The View From Mt. Airy: Harrison Barnes To The Sixers 07-1-16

 
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Seriously.

Harrison Barnes makes absolute sense for the Sixers.

I hear you screaming.

“Look at his performance in the NBA Finals. What did he do to deserve or even earn a max contract as an NBA free agent?”

“Won’t he just be in the way?”

“Why would you add a Golden State Warrior who arguably failed on the biggest stage as a complimentary player to this array of young talent we lost 200 games to acquire? ARE YOU  HIGH?”

It’s a little more complex than just signing Harrison Barnes. There is a lot more involved than inking a max contract for a player who was very underwhelming on a 73-9 Warriors team that came up smaller than a Seahawks’ playcall in the Super Bowl when his team failed with a 3-1 finals lead and home court advantage.

Yup.

I can recite all the numbers. How did he fail along with his cohorts who lost more playoff games than regular season contests? How do you justify paying him to be a franchise (monetarily at least) player amidst a locker room full of elite draft picks?

It’s a simple as this…….

Follow the bouncing balls…

A. Harrison Barnes would join the Sixers this fall fresh off his experience in the 2016 RIO Olympiad as a member of the USA Basketball team assembled by his new (76ers) team PRESIDENT PER SE….yeah…call him a consultant…but Jerry Colangelo has just as much a hand on the Sixers’ tiller as his kid Brian. But not to demean his son but the NBA footprint (with steel toed boots) is all over the change from Sam Hinkie and his gang of IPad analytic gangsters to old school NBA. That being known Jerry is fully responsible for the outcome and the product in Philadelphia this fall and beyond. With that in mind he played it closer than Dusty Rhodes and the NWA belt….give it to my son. There is no accident that Barnes is on the Sixers horizon and the 2016 Olympic team.

Now who assembled, chose and anointed the group that will represent Team USA?

You guessed it. Jerry Colangelo.

Does that give the Sixers an edge? I think so.

B. He will arrive after being wholly saturated in NBA success. The 73-9 Warriors, as led by Steve Kerr, emulate the offense that Brett Brown seeks to incorporate in South Philly. That means movement after the pass. Versatility in both offensive and defensive matchups. Unselfish play, with the ball never getting stuck anywhere but in the twine for two points. Harrison Barnes was not and at no point in the future being the Alpha in the Golden State offense, yet he could teach and display for the kiddie Sixers the model that makes wins outta being a part of a winning formula versus being solely responsible for the
outcome as most of the top young talent has been throughout the majority of their fledgling basketball lives.

C. NBA LIFE – There is more to the NBA player’s lives than game day. With the proliferation of highly paid kids who will board your Sixers’ charters next season, it absolutely can’t hurt to have someone who can show and prove for these kids how to live and survive on the road. We have heard the horror story of A.I. and his ten years of no packing, buying clothing on the road everywhere and ultimately failing in his transition to professional behavior and comportment. Yeah, he garnered an MVP and dragged a lame roster to a 2001 NBA FINALS appearance, but it was all downhill from there. Harrison Barnes, by all accumulated evidence, is just the cerebral citizen that the Sixer kids can follow, copycat and respect. I know you want to argue that a veteran like Elton Brand can do the same. That’s bulls—. These young men need someone who is modeling and contributing at a high level on the court also. Sitting on the bench for 38 minutes is NOT NBA leadership anymore. If it were ever.

D. SHOW HIM THE MONEY! The NBA salary cap is irrelevant in this conversation. As the advent of the new billion dollar bag-busting TV deal rolls around, it appears that the league and a large group of its teams will experience a virtual cap-free season. Knowing this, and coupling that information with his age, health, contribution and exploration date, this seems to be a no-lose situation for Philadelphia. Can he psychologically handle a max deal? Wherever he goes that will be the case so factor that question out. So here is your silver lining. Whatever he is, as a Sixer, will NOT include washed up. His value will grow in year 3 and 4 as his contract becomes obsolete in price and attractive to anyone as he will still be at or near peak athletic performance and barely 30. Do the deal. I am not a Harrison Barnes fan but, as a 40-year NBA observer, I know my romper room of future stars needs a leader that can play.

That’s the view from Mt. Airy…..follow me @MtAiryPhil and @NTheZoneShow on Twitter.

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

 

AS A WINNER…LEBRON STILL LOSES

The Miami Heat knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games to win their 2nd NBA title, the topic will always go around one man…LeBron James. LeBrick, who I love to call, played much better than he did in last year’s Finals. The primary purpose for this is to shut up his critics. Well…I got news for him. THEY WON’T and I WON’T! As a matter of fact, winning this “tainted” title (don’t thank me, thank the “god of basketball” David Stern), he still loses. LeBron haters will remain “the king” and not him. While Heat and LeBron fans will celebrate the title and proceed to try and shut up every hater. Some friendships will end when this happens. Just saying.

Switching to something every LeBron fan dislikes hearing…

THE DECISION: YES I’M STILL ON THIS!! I will not get over that. So what! You will live just like I will. Sorry. But for this man to be the BEST player in the NBA, he surely came off cocky for that ESPN program. People, understand why I’m upset at LeBron for this. LeBron and his agents (mostly his friends) milked the idea of putting together a one-hour special on ESPN just for 2 seconds of announcing his decision to play for the Miami Heat and run away from the Cleveland Cavaliers because he felt that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with them. FOR WHAT? That sounds like pure cockiness coming from an athlete. Now you know without shadow of a doubt this could have been handled much differently. YOU KNOW THAT! He didn’t need the ESPN cameras, he didn’t need Jim Gray, he didn’t need Mike Wilbon and whatever ESPN analysts to ANALYZE this decision. It wasn’t needed. I lost a lot of respect for this guy. POINT BLANK

He won a title…with an asterisk. The same way, the San Antonio Spurs did back in that shortened 1999 season. Look who they played in the Finals. They played an 8th seeded New York Knicks team with “I’ll Choke Your Coach” Latrell Sprewell, Larry Johnson and Allan Houston. I still wondered how they got there after beating the #1 seed, (the pre-LeBron) Miami Heat. But I respect them now because of them winning back in 2003, playing in an 82-game season.

Now, why did I see with asterisk? Oh, the A-Train is on something? He needs help. He needs to lay off the meds.

No, that’s not the case at all. This could lead to another thing but. LeBron played a 66-game schedule and won a title. Last season, played in an 82-game season and lost in the championship. So, it takes for him to play shortened seasons and win titles? It looks like it. In his 9 seasons, only this season he won a title.

WELL, THAT’S NOT FAIR. Sure it is. In his first 8 seasons, he has played in 82-game seasons and has come up short. Even last year, when he practically had the same team. LeBRON WAS DIFFERENT LAST SEASON. He wasn’t any different this season, just put up more statistics. There was nothing impressive about LeBron. He didn’t take over the last 2 minutes of a game like he’s supposed to do. HE DOESN’T HAVE TO DO THAT WITH THIS TEAM. But this is LeBron’s team now, right? Dwyane Wade has given it up.  Critical moments during these 2012 playoffs, he hasn’t shown up. Sorry.

However he did get some help from the black and white. Something about referees and their ways of calling games just boggles my mind. From Tim Donaghy’s nutty scandal some years ago to the old refs like Danny Crawford, Dick Bavetta, and Joey Crawford. The game that once was a game has now been tarnished. Once again, I thank the “god of basketball” David Stern.

Once last thing…stop with the comparisons of Michael with LeBron. They don’t match. MJ still is the GOAT. MJ won 6 titles and didn’t lose a single one of them. LeBron has been in 3 Finals and won 1. Tough luck for the kid. You not Jordan, never will be. Greater than he, forget it. HAPPY FAKE TITLE TO YOU, LEBRON! IT’S WELL DESERVED!

A-Train

The Heat Dominates The Thunder

I will not elaborate so much on Miami Heat win in game 4, although Miami Heat is one game away of claiming the NBA Championship!  Oklahoma Thunder played a magnificent 1st qtr of game 4, defense was there, and the offense was there from everybody. OKC came out strong and played as hard as they could. This was their game to win, they needed this to be a 2-2 series, but now they are down 3 games to 1. I watched this game with my heartbeat racing as if it was me on that court last night.  I felt the pace of the game and I felt every bump from each foul, I felt the frustration and the urgency to win. Unfortunately, despite Russell Westbrook’s 43 points, Harden’s 10 rebounds and Durant’s 28 points, it wasn’t in the cards for them to win.  Lebron James and his “whole” team came through last night! Chalmers may have played the best game of his career with 25 points.  Last night proved that no matter how good OKC is, Durant and Westbrook cannot and will not win the championship alone. D. Fisher needs to produce a few hot 3’s he is famous for and K. Perkins will need to sit his attitude on the bench and dominate the paint, it is evident that OKC needs him. OKC may squeeze out one more win, but this series is in favor of the Miami Heat, but I will be cheering OKC, all the way.

Gyb…THE ROOKIE!

The Fight Begins, OKC vs MIA

Although some NBA commentators and Sports Illustrated writers have predicted that the Oklahoma City Thunder will win the 2012 NBA finals… the world thinks different!  The majority is rolling with the Big 3 Miami Heat.  I am standing solid with OKC, since the CHI Bulls were thrown out long time ago. OKC plays as a team and there is more cohesiveness there than what Miami has.  If Miami is expecting to win this series, they are going to need for Dwyane Wade to step up and really be the leader of this team.  The Heat need to take control of the ball and play together as a team. Although Lebron James will put up the points needed, everyone will need to bring their A game every night. Regardless of what happens, I predict that Miami Heat’s head coach, Erik Spoelstra will be dismissed.

Lets get ready to ruuuummble!!!!

Game 1 – Miami 94 Oklahoma City 105 – Thunder lead series 1-0

Game 2 – Miami 100 Oklahoma City 96 – Series tied 1-1

Game 3 – Oklahoma City 85 vs. Miami 91 – Heat lead series 2-1

Game 4 – Oklahoma City vs. Miami – Tuesday, June 19, 9:00 PM ET, ABC

*Game 5 – Oklahoma City vs. Miami – Thursday, June 21, 9:00 PM ET, ABC

*Game 6 – Miami vs. Oklahoma City – Sunday, June 24, 8:00 PM ET, ABC

*Game 7 – Miami vs. Oklahoma City – Tuesday, June 26, 9:00 PM ET, ABC

*if necessary

All games on ABC and ESPNRadio.

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The Tainted Title…Thanks Mr. Stern

66 games. 2 teams. 1 championship. I see you looked at the title and are literally saying things like “What the hell?” or “He can’t be serious.” Something that will make you either stop reading or get mad as you read this. But the last time I checked, the full season was 82 games. Oh yeah, I forgot. Thanks to a lockout, the season was shortened by “the god of basketball” David Stern and Oklahoma City (formerly LA Lakers) point guard Derek Fisher. If you didn’t know, Fisher is the president of the Players’ Association. Yet, somehow he’s in the Finals…conspiracies??? Another time for that conversation.

But anyways,  here we are at the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Seattle Sonics aka Oklahoma City Thunder, which begin on Tuesday night at 9PM EST on your ABC affiliate. To many, this is going to be as good of a series since the Lakers/Celtics matchups of 2008 and 2010. The media (especially ESPN) are hyping this series as LeBron vs. Durant.

Why do I call this a “tainted title?”

I call it that because 1) 66 games for the regular season, it hurt a lot of teams and their postseason runs. 2) The scheduling. No way in the world that Stern thought playing 5-6 games a week would help the athletes do well on their respective teams. Some of them weren’t used to that. Many star players like Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard both have significant injuries and can’t even participate for the Olympic team in London. Those are two key losses to a team that just got back to prominence after winning the gold back in 2008 in Beijing. 3) Terrible officiating. Oh my Lord. I bet anyone on here that reads this can name the sorry officials from each game that made you throw something or even cuss at the TV. The way they put this season together made it seem like they went and got high school officials to call these games. I mean this was absurd and just plain ridiculous. It was like Stern meant to put those guys out there to get this outcome that we are at now. The NBA Finals. I almost swear this was a complete set-up from the jump.  4) Money. There shouldn’t be anything said after that. But that is what this whole thing was all about. Like any other sport, money is the key to having a season. This season was almost lost in its entirety. Stern and his staff had to rush through and put together which is what was supposed to be an “effective” season. All Stern thought about was those advertising dollars, the under the table deals (don’t act like there weren’t any), the TV contracts, the attendance for the respective games and IMHO nothing about the players’ themselves. Even though the players’ were just looking for their piece of the pie. While we get mad at them about their egos’ and all, they still go out and play every night. Am I ok? Am I really defending the players? The ones that tick me off so bad that they should play overseas somewhere and not in the States. I’m defending players like Carlos Boozer, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant…the names I can’t stand?? Really? Yeah I am. Because at the same time, they get a check cut every two weeks like you and I (the ones that have jobs).

My point is: This is not the real 82-game season, just like San Antonio back in ’99 which wasn’t a real title win with the 50-game season. Look who they played against in the Finals…the 8th seeded New York Knicks…with “I’ll choke my coach because I don’t like what he tells me” Latrell Sprewell on (LITERALLY) “Grandmama” Larry Johnson. So what about their banner sticking up in the AT&T Center being a title team. That season was a joke from start to finish. Just like that game on Showtime which was called “The Game on Showtime” where it featured 10 NBA players playing in Vegas for charity. I might as well just had that and didn’t need the season. The reason why all of this was going down…again MONEY!

Anyways, the match-up is great honestly (even though I still think it’s a set-up), these two teams do have effective teams that (believe it or not) provide championship experience from both sides. The Thunder are definitely young and Durant should enjoy this series win or lose. The Heat however are under a microscope…if they lose, they might as well dismantle that team. I want to see that happen, so bad. OKC’s legs should be fresher than the Heat’s after their 7 game affair with Boston. But maybe it was a blessing for those teams. This is what the fans have been really waiting for which is the top 2 players in the league right now going head-to-head for that picture, aka the Larry O’Brien trophy.

All from the destructive mind of David Stern. Thanks Mr. Stern for destroying the league that you have built up. You wonder why most sports fans wait for football season to come around. You’re an imbecile and an idiot. But I still will watch your sport till there is no more.

NBA Fan

The A-Train

 

Boston’s Big 3 vs. Miami’s Big 3

So I’m up this morning and I see an intriguing video piece from a friend on Facebook and it showed the differences between the introductions of the Celtics Big 3 and the Heat’s Big 3. It’s a huge difference…It’s pretty much old school vs. the new school. It’s basically the 1990s vs the early 2000s. That’s hard to believe but it’s the truth. No pun intended for Paul Pierce. Only thing I need to see is the real press conference of the Heat. Don’t get me wrong this video speaks volumes between the two franchises. Meaning mostly LeBron’s comments about the title run for the Heat. So far, LeBron is 0-2 in the NBA Finals. But…these franchises are headed in different directions.  I understand that this is season 2 for Miami, and Boston is in season 5 which means that one franchise is going up and the other is falling from grace fast. So far (as of this post and date) Boston is ahead in titles between Big 3s, 1-0. Will that stand? After Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals…you will get your answer. So what’s the real difference? Penny for YOUR thoughts.

The A-Train