MoneYBaLL Podcast Episode 9: The Blake Griffin Pistons

By: Opinionated MJ & NilClassic

Blake Griffin, Welcome to Detroit!

The Fall and Rise

By: Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver)

We all fall… To rise higher.

This is a dedication to a favorite player of mine, DeMarcus Cousins. I’m deeply saddened by the injury you suffered today. Ruptured Achilles. All I can think about is my all time favorite, Kobe Bryant, and all I can think of is that you have time and youth on your side. I cannot wait to see you return. I’m sure you’ll be back within the the 6-10 months projected. Re-sign with the Pelicans. Add pieces. I cannot wait to watch this team spread their wings once again.

I expected Anthony Davis to endure injuries. I didn’t expect those injuries to befall you DeMarcus. You’ve been more durable than Davis by far. Maybe you’ve exerted much more than we actually realize. Looking like a finesse Shaquille O’Neal. Living up to expectations. Pulling back a bit with your temper and showing unexpected growth. No one expected to see you initiating offense by basically being the point center on many plays. I watched you play in delight, knowing that you and Anthony Davis together, have what it takes to defeat the best.

What a way to fall. Against the mighty Rockets. Everyone sees them as a potential threat to Golden State, but I knew all along that the New Orleans Pelicans were the true threat to remind the league that you don’t have to have an all out three point shooting team in order to succeed. It’s not about following in footsteps. It’s about creating your own lane for others to chase. You have that here with Anthony Davis. There would be no way to match what you two create on the court. Spacing that I only see when watching the Warriors or Spurs. The Spurs don’t even have the same spacing anymore and if the Warriors aren’t shooting lights out, the floor isn’t spaced the way you and AD space the floor. It becomes isolation basketball for them.

Everyone was thinking that you or AD would get traded to Cleveland or Boston. No. Everyone thought that you two still wouldn’t be a playoff contender. They were wrong. You could’ve easily slipped into the top 3, top 4 in the west over the next 3-5 games. Everyone was asleep. They won’t see it coming next season either. Stay the course.

I wish you a speedy recovery. I pray you have a full recovery. The league is in need of a facelift. In need of a reminder that every position matters on the floor. I’ll be waiting for your return. I’ll be waiting to see you take the league by storm. The thing I like about you most is exceeding expectations and getting further than anyone imagined. You’ve got the heart that I only see in about 2 players other than yourself. Don’t lose sight of the prize. We all fall to rise higher than we ever expected. This is the Pelican jumping off the cliff, falling, in order to learn how to fly. I’ll be waiting for you all to rise.

Skip Bayless Is Horrible For the Game Of Basketball

By Opinionated Reezy (Ronald Stovall)

I am aware that this is no longer the older days of (sports) journalism. The days where the facts were presented first and then opinion is long gone. We now have opinion first and then cherry-picked facts to back that claim. Journalists today would still hold some degree of foundational facts in their craft to allow themselves to be respected for their opinion. Skip Bayless; however, throws fact against the wall and just runs through whatever opinion he thinks to be true. This makes Skip Bayless horrible for the game of basketball – maybe even sports.

Remember, Skip Bayless believed Tim Tebow was going to box office, better than Kobe and Lebron

Skip Bayless does not really appreciate the game of Basketball. He does not truly understand it and yet he gets paid the big bucks to analyze it and provide commentary.

You are not great unless you make the final basket in a close game to win for the team night in and night out. Never mind, if your team is good enough to not be in those situations. Never mind if your team is structured to pass the ball and avoid tight situations.

People listen to Skip because he says the one thing that people will unanimously agree with, Michael Jordan is the GOAT. However, to do that he has tear down every player on that team and any player who would ever attempt to rise to greatness to considered in the conversation. This is not how Basketball works.

Remember, Skip Bayless believed Kobe Bryant should be ranked in the 90’s in terms player ratings.

Basketball is a team sport and should always be reported that way. Yes, star players make the game exciting, but role players make the game watchable. Team play should be celebrated over individual contributors. The farce the Skip puts on night after night when talking about the game of basketball has to come to an end. It is great for comedy, but horrible for serious sports commentary.

Knowing When It Is Time To Say Goodbye

By Opinionated Reezy (Ronald Stovall)

Every athlete in professional sports faces some degree of hatred from fans. A lot of it is well deserved as they lay waste to opposing teams while attaining greatness. One thing that has always been true is that there is one moment that transcends the athlete past the hate. The moment where you would say, “I don’t like the player, but in this moment, I respect what you did.”

That moment for Michael Jordan was when he led the Bulls to a third championship in a row, the coveted three-peat. Taking a franchise that never seen the door to the finals previously and cementing them to greatness. I have my reservations for MJ, but in that moment, I had to give him respect.

It was championship number four for Kobe. It wasn’t pretty or memorable from a performance standpoint, but the fact that it was accomplished without Shaq, I had to give him respect.

You would think the moment for LeBron would be the third championship and first for Cleveland. Yes, Kyrie took the final shot that sealed the deal, but LeBron led the Cavaliers to that moment being statistically better than anyone on the floor and serving as the general the team needed then. No, that wasn’t it. Surely it would be the moment LeBron became the youngest player to hit 30,000 points. Nope! Because Lebron decided to take a moment on Instagram to reflect on what he has achieved people now feel they have the right to continue the hate. Why?! No one deserves this level of hate, but it may be signaling the inevitable truth. It may be time to say goodbye.

This one probably shouldn’t bother me as much, but it does. I am fully aware that through the message LeBron is speaking to the reality that he should have been a statistic. A kid raised by a single mother in Akron who used Basketball as his escape. A kid who had to learn to be a man among men who proclaim to not be role models. A kid who should have been begging for scraps is the one who is now providing that chance to succeed for others.

30,021 pts, 7,860 assts, and 8,067 rebs is merely the icing on the cake to what will go down as a legendary career for kid coming out of High School, which only a mere handful can also claim. No one should be able to find a way to hate on this, and yet people find a way. Nothing is good enough. Longevity, not talent, is the reason. The true reality is that we no longer appreciate the game anymore.

Alas, it pains me to type this, but the writing is on the wall. It may be truly time to hang up the shorts after 15 strong years and tons of memories. Maybe the Instagram post was a prelude to concluding chapter. As they say, you don’t appreciate what you have until its gone. Maybe it is time to truly realize what we will miss.

Real Quick: NBA Coaching Conundrum

By Opinionated MJ (Michael Tolliver)

I’ve got a few problems with the makeup of these organizations and the moves they’ve been making when it comes to coaching. I was shocked by the latest move by the Milwaukee Bucks to fire Jason Kidd. I believe in a few things when it comes to coaching, and the most important thing to me is development and building confidence. I’ll have to get to those later. There are more important things I’ve got to make clear first.

Support Your Superstar

What happened to the teams that know they must keep their star happy? What exactly happened here? Was Giannis in on the firing or did the organization just notify him? Did he tell them OK and “act” as if he was panicking to Kidd, or does he really want him there. I think it’s the latter. Jason Kidd was making a huge impact on the trajectory of Giannis Antetokounmpo. Kidd just helped the Bucks return to the playoffs and you’re already ready to cut him short? What has reportedly happened between him and the owner or the players that didn’t even allow him to be considered on the “hot seat” before receiving his pink slip? He told Giannis that all he could do to help him was to, “tell the truth”. This leads me to believe that if Giannis reveals anything in Kidd’s favor, I expect him to leave when his chance comes. I’ve seen this story play out too many times. Only Steve Kerr was able to help his team ascend and keep everyone in tow in the process. Plus none of the Warriors were considered the potential heir to LeBron James (or KD) in being the next best player in the world.

Business Comes Before Personal

What happened to the organizations that would at least wait till season’s end before they made drastic moves? Especially to a team that could potentially contend. Another big problem is that coaches have been thrown under the bus while their best players are hurt. Let me repeat that, coaches have been thrown under the bus and/or fired while their best players are hurt. This has always thrown teams off going forward. A few of the coaches who met an axe with injured stars were Mike Malone, Tom Thibodeau, David Fizdale, and now Jason Kidd. Malone had DeMarcus Cousins out, Thibs didn’t have Rose, Fizdale didn’t have Mike Conley, and Jason Kidd was missing Giannis for multiple games going forward and over the last couple of seasons, he’s not had Chris Middleton and Jabari Parker for extended periods. This team has very rarely been healthy and able to play at full strength.

Personal History

Some people, players, coaches, General Managers, assistant coaches, honestly everyone at some point in their lives doesn’t get a fair shake because someone is judging the others based upon reasons that actually don’t affect them in their workplace, in a business relationship, or in a friendship. Apparently Jason Kidd got the job because of his personal relationship with those in the Front Office, so now what’s to be made of it? If people from every profession can coexist and succeed, you don’t always have to like one another. I think we live in a much more sensitive time now where personal feelings has become more important in professional everything than simply putting together a successful team and being successful. It’s not great to be around a bunch of yes men who never test you or tell you truths. Hopefully the Bucks find their mid-season Steve Kerr or we’ll see the ramifications of impatience decimate them going forward. Anyone remember Phil Jackson being allowed to walk away from success while with the Lakers on his own? I also remember why they didn’t get him back but instead went with D’Antoni. We know everything that took place thereafter.

Good luck Bucks! Hopefully you haven’t destroyed Giannis chances to be 2018 MVP.

MoneYBaLL Episode 8 NBA Podcast: Position-less NBA Future

Position-less NBA Future

LeBron, Giannis, KD, and more!

Featuring NilClassic & Opinionated MJ



Happy New Year From Opinionated Basketball Minds & Comical Minds

From Opinionated MJ, Opinionated Reezy, and all our supporters and followers…

Happy New Year!

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