Odds & Ends-Volume 98

OddsEnds

StephRileyCurryDuring this postseason, the NBA MVP and leader of the Warriors, Stephen Curry has brought his two-year old daughter,Riley with him at the podium during postgame press conferences. Many feel she’s been the star of the postseason with her cute and delightful performances.

Some feel that she’s a distraction,such as ESPN’s Skip Bayless.

“After a while, I had no idea what Steph said, and I badly wanted to hear what he had to say, and it got completely disrupted by little Riley stealing the show,” Bayless said.

Charles Barkley also disagrees with Curry bringing his daughter with him at pressers,citing that reporters are trying to do their jobs.

Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle,disagrees.

“I think everyone was like — ‘Yay, Riley’s back!”‘ ,Killion said. “He answered the questions, we all got a laugh, and life goes on.”

She added,”There are so many things that we do criticize athletes about and so to see a young man being a loving father, I really fail to see the controversy.”

I agree with Killion. So many people project athletes as promiscuous and even to a point bad fathers. It’s refreshing to see the current MVP of the league not only be a great person in his own right,but he’s also a great family man and a loving father. In a day and age where some kids wish they even had a father in their lives, it’s nice to see that this little girl has one who he can share some of his spotlight with,even if she steals it a little bit.

Tom Thibodeau was let go as head coach of the Chicago Bulls late last week and in the worst way possible. He was only let Thibodeaugo because Bulls management simply didn’t like him despite the fact that their injury-plagued superstar (who in my view was a bit of a pussy for some of the time that he missed) for 210 games, yet still were competitive and made the postseason each year he was there.

Fred Hoiberg, a one-time Bull and current head coach at Iowa State,is considered the front-runner and by the time this comes out will be named the new head coach. Hoiberg will likely be a guy who will take direction from the folks upstairs. It’s basically a Jim Tomsula situation where you get rid of the coach you don’t like/get along with and replace him with a Yes-man coach. It will be interesting to see if the Bulls did the right thing by firing Thibodeau.

Meanwhile,Thiobdeau will collect $9 million over the next two seasons and his coaching stock will soar if he decides not to coach next season or if he isn’t hired by any of the teams who need a head coach at the moment. Only time will tell.

NBAFinalsAs for the NBA Finals, this will actually be a good one in my opinion.

You have the Warriors,who have a great young team with the reigning MVP in Stephen Curry and who are there for the first time in 40 years against a Cleveland team with their hometown hero back on the roster in LeBron James,who by the way is playing in the Finals for the fifth time in a row. Cleveland,by the way,is in a championship drought dating back to 1964.

I think these two teams match up well together and it will be a back and forth battle between them. Cleveland has more players with championship experience and have been hot in the playoffs. The Warriors have been just as great,but had some hiccups along the way in Memphis.

I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing either team win it because for the Warriors it would be a great championship for a region that has won many recently with the Giants winning the three World Series. For the Cavaliers it would mean that they ended their city’s championship drought and that maybe,just maybe, the Cleveland jokes can stop once and for all. I do think,however,it will be Warriors winning it,but it will take all seven games.

This was far from the Stanley Cup Finals match-up I thought we would get,but I think it has potential to be good.StanleyCupFinal15

You have the Blackhawks,who have surprised everyone by blazing through the Western Conference playoffs and ending up in the championship round and you have the Lightning,who have been a heavy favorite for the Eastern Conference all season long.

Both of these teams are fast,but the Blackhawks have the ability to shift from offense to defense faster than anyone. Not to mention the match-up of Steven Stamkos versus Jonathan Toews will be one to watch. The goaltending match-up of Corey Crawford and Ben Bishop is an interesting one. Crawford is a seasoned veteran of the playoffs and the Cup and Bishop is here for the first time. I think,however,that Bishop is ready for the challenge.

I think the Lightning are proving that while they are a fairly young team, they have what it takes to win a Stanley Cup and against these Blackhawks I think they will take it in six games. I won’t be surprised if Chicago wins,but think the Lightning are more than worthy of the Cup.

I made a prediction for 2015 that a professional sports franchise in North America will relocate. That prediction has yet to come true, but maybe it could.

New baseball commissioner Rob Manfred has talked to Montreal about bringing his sport back to the city. Montreal had the Expos for 35 years before they left for Washington D.C. in 2005. Signs are pointing to the Tampa Bay Rays as the team who would most relocate north to Montreal.

MontrealBaseball
The Blue Jays played to sell out crowds in Montreal in exhibition games before the season started.

While there is no team in Montreal anymore, there have been professional exhibition games played where there once was a pro team. The Blue Jays have played special preseason games at Olympic Stadium and attendance was great leading many to believe the city is ready to embrace baseball again.

Meanwhile,down in St. Petersburg, the Rays have continued attendance woes. As of press time, they rank last in attendance in all of Major League Baseball with an average of 14,650 per game and only 43-percent capacity at cavernous Tropicana Field. While the stadium and the location of it have been cited as reasons why Rays fans stay away, the team has been successful in recent years and having that team in a town that’s ready to love baseball again could be a possibility.
Montreal also had attendance woes towards the end of the Expos’ time there, but that was because there was speculation that the team was leaving and also the team was far from competitive. Fans still watched on television despite not being at the game itself.

However, there are obstacles that come with bringing the Rays to Montreal. The Rays have a lease with Tropicana Field for 12 more years,which could lead to a court battle should the team want to leave town.

It would be nice to see a place like Montreal have baseball again if they’re ready to have it. It’s clear there’s interest in seeing a team there again, and the Rays have been a team that competes,unlike the Expos. If the pieces fall into place and a viable stadium plan comes into play (A new stadium has to accompany such a plan), we may be seeing the Expos 2.0 sometime in the future.

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