N The Zone…is so St. Louis!

nthezonelogoFor the first time in N The Zone Show history, the entire show is devoted to St. Louis (our hometown). Every guest is from St. Louis or currently lives here in St. Louis. Check out the list. Pick out your favorite segments or listen to them all (We would rather you choose that option). Don’t forget to support minority-owned businesses. Thanks. Keep listening.

NOTE: All segments are below their description.

On this NEW edition (no not the group) of N The Zone, we go all St. Louis! “The Monologue” delivered by The Livn Legend touches on the illustrious comments given by STL radio personality Bob Romanik and “Who Wants To Run For STL Mayor?”

NOTE: The following does contain language that some will find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised. How rude of us. CHE-TOA-TAH!

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Open and The Monologue 02-12-17

Dana Kerns, founder and CEO of “Rich Girls, Real Women,” is the guest and also our newest sponsor of N The Zone. Kerns talks about her organization plus a prom event for all high students coming in April.

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Dana Kerns 02-12-17

STL mayoral candidate Antonio French sits down in-studio with Palmer in this two-part interview talking his campaign ideas he want to get across if elected mayor of the city. Plus he sets the record straight on his love for sports.

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Antonio French (Part 1) 02-12-17

In part 2, Antonio French talks STL city-county merger, how to get Lanbert Airport as a hub for international flights and more plans for STL, plus what he plans to do even if not elected as mayor. A great conversation for everyone in St. Louis and outside of the area.

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Antonio French (Part 2) 02-12-17

Angela O’Brien is the guest in this segmemt of “N The Zone.” She sits down with Palmer talking about her new website called “LoveNotes” bringing together love and music (the latter is something that is a favorite of Angela’s).

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Angela O’Brien 02-12-17

Alderman Jeffrey Boyd joins the show to talk about his campaign updates. Also check out his newest commercial spots for his campaign.

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Jeffrey Boyd 02-12-17

Rebecca Harris joins the show recapping the St. Louis Surge championship season. Plus what she is looking forward to in the new season, being a new venue and gaining new teammates. Also how she gets herself prepared for the season.

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Rebecca Harris 02-12-17

“The Sage of St. Louis” Wade B. Olson returns to talk about the last few weeks of Donald Trump in office. The discussion is about some of the cabinet members that were selected, particularly the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Wade B. Olson 02-12-17

John Albert, assistant coach at Vashon High is the guest in this two-part interview. In this first part, we talk about the return success of Vashon and how hard it is to continue the prominence of this STL-area basketball program. Also, we talk about LeBron and his “awkward positions.”

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: John Albert (Part 1) 02-12-17

STOP THE MADNESS! STOP THE MADNESS! In part 2 with John Albert, the conversation shifts on Valentine’s Day hijinx…from being with the #1…and the #2. NOTE: The following contains language that some might find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: John Albert (Part 2) 02-12-17

Let’s be honest…again! Co-host Mia Earnest along with guest Renee Kay join the “N The Zone” crew to talk about “fake love.” What is fake love? Do you have fake love? Is fake love truly necessary?

NOTE: The following segment does contain language that some will find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Let’s Be Honest (Part 1) 02-12-17

Part 2 with Mia Earnest and Renee Kay and we take questions from Facebook on fake love and we delve into fitness with Renee and how that ties in with relationships. Definitely an intriguing segment that you want to check out.

NOTE: The following contains language that some will find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.

N The Zone ST. LOUIS: Let’s Be Honest (Part 2) 02-12-17

N The Zone SEASON 2 (The Super Bowl Show)

nthezonelogoICYMI…check out this week’s BIG Super Bowl Show with special guests Cecelia Townes of Gladiathers.com (WITH A HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT), Danisha Rolle of SET Media, Alex Holt and Tiffany Hubert of Sistas In Sports, Tiera Dobbins of NFLFemale.com and N The Zone Ohio, Alex Washington of Real Take No Holds Barred Sports (aka N The Zone New England), Wayne Neal from N The Zone Los Angeles, Becker Alshowk of The Plugs (aka N The Zone DC), Shane Gray (aka the original first pick of N The Zone), and the Red Cups On The Sideline crew with movies and sports; and also listen to everyone except one person get the Super Bowl pick WRONG. Not to mention, a monologue from Palmer Alexander III on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and their coverage of sports media and how it’s the “same old stuff.” Good Lord. Enjoy.

EVERY SEGMENT:

Super Bowl Show: Open and The Monologue (NOTE: The following contains language that some might find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.)

Super Bowl Show: Cecelia Townes

Super Bowl Show: Danisha Rolle

Super Bowl Show: Alex Holt and Tiffany Hubert (Sistas In Sports)

Super Bowl Show: Tiera Dobbins

Super Bowl Show: Alex Washington

Super Bowl Show: Wayne Neal

Super Bowl Show: Becker Alshowk

Super Bowl Show: Shane Gray (NOTE: The following contains language that some might find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.)

Super Bowl Show: Mike Smith (At The Movies)

Super Bowl Show: Red Cups On The Sideline (Part 1)

Super Bowl Show: Red Cups On The Sideline (Part 2)

Follow me on Twitter here. You can also catch the show on I-Tunes and Player.FM and don’t forget to support minority-owned businesses!

Goss-Up Pastas

Take A Trip Travel

My Blooming Health

Dr. EJ’s Bootcamp

A-Train

The View From Mt. Airy: NBA Finals Thoughts 06-02-2016

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@MtAiryPhil

PHILADELPHIA, PA

This could be the most compelling NBA Finals in recent history. It certainly sets up that way. Look at the components and you’ve got more storylines than a desperate pool reporter at a SUPER BOWL Media Day. The ARMY of King James advancing westward to finally acquire the one parcel they have not owned. Standing between them and the GRAIL they so desperately desire? Only the anointed one,  Stephen Curry, who seems to many, to have already snatched the torch and set up shop in the office of the NBA’s very best player and the most talented aggregate of players since the San Antonio Spurs of the late 90’s. Deep, smart and athletic as anyone could want this Warriors team can excel in so many facets of the game that they win when not running on “all pistons” simply because the ones are functioning to their expectations and limits are just that much more efficient and lethal than anywhere else in the National Basketball Association.

The Finals have though seemingly gone the way of the World Series and Super Bowl. It has become such a big show that the games seem tertiary to the spectacle around them….it seems that just as in Major League Baseball, the conference finals have become the battles to survive and you can almost see the two teams exhale when they accomplish their trip to the Finals.

Like it or not if you’re LeBron James and you’ve now been in the NBA Finals 6 consecutive years, win or lose, how much damage can a loss do to his legacy…..there are always going be people like me who will pile on simply any reason but NOTHING he can do will change that. We just don’t, for a myriad of reasons like LeBron James. He could fly to Mars and back we all would still have something critical to say.

Having said all of that, flip the script.

The Warrriors come into these 2016 NBA FINALS with a mandate to win. We’ve all listened (me with total disbelief) and watched as the regular season became a marchilto “all time” greatness ceremony for Curry as his team obliterated opponents with what is simply, the deepest, most talented roster in the league. After rebounding from a seemingly fatal 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference Finals, are they emotionally prepared to hit the reset button against a healthier Cavaliers team then they’ve ever faced off against? A Cleveland squad that is most definitely on a crusade to cap and validate the return of their basketball child and savior. Do the Warriors have to win to avoid having their historic 73 win season invalidated and used as an asterisk and a tavern joke? What becomes of their legacy and is this record breaking season forever tarnished beyond repair is the question? I believe that answer is yes, yes and of course they have to win. Problem is? I don’t think they have the gas and if the Cavaliers get a split at Golden State this series is in over in 5……either way, I believe the Cavaliers win a game 7 leaving the Warriors damaged but respected for their fortitude under fire. LeBron wins. Cleveland dances. #Finally

P.S. Congratulations to my Philadelphia 76ers on the acquisition of the #1 overall pick in the upcoming NBA DRAFT. Don’t do anything silly. You have picks 1 and then both 24 and 26…..don’t screw it up. Take Ben Simmons. Combine those two late picks and move up if necessary to grab Thon Maker. Finally, the next “fan” who suggests signing Derozan to a max deal of 107 million dollars I promise you’re getting the West Philly Lariat and a BrainBuster. You’ve been warned.

THE KING HAS SPOKEN…OF MT. AIRY THAT IS.

Follow me on Twitter: @MtAiryPhil

Follow @NTheZoneShow as well

 

Ten For Tuesday: March 1 Edition

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(St. Louis, MO)

Shane Gray (@RealShaneGray)

Welcome to my new weekly column entitled “Ten for Tuesday”. I hope you all will enjoy the debut edition, which touches on yesterday’s Rams feature, the St.Louis Cardinals, why I’m not necessarily hyped about the prospects of MLS to STL, what Mizzou Football must do to regain elite their elite status, the good and bad of the NFL Combine, the mystery of NBA Pre-Draft Measurements, the wonder that is Stephen Curry and much more.

With that said, I hope you will enjoy week one of “Ten for Tuesday”.

Let’s get to it:

1- For those who missed it, I penned a feature yesterday named “Monday’s Missile: Los Angeles Rams Not Worthy of St. Louis’ Support”. It has proven to very controversial and his elicited very strong, passionate responses from folks all over the nation. If you haven’t yet taken a look at the rather brief read, I’d love for you to take a moment to do so. Whether you love it or hate it, I’d enjoy hearing your take on the feature. Hit me up on twitter via @RealShaneGray and let me know how you feel.

While on the topic of the aforementioned feature, I’d like to make a couple things clear that I didn’t touch on yesterday:

One, I wish no ill will whatsoever towards the Rams players. Obviously, they had nothing to do with the move. I interviewed several of them on different occasions over the last few years, and think the world of guys like Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn, free agent wide receiver Brian Quick and former Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis, all of whom were great people, great interviews and wonderful assets in the community.

Two, I wish to congratulate any and all CLASSY fans from L.A. who will get to watch the Rams return to Cali. I don’t blame them for being excited. Not at all. As for those who want to bash St.Louis and the fans here, however, well… that’s another story altogether.

2- With the Rams moving on, I plan to turn more attention back to the St. Louis Cardinals. I will be honest and admit that much of my focus turned away from the Redbirds after the Rams came to St. Louis. As a child, though, I was an absolute die-hard, live-and-die Cardinals fan. They were my first true love in regards to a sports team. Somewhere along the way, though, I lost my passion for the game even after playing it in college.

As probably everyone is aware by now, the Redbirds are in the thick of Spring Training in preparation for the 2016 Major League Baseball campaign. Can they hold off the rival Cubs? Will the Pirates again make major noise in the division? That discussion will come on another day and I look forward to diving into some Cardinals coverage this year.

3- Switching gears, a group of prominent, local investors — including Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt and former #STLNFL Task Force co-head Dave Peacock, among others — recently united to form #MLS2STL and are exploring the possibility of bringing an expansion MLS franchise to St. Louis. (In case you missed it, here’s the full story.)

While I have nothing against MLS and am all for anything that would be a positive for the region, I do have one significant reservation about bringing an MLS team to the city.

Why am I so lukewarm on the MLS2STL? Here’s why:

I don’t believe St. Louis is currently viewed by many as a four team region. If true — and I have reason to believe that is indeed the case — I’d prefer our third professional club to be something other than an MLS franchise.

With the MLB and NHL deeply rooted in the Gateway City, that realistically only leaves room for one other major pro sports league/team, and I’d personally hate to reduce or remove any future hopes for an NFL expansion team with truly committed local ownership and a 30 year plus iron-clad lease, or even a chance at an NBA franchise at some point down the road in exchange for MLS. I could be wrong, but I think the presence of MLS would greatly reduce any chances of eventually making a run at having a team from either of those two more prestigious leagues,and if that is indeed true, that bothers me.

As for the NBA, keep in mind that Stan Kroenke relative Bill Laurie nearly locked up an expansion team even WITH the NFL and three other pro teams in town. With that considered, IF a legitimate effort were made at a time when there are but two major pro teams in town rather than three, I think it could certainly get done.

4- Speaking of the Association, Stephen Curry continues to amaze me. To me, he’s the best player in the League right now. He’s the best scorer and best shooter, he’s money in crunch time, he’s a willing and effective passer and he can D up when the chips are on the line.

In short, if there’s one guy in pro basketball that I’m paying to watch play right now, it’s Curry… and nobody else is a close second at the moment.

5- Last year, the Missouri Tigers football program fell off and fell off hard, going 5-7 in a year filled with off-field controversy, on-field struggles and the eventual resignation of Head Coach Gary Pinkel, who ran the show at Mizzou for 15 years, leading the Tigers to ten winning seasons, 10 bowl games, six bowl wins and a combination of five Big 12 North/SEC East Division championships.

After a down year, what does Mizzou need to do to get back on track?

To me, the most glaring hole on the Tigers roster a year ago — and something that was always a strong point during Missouri’s best years within the Pinkel era — was a deep, productive receiving corps.

Last season, the Tigers lack of depth and overall talent at receiver was undeniable, and the offense struggled to produce points and generate big plays largely because of it.

If Mizzou is going to get back to its winning ways and again become a power in the SEC, they need to get their wideout talent back to something close to the level it had been prior to the 2015 debacle.

6- I have always enjoyed the annual NFL Combine, and watched it extremely closely when covering the Rams and preparing for draft-related articles from 2011 through 2015.

That said, the Combine can be either a blessing or a curse for NFL talent evaluators and NFL teams — depending on how it is utilized.

When game tape is kept as the priority, the combine is a fine tool to further evaluate prospects. When the combine is used strictly as a complimentary tool to hone in on what a player has done on the field and fine tune evaluations, it is great.

But when scouts and teams take the bait and move someone up or down a draft board based more upon the combine than what a player or players actually did on the gridiron, teams are asking for major problems.

The combine is fine to help refine grades on a given player, but when the grades become based more upon the combine stats than the football stats, teams are begging to end up drafting busts.

7- Speaking of the combine, the NBA Combine has always been fascinating to me in regard to the measurements, and — more specifically — the height measurements.

At the NFL Combine, players are measured only once, and in their bare feet. But at the NBA Combine, prospects are measured early in the morning (when players are 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch taller than they would be late in the day), and are measured both in their bare feet and in their shoes.

As many of you are probably aware, in-shoe heights are commonly used on rosters in college or pro basketball. One can argue about whether that makes sense or not, but its been a common practice in recent decades to either list players in roughly their shoe heights or add anywhere from a half-inch to over two inches to a player’s barefoot measurement.

For example, Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love was measured at 6’7″3/4 without shoes at the 2008 pre-draft camp, but has been listed at 6’10” throughout his pro and college career.

Former Cavs guard and rumored lover of Lebron James’ mom Delonte West was measured at 6’1″1/2 barefoot, 6’2″3/4 with shoes while being listed at 6’4″ for portions of his pro career.

John Starks, who starred for the New York Knicks during the Patrick Ewing era, admitted to a 6’2″height while playing with a 6’5″listing.

Finally, former Oklahoma State standout Byron Houston — from way back in the Big 8 days — measured just 6’4″ barefoot while being listed at 6’7″ both in college and the NBA.

On the other hand, there are always a few players who use their barefoot heights and are even taller without shoes than their listed heights. Longtime legend Kevin Garnett is one of those players, listed at 6’11” while being been measured at 7’1″ in shoes. Another future Hall-of-Famer, Kevin Durant, is listed at 6’9 but stands close to 7 foot on the hardwood in shoes.

In general, when you see a player’s height on a roster, you can bet it is either an in-shoe listing or roughly an inch to an inch and a half above their barefoot height, but it’s always interesting — to me at least — to see the extremes of the over-inflated listings or the few who utilize their barefoot measurement.

8- With the concussion issue coming to the forefront in the NFL, particularly after Will Smith’s blockbuster “Concussion” movie, has it changed how you feel about your son, brother, nephew or cousin playing the game?  I’d love to hear your take on the topic. Hit me up on Twitter (@RealShaneGray) and let me know how you feel about your loved ones playing football.

9- Speaking of movies, let’s play make believe for a quick second and pretend that YOU are going to star in a sports-related feature film. If you were the star and had your pick of women to play the role of your wife or girlfriend, tweet me her name and why you chose her using #NTheZone and #MyLeadingLady. It will be interesting to see what women y’all have been scoping out.

10- Finally, on next week’s N The Zone Podcast with Palmer Alexander (@thelegendkil) of the St. Louis American and Arlington Lane (@TheATrainSTL), we will be introducing a new segment entitled “Ask Shane/Get at Gray”. For those following me on twitter, DM me your question/questions, and I will answer a few of them over the air next Sunday. For those whose answers are chosen, we will let you know by tagging your twitter handle when tweeting out the segment. I look forward to the inquiries.

Thanks for reading…

 

Why LeBron Why?

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Why LeBron, why?

(NOTE: This is a short commentary and the answers are opinions and not facts, yet they could be)

Why did LeBron go back to the team in which its owner got so bitter that he decided to post a disrespectful letter on his team’s website?

Because this was a full-fledged PR move and pretty much pimped us fans and the media. I understand righting a wrong, but I wouldn’t fool with a disrespectful person such as Dan Gilbert. Then come crawling out and acting like he loves LeBron and wishes this never happened. It did. It was childish and very bitter. If I was LeBron, I would have been like a TRUE villain to Gilbert. I would have him bend down and kiss my rings or my feet. He would have to worship me for my services. It’s sounds sadistic but that’s the price he would have to pay for the crap that he decided to pull.

It also sounds like another case of the player having control of the team. That’s a pure self move. I should be a fan of LeBron because…I love villains. But he (in my mind only) rubbed me the wrong way and he was being too passive about it. Crazy as it seems, those are the best of villains. Because as calm as he is in interviews, behind closed doors he’s a narcissist. I love that. That also mean I should be a fan of Kobe Bryant. I’ll let your minds wander.

Why did LeBron leave the Miami Heat?

You can thank Pat Riley for that. As many speculated (including myself) that they would not be anywhere near the Finals next year, I can’t say that anymore.  It will depend on the new signings (Deng, McRoberts, etc) and re-signings of Bosh and Wade. The latter hopefully being healthy next season.

Why did LeBron go to SI.com and write a personal essay on his return?

The Decision Part 1 effected him, he knows it did. So, he chose to do an essay (he didn’t actually write it) for Decision Part 2. Plus, he knows that the whole sports world is paying attention to him, no matter how much of us love him or hate him, he has our attention. That’s why he took the time off he needed to even though it shouldn’t have taken that long to do it in the first place. He has that control and that’s what drive the media and fans crazy. How can such a player have that much control?

Why is LeBron being the villain, again?

Because he’s LeBron. Way to tick off Miami fans, Dwyane Wade AND Udonis Haslem. If Adam Silver is listening, have Cavs/Heat on Christmas Day. It’s a PR’s dream.

The A-Train

Bulls Get Consolation Prizes

pau-gasol-carlos-boozer-nba-los-angeles-lakers-chicago-bulls-850x560Since the end of their second championship run in 1998, the Chicago Bulls haven’t quite lived up to the hype of being a champion. The closest they have been to getting to the title was losing to the Miami Heat back in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, 4 games to 1.

In the span of the last 16 seasons, the Bulls seem to let big name superstars slip through their fingers and grab just “consolation prizes” through free agency.

During the seasons from 1998-2003, the Bulls have had the opportunities to lure in such players as Tracy McGrady and Tim Duncan. Both said no to Chicago. McGrady went on to Orlando and played for a slew of franchises. Duncan went on to win 4 more titles with the San Antonio Spurs. The Bulls went after free agents like Fred Hoiberg, Ron Mercer, Brad Miller, Eddie Robinson, and believe it or not…Scottie Pippen. Clearly, ALL CONSOLATION PRIZES. At the same time, those teams were horrific which included that 13-37 strike-shortened season back in 1999.

From 2003-2010, the Bulls signed 1 free agent…Ben Wallace, believe it or not, a consolation prize. Wallace, of course was the backbone of those Detroit Pistons’ teams that won 2 Eastern Conference titles and captured the 2004 NBA Finals. He signed a 4-year deal with the Bulls and never lived up to that deal, being dealt after just 1 and a half seasons with Chicago. So much for that idea.

It was very easy and widely known about the 2010 free agent class that came out (LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Carmelo, etc). Plus, Chicago already had Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah from draft picks, yet now were looking for a key free agent to add to their possible contention at a title.

As the reports and rumors were coming out that summer, the Bulls looked like they could have gained their piece. But none of the big names signed their name on a contract with Chicago. The Big 3 (as its famously known) assembled in Miami, thanks to LeBron. The Bulls however took…the man on the left of the photo, Carlos Boozer, aka yet another consolation prize.

Boozer, who was coming off a stellar year with the Utah Jazz, SEEMED like the solid piece that the Bulls needed. In his 1st season with Chicago, he helped them get to a 62-20 mark and the best record in the East. His numbers were solid but not the same as he was in Utah. He wasn’t a vital part of Chicago’s defensive scheme orchestrated by head coach Tom Thibodeau. He was a main liability, getting punked by other power forwards in the league, good AND bad. In this past season, he averaged under 14 points and 8 rebounds a night and hardly ever played in the 4th quarter of ballgames. Again, he was a defensive liability. It also didn’t help Chicago when Rose went down in back-to-back seasons. Nonetheless, Boozer was amnestied after the season and won’t be a part of the Bulls’ future.

Here we are 4 years later and Bulls’ management still can’t seem to lure a major free agent in a huge market. They even couldn’t get ‘Melo (personally I’m glad they didn’t) to play in Chicago. They went out and signed…the guy on the right side of the photo…Pau Gasol from the Lakers. AGAIN, another consolation prize. However, this one could benefit more than it could hurt. This new core could possibly win the East, thanks to LeBron again (going to Cleveland). Yet, it will definitely raise a lot of questions before training camp begins. I’m not going to ask them or answer them now. Stay tuned. Training camps and preseason will come faster than you think.

The A-Train

THE ASSOCIATION REPORT: Second Edition

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In the second edition of “The Association,” the primary focus is on the professional level…the NBA.

Here we are in the month of February and the Oklahoma City Thunder is playing like they want to be in the NBA championship once again, even without their floor leader Russell Westbrook. Reggie Jackson is definitely picking up the slack at the 1 position, Serge Ibaka playing magnificent ball at the 4 position and DEFINITELY should have been an All-Star this year (we’ll talk about that later) while Jeremy Lamb, 3-point veteran Derek Fisher and defensive specialist Thabo Sefalosha providing great contributions from the bench. This team has been on a roll have blown out opponents in the month of January…including their 17-point win against the Miami Heat. The person behind those epic wins is their MVP for not only the team, but the league as well…Kevin Durant.

Durant is without a doubt playing the best basketball of his career. It was ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that said about Durant that he can play “any of the 4 positions.” He can. He really can. He’s a great ball-handler, he can handle the wing positions and he can post up on just about anyone. He definitely a player that is hard to guard…just ask LeBron James. In their matchup on January 29th, LeBron may have won the point battle, 34-33, but it was Durant who had the last laughs. On three different occasions, Durant buried 3-point shots in the face of James. Both guys are definitely valuable to their respective teams, but you almost can’t go against either of them. LeBron is actually having a down year…at least if you are talking about his scoring average (which is at 26 points a game), but the other numbers have remained consistent. But the guy everyone is talking about in circles…is Durant. He clearly has made it known to fans and haters that he’s tired of being second best. So far, he’s the best player. I can hear the LeBron fans immortalizing the great Ric Flair’s line, “To be the best, you got to BEAT the best.” Still, Durant is the best player.

One team you should definitely watch for is the Golden State Warriors. This team is young, energetic, highly-entertaining and VERY exciting. I haven’t seen them look this good since the days of Run TMC (TIM Hardaway, MITCH Richmond, and CHRIS Mullin). If you are looking for a “one season to the playoff” team, this is not the team for you. Mark Jackson’s boys will be in the playoffs for a while. Stephon Curry playing all-star ball as usual. He needs to make sure to let his game do the talking and not his mouth. Klay Thompson is a dead-eye shooter and can give opposing guards fits. Andrew Bogut and David Lee are very solid in the post…but health will be the issue for these two. The addition of Andre Iguodala was genius by Golden State. He doesn’t have to be THE guy for this team, all he has to do is play his role where he’s needed. I can’t forget about young guys Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and the recent acquisition Jordan Crawford (from Boston), they bring punch off the bench. The Warriors are as young as the recent Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. It may look a little far-fetched that they would be in the NBA Finals this season but they have the right pieces to make themselves a championship contender.

While the New York Knicks have been the NBA’s biggest primetime drama (yeah they moved out the Lakers), the important piece of the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony has suddenly become an ultimate prize for other suitors. As the rumors continue to fly out about where ‘Melo could be going…whether it’s Los Angeles, Chicago or even staying in NYC…the question is: Is he worth it? It will depend on what squad decides to put him on their roster. If it’s the Lakers…you’re asking for trouble. As much as Laker fans want him there, he’s not the answer to their equation. Maybe a Kevin Love added to the mix could make it a championship contender but I just don’t see it. Yes, the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics pulled off doing Big 3’s to help them win championships, but those teams were very different compared to what other NBA squads are trying to combine and make their own.  If he goes to the Clippers, it’s going to have to be in exchange for star Blake Griffin. Griffin could work well in NYC, he does like to run and the Knicks are a running team. The longshot is Chicago…yeah they don’t have Derrick Rose but they could use a scorer, the bad part is they won’t have a good defender unless head coach Tom Thibodeau can help him a great deal. Who wants an effective scorer but poor defender for their playoff-bound/championship contending team? I would choose Chicago. That’s not because I’m a Bulls fan either.

(I’m going to try to be nice with this one) The beginning of the month saw a 30-year tenure for David Stern come to an end. Stern took the NBA to an international phenomenon, taking the game all over the world, and even returning with some of the Non-American’s best players. Stern made the NBA very marketable…turning people like Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James into household names. He even was the brainchild with the WNBA and did his best to bring substance to his league. Adam Silver takes over the commissioner’s position and hopefully will bring a lot more positivity to the league.

A-Train