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond type—poor range, mostly dunks, put backs. On the Cs this is okay. This team has plenty of shooters and scorers. This is a bigger Marcus Smart—you do not want him shooting from more than five feet.
The Celtics are approaching title-or-bust territory with the last two teams making the conference finals, and the 18-19 team adding two all-stars Stars to a super-talented squad. Role players and depth become vital and Williams fits the tee. Look at the impact guys like Aaron Baynes, Shane Larkin and Marcus Morris had on the team last season. This kid could do that and then some. I am excited to see what Cs coach Brad Stevens can do with him and what a pick and roll with Robert and Kyrie Irving looks like. This was a good night for Boston fans and could be potentially huge down the road.
Michigan Baseball may be finished for the summer, but it’s a year-round labor of love for Wayne Welton, Michigan Baseball’s Director of Operations. Wayne stops by Beav’s World for some Beav’s Baseball Banter - and not just Michigan Baseball. Get his thoughts on the glaring MLB Hall of Fame omission of former Tigers’ second baseman Lou Whitaker, Sweet Lou’s Gold Glove infield partner, shortstop Alan Trammell. And though he doesn’t care to toot his own horn, we discuss Wayne’s recent honor for more than three decades at nearby Chelsea High School.
It’s not just Beav’s World this time.. It’s Wayne’s World too. And you’ll want to take a listen!
Beav’s World hosted its first wide scale event last Friday and in typical Beav’s World fashion, we turned a frown upside down. Some how we turned an event that almost killed me into a positive: we presented a Deflate Gate documentary here in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the State Theater. The college home of Tom Brady. The accused. Presented by Jay Flannelly. He off 3k emails in the case. The guy who had to move TWICE in a year to avoid the mess Deflate Gate created. I would joke with Folks me- The Beav- profiting off Deflate Gate is like Richard Nixon cashing in on Watergate. How we got to this point is a complex and complicated issue, but it starts w … Julie Marron.
Julie Marron directed Four Games in Fall www.fourgamesinfall.com/. Her documentary breaks down the Deflate Gate frame job- the science, the legal terms, etc.- and she does an incredible job. But that’s not why I chose to work with her. She was here because she came from an outsider, non-football fan perspective. Julie borrowed my BW partner Kathy Hoekstra’s watch dog-look out for you sensibility and was appalled at this case. And the sham Deflate Gate was. And for someone who was Deflate gated out and doesn’t-t even like to discuss this topic, she got me inspired to help promote her amazing work.
The film and the quality of contributors stands out and helped me in so many ways. Instead of having to use vague I am friends with the defendant here answers, Julie gives you specifics and multiple reasons why TB12 AND the Patriots where targeted. I literally fought for 2 years to defend Tommy and the team. Julie did it in less than 2 hours. And she didn’t-t have to punch anyone. The documentary is that good and a big reason why I did what I did. Someone did cheat here. The NFL. And Julie is Judge, Juror and Executioner. Like Roger was in this case.
TB and I have moved on from this. We won Super Bowls the year it started (2014) and finished (2016). In an odd way, the 4-game suspension re-energized the both of us. Tommy has talked about the family things he was able to do. He even came out to UM for a game for the first time since 1999. More importantly that weekend he did something he has done for almost 25 years- he put me at ease. He accepted what this was and helped me move on. I also realized how much he loves being a parent. It was both closure and relief. If Superman is ok, so is Batman. #TeamBrady
The documentary is still very important and a validation for folks like Jerry Thornton and I who NEVER doubted what this was. TOTAL BS by a man with standards lower than an ants’ ass. He used this to divert attention away from domestic violence and CTE. PSI became bigger than PAT. Give Roger and the NFL credit. But because of Julie Marron and her amazing documentary the country is closer to being generally aware Deflate Gate was BS. And Beavsworld will help her show this film til people get sick of it. Like Brady and Beav did. We can forgive but will NEVER forget. #LetsGo
Beav and four games in fall director Julie marron on WTKa-s inside the huddle with michael spath 6-12-18
Dwight Clark died Monday after an almost three-year battle with the awful disease known as ALS at the age of 61. #87 was famous for one play—“The Catch”—but did so much more than that. He was a beloved teammate, friend, and family man who always made people smile and laugh. Go on social media and read what some of the people in the Football world are saying. His role in Beav’s World is huge in that he impacted owners and the guy who was in the stands in January 1982 when Joe Montana threw that pass. You could not find a better person to act as an ambassador for the sport and the entire NFL is hurting today.
My two favorite Michigan Wolverines are Kathy Hoekstra and Tom Brady. For different reasons but the same context—they love me for me. One lost a guy who won the first ring for her favorite NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers. For my Pats fan friends, this is Adam Vinateri. One lost one his idols and parts of his childhood. A young Tommy was four years old and in the stands, crying. He met him while visiting a doctor they shared and #12 was not disappointed. You want to get my attention, messing with me is a low-percentage bet. My friends? Not a good idea for your short or long-term health and happiness. A really awful, disgusting disease took down a special person in their lives and that pisses me off.
I met Mr. Clark when I worked for the Michigan Football team in the 90s. I asked if I could talk to him privately. He said sure. I told him this exact story—I remembered Bill Walsh, the 49ers Hall of Fame coach—visiting Clark’s Clemson teammates for a pro day workout. He called Dwight’s college roommate, quarterback Steve Fuller, and #87 answered the phone. The Tigers featured a power run option attack and Clark caught 33 balls with three touchdowns. FOR HIS CAREER. Fuller needed someone to run routes and Walsh liked what he saw and took the 6’4” receiver in the tenth round. Because he didn’t play golf and went to help his friend. SMH.
The part of this story that was important to me—as a young kid—was it showed Dwight Clark was a great teammate and friend. And because he went and caught balls from his buddy—for maybe 30 minutes. He is a lead story on every sports show tonight. If Dwight did not help his roommate, this would not happen. And I told Mr. Clark that he showed me everybody is important when you’re on a team and because of his attitude, we are talking about him today. Next time someone wonders why I always take a call or listen to someone, remember that. Imagine if Dwight did not answer. I will never have that problem. I always do. Because of Dwight Clark.
I get asked a lot about Tom Brady and what he is like. The book is never coming. Kathy and some of inner circle get a brief glimpse and most of you would not know about our friendship without outside forces—via the Deflategate controversy and Michigan Football hire in 2016 putting us in the spotlight. We didn’t seek it, it just happened. Let it be known, whenever I do anything TB related, I run it by him. To quote the Rock, “I know my role.” 23 years of friendship speaks for itself. He is special, special guy and all you need to know about him—MY FRIEND—is in this post. #RIP