Welcome to Water Cooler Talk, a weekly review of sports events that I find mildly interesting.
Disclaimer: There’s a good chance I hate your team.
Not necessarily the greatest week for the Golden State Warriors. It was in fact bad, and not good.
It first began with Warriors’ back-up center, JaVale McGee, getting in a feud with retired NBA legend, analyst on “Inside the NBA”, and spokesman for anyone that will provide a paycheck (Icy Hot, Buick, General Car Insurance, etc.), Shaquille O’Neal.
Apparently being called dumb your whole career to the point where a segment called “Shaqtin’ A Fool” is created for your mistakes on the court will eventually get to you. As with any fight nowadays, they immediately took to Twitter to air out their grievances towards each other.
Shaq vs Javale McGee 👀 pic.twitter.com/zL3mLE6JsM
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 24, 2017
Can someone teach Shaq how to properly use hashtags. I don’t think #bumsactinliketheyplayers or #youneedmorepeople are going to be trending anytime soon.
Props to McGee for using the peanuts to symbolize his nuts. He may be considered dumb on the court, but that clever use of emojis helped him dodge a potential fine for vulgar language.
Kevin Durant comes to JaVale McGee's defense vs Shaq: "I didn't know cops could threaten civilians like that" pic.twitter.com/gsx79h04c8
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 24, 2017
Since the NBA needs any storyline it can get this season, the media asked the Warriors for their thoughts. Durant decided to stand up for his teammate and he has a point. Technically, Shaq is a police officer and shouldn’t be threatening violence on anyone, even though his badge may have been bought at a Toys-R-Us.
Durant later went on to say Shaq was only successful for his size, which is one of the most false statements I’ve ever heard but I’ll give him a pass since we literally have a player in the league that thinks the world is flat.
Shaq’s response is a little less inflammatory when he’s talking to one of the best players in the NBA. Eventually this feud got so out of hand that Warriors’ management contacted Turner Sports (Shaq’s boss) to try to put an end to this fight. Surprisingly, it took someone higher up to get Shaq to stop.
“I have orders from the top to leave it alone…My mama. Just say Shaq’s mom called him, told him, ‘Stop this silliness. Leave him alone.’ So that’s the end of the beef. You won’t be hearing about it from my side anymore. Mama has spoken.”
Just remember no matter how old you get, you still have to listen to your mom.
That was only one of two feuds this week as Draymond Green and Paul Pierce got into in the Warriors’ game against the Clippers last Thursday. The Warriors won if it wasn’t already assumed.
Draymond just straight-up trashed Paul Pierce. "You can't get no farewell tour, they don't love you like that…You thought you was Kobe?" pic.twitter.com/SC0A0vxLTo
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 24, 2017
Pretty brutal trash talk to say to a future Hall of Famer in the final year of his career but Draymond isn’t wrong. Pierce isn’t as skilled or popular enough to earn a farewell tour. It doesn’t help that he’s been ring chasing the last five years bouncing from mediocre team to mediocre team.
At least Kobe stayed with one team, milking the Lakers for every penny they had while we had to endure his insufferable farewell tour. Not having to watch Kobe Bryant brick contested jumpers on national TV has been the greatest thing to happen to the NBA since LeBron entered the league.
73 wins and u thought u was gonna win a title that yr 😂😂😂3-1 lead oops
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) February 24, 2017
What a fresh and original comeback! Not a surprising for someone with such inability to use technology that he previously tweeted things like a picture of a rocket ship emoji and extensively long link to a Yahoo image search that shows him with former President, Barack Obama. I’m fairly certain he just discovered “Warriors blew a 3-1 lead” jokes last week.
Paul Pierce says trash talk is dead.
Brb, gonna take us a while to get over this one. 😭 pic.twitter.com/MX3hyd5P48
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 26, 2017
It’s hard to find trash talk on the court when you’ve been averaging 10 minutes a game. Trash talk isn’t dead, you just can’t hear it from the bench.
Again, another brutal but fair point by Draymond. Pierce was just a good player on a bad team until Garnett and Allen joined to form the Big Three and won a championship. You can’t complain about the Warriors’ super team when you set the precedent for it.
Speaking of Draymond (since Draymond loves to speak), he released a video game this week called “Draymond Green’s Shut Up and Slam Jam Karate Basketball”.
Yes, it is a game where you play basketball and kick opponents that get in your way. For someone that’s in the headlines for his failing arms and legs hitting his opponents’ faces and “peanuts”, this game is a more fiction than fantasy.
I don't know if this actually hit Blake, but Draymond… pic.twitter.com/tAzxbMYLEu
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) February 24, 2017
Draymond did some viral marketing for the game in his game against the Clippers, where he tried to give a roundhouse to Blake Griffin’s back.
Here's the play that sent Kevin Durant limping to the locker room. pic.twitter.com/2YKVh1KLPu
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) March 1, 2017
It was long overdue for something bad to happen to the Warriors ON the court and it finally happened when Zaza Pachulia lost balance fell into Kevin Durant’s knee. Durant immediately left the game and went to the nearest hospital for an MRI. The results didn’t come until the next morning which lead to a world of panic for the Warriors’ fan base. Everyone on the internet immediately became a doctor and tossed out their opinion on the prognosis which ranged from torn ACL to leg fracture to knee cancer. I did a little research (Google) of my own to find out how long MRIs take and if knee injuries are bad. 30 to 60 minutes and yes, respectively.
Injury Update: Kevin Durant suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise.
Full details below. pic.twitter.com/t3JkVnMmqa
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) March 1, 2017
Not the greatest news, but certainly not the worst as it looks like Durant will be out for the rest of the season, but will most likely be back for the beginning of the playoffs. It will be hard for the Warriors to play without him now that their roster only has three All-Stars.
Sources tell Haynes and me that the Warriors plan to sign Jose Calderon as they promised but then waive him to make room for Matt Barnes.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) March 1, 2017
Win-win scenario. No Jose Calderon, and the return of one of the “We Believe” Warriors, Matt Barnes.
He seems excited to be back. Hopefully he uses that enthusiasm in a positive way, but this is the guy who drove hundreds of miles to beat up Derek Fisher, and may have stolen his five championship rings. Oh, and it seems like he gets into a fight every time he’s on that court. But other than that, great pickup!
Can the Warriors give Stephen Jackson a call too? What’s Baron Davis and Al Harrington up to? Has anyone seen Don Nelson since he retired? Something tells me he’s passed out, drunk on a beach, with Jimmy Buffett playing in the background.
Cuban Miss-le Crisis
Cuban was so mad online after Bleacher Report posted a highlight of Dirk Nowitzki airballing a shot that he contacted the President of Turner, David Levy, and demanded it be deleted. The Turner Company has been contacted by NBA organizations a lot this week.
Levy complied, and the tweet was deleted, but it made Cuban look really bad. Was it really necessary to go all the way to the top? Couldn’t you have contacted whoever runs Bleacher Report? You could have probably even just DM’d whoever runs the social media account and they would have been so scared for their job security and deleted it in a second.
I know Cuban is trying to become the next president of the United States, and his Donald Trump impression is pretty good. He got mad at something very benign and then bullied and harassed someone until he got his way. Too bad he didn’t add a “SAD!” or “FAKE NEWS!” to his now deleted tweets.
Yooo. That rim was 12 feet high… https://t.co/fr2SBPXvTl
— Dirk Nowitzki (@swish41) January 6, 2016
Also, why was Cuban so passionate about this? Dirk has been known to make fun of himself on numerous occasions.
Which one of y'all made Ty go to a shady taco place in sac😂 pic.twitter.com/O5RfOeSMeW
— Chase Everett (@Chase_everett_) March 1, 2017
Pro-Tip for Ty Lawson: Maybe don’t get food suggestions from strangers on Instagram. Then again, I’d take food poisoning over playing for the Kings. Maybe Boogie Cousins should have tried that strategy before he was shipped out to New Orleans for a couple of Mardi Gras beads.
Life Of LeBron
Speaking of illness, LeBron James was out this last Saturday against the Bulls with an “illness.”
— samuel (@retyart) February 25, 2017
LeBron got too drunk in his driveway and had to miss a game. Someone should have told LeBron about the hangovers you can get from drinking Rosé before he got white girl wasted in his driveway.
Deron Williams had a chance to be the hero in his Cavs debut… pic.twitter.com/WsiE0DtMmK
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 2, 2017
Can’t miss the game winning shot if you don’t take it. In all seriousness, an amazing pass to newly signed Cavalier, Deron Williams, who proceeded to brick the wide open three and cost Cleveland the game.
Yes, Deron Williams is wearing #31. No, it is not a slight to the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead in the Finals. It was his number in high school. But appreciate everyone still trying to make 3-1 jokes. Guess no one got the memo that the meme died after the Falcons gave up a 25-point lead.
Since that shot didn’t go in, all the talking heads in sports jumped on LeBron for not taking the contested jumper instead of making the right play to the open teammate. Mainly Skip Bayless. Okay, it was only Skip Bayless. Three rings and still catching criticism from a guy whose show’s ratings can’t beat out reruns of M.A.S.H. during the same time-slot.
There’s No D In Jahlil Okafor
— Brian (@bachman_brian21) March 2, 2017
Jahlil playing defense like his controller ran out of battery halfway thru the game. With this, Nerlens Noel being traded for a late draft pick and Embiid out for the season with a torn meniscus, I’m starting to distrust the process.
Sam Hinkie did not die for this.
Baker May Miss the Field
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield arrested in Arkansas. pic.twitter.com/KpQDCdZ6hK
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) February 25, 2017
This past weekend, Oklahoma starting quarterback and Heisman hopeful, Baker Mayfield, was arrested for public toxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
— Dylan Buckingham (@DylanBuckingham) February 25, 2017
He also fled from the police, and was immediately tackled by one of the officers. Have to think his inability to evade pressure will affect his draft stock this upcoming year. Has anyone in the Big-12 offered that police officer a scholarship? I know Baylor could use all the help they can get. Both on defense and law enforcement.
This is supposedly Baker Mayfield getting absolutely destroyed by a bouncer last night. pic.twitter.com/z0FoPkxbWN
— Old Row Sports (@OldRowSports) February 25, 2017
That tackle can’t be legal. Where are the flags?! That bouncer should be ejected from the game. SEC bias is at it again.
Luckily for Mayfield, he’s talented and plays for Bob Stoops so he will probably only be suspended for the first quarter or half of their season opener against UTEP. It’s a game they can win without him so Coach Stoops might suspend him the whole game, which would be one of the harshest punishments Sooner’s athletics has levied in years. But their second game is against Ohio State, and there is no doubt in my mind Mayfield will be under center against the Buckeyes.
This will probably be the only time I ever bring up NASCAR so I will give the people what they want: The crashes.
Here’s a truck crash…
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 25, 2017
…and here’s a couple from the actual Daytona 500.
— FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 26, 2017
— FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 26, 2017
Seeing as this is probably the first time many of you are seeing these highlights, I think Fox’s month long campaign to start “Daytona Day” didn’t go too well. But then again, the people reading this may not be part of their demographic, since a lot of them don’t know how to.
— FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 26, 2017
The winner was Kurt Busch. The loser…
Gronk is being very Gronk at the Daytona 500. pic.twitter.com/3nbLKZ8vXI
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 26, 2017
…was Gronk being unable to get one of the Monster Girls to say his favorite number, 69. He loves that number so much, I expect him to retire right after he scores his 69th touchdown next season.
Old GM Yells At Cloud
Bill Polian had some stupid things to say about two of the greatest wide receivers ever: Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.
I guess Bill forgets that Randy Moss was a part of a team that was one win away from going undefeated and Owens was the player that got the Eagles over their hump and into the Super Bowl.
Bill also seems to forget the wide receiver he drafted and his off-the-field issues. I’m too scared to say who, but he wore No. 88 for the Colts and his name rhymes with Harvin Marrison.
The Hall of Fame has at least three murderers in it and even worse, Jerry Jones. We aren’t going to let Owens and Moss in because they were too mean to the media? Because they were deemed “distractions” in the locker room? They’re the two best wide-receivers EVER.
Don’t say Jerry Rice is the best because ever since he got on social media his legacy has gone down the drain.
— Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) March 1, 2017
Moss pretending to moon the fans in Lambeau Field is nowhere near as offensive as the next photo I’m about to show you.
Magic Mike 3: In The Rough
Golf is pulling out all the stops to gain viewership now that it is “It’s Tiger’s back” and not “Tiger is back.”
Still waiting for the real life Happy Gilmore. Need Dustin Johnson to start wearing his father-in-law’s jerseys during tournaments.
This Is March
Is your team on the bubble? Are they the “First Four In” or the “First Four Out”? How does their blind resumes stack up? Who does Joe Lunardi have as his No. 1 seeds in his latest mock bracket? Does any of this matter?
Bill Walton changed shirts live on air and the woman behind him was not thrilled pic.twitter.com/yNFsKyvDUb
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 26, 2017
Nice to see Walton go tits out for the boys in the middle of a game. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible for him to not wear tie dye.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 27, 2017
Whenever I see college basketball players doing something even remotely athletic like this, I think they should be lottery picks in the NBA Draft. Who cares if he can’t dribble, shoot, or play defense. Look at this dunk!
— Fresno State MBB (@FresnoStateMBB) March 1, 2017
Glad to see we are bringing back child labor. Who needs a ladder when you have a seven year old?
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) February 26, 2017
Very cool moment for Eron Harris, Tom Izzo, and Michigan State. Put aside the competitiveness of the game to allow an injured player to participate in the tradition of the school and his final game as a Spartan.
Wow! Northwestern wins on miraculous final play! 😱 pic.twitter.com/SqQGMcMhsq
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) March 2, 2017
Christian Laettner flashbacks. Northwestern is building a very good resume to make the tournament for the first time in school history. They are one of only 5 original NCAA division one schools to have never have made it.
Expect them to get way too much coverage since half of sports media industry went to their journalism school.
If they make it, maybe noted alum, Darren Rovell will get off his high horse and finally create a bracket.
The Best Of The Rest
Meanwhile in the NBA D-League…
Nate Robinson is literally dribbling between 7’2” big man Edy Tavares’ legs…
no really… pic.twitter.com/urO8BZUcu3
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) February 26, 2017
Looks like we found the one perk to being short: the ability to dribble under people much taller than you.
The way my man jumped for the Confederate flag like Neo and Trinity jumping between buildings has me absolutely weak tho. 😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/qwmiLLAnIa
— KYLE + (@kylebillable) February 23, 2017
Got to give this guy an invite to the combine after he posts bail. The speed, the agility, the jumping ability. I’d take a flyer on him in the seventh round. He would wreak havoc against any team in the AFC South.
I don’t even really have any context for this one. Just a very good dog and a great way to end this week’s “Water Cooler Talk”.
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