We begin Odds & Ends this week with the long championship drought in Cleveland finally ending courtesy of the Cleveland Cavaliers,who won their first ever title since their 1970 founding with a 93-89 win in Game 7 of the NBA Finals over the Golden State Warriors. This is the city of Cleveland’s first title since 1964 when the Browns won their last NFL title.
LeBron James was named NBA Finals MVP leading all players in most every statistical category during the series,which included back-to-back 40-plus point performances in Games 5 and 6,en route to bringing Cleveland from a three games to one deficit, the first in NBA Finals history.
“Cleveland, this is for you!” James shouted through tears in a post-game interview with ESPN
“The people of Cleveland deserve this more than any other people I’ve ever seen or met or felt,” Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said, “No group deserves this more. No fan base deserves this more. I’m speechless and proud of everybody.”
When asked why this championship felt different, James simply said, “I’m home.”
“This is what I came back for,” James added, “It doesn’t feel real.”
I’m honestly happy for James and the Cavaliers for winning a championship for a city who for a long time had craved one and suffered through a lot of heartache for a long time in the process. I’m always happy for a city that knocks out a longtime title drought and Cleveland did so.
With the Warriors losing, I wish I felt bad for most of their fan base,and for their fans who have been loyal to their team even before this current roster, I do. But these fans who arrived two seasons ago who have pretended to be fans the whole time that have been nothing but classless are ones I don’t feel bad for. Why? First of all,it’s for saying that the series is rigged because Draymond Green got suspended for something questionable,when in reality he probably got suspended for something he did prior to the Finals (Steven Adams).
You fans don’t know rigged like we fans here in Sacramento do. You guys didn’t experience the heartache we did with the 2002 Western Conference Finals where the Kings had the series ripped from them by three officials. What happened with the Warriors is how badly they choked in this series. They weren’t able to overcome the suspension of Green,they let it affect them greatly with their head coach going off on the officials after Game 6 and Curry throwing his mouthpiece in the crowd. Once you saw how much the team was unraveling and how much their fans were going off on how badly the series was “rigged”, you had a feeling that back-to-back championships were not coming to Golden State.
So for those of you Warriors fans who still have a Baron Davis jersey and remember the shitty times before this current run, I feel bad for you. But for the johnny-come-latelys, you guys suck and need to return to the fan base you came from,and that’s my rant!
The Giants have won eight straight games after having swept the Brewers earlier in the week then going down to Tampa this weekend to sweep the Rays. They’re currently 6½ games up on the Dodgers in the NL West,leading the division. They’re also on pace to win 101 games and rank seventh in runs in the National League and sixth in hitting with runners in scoring position. They even have the fourth best ERA in the pitching staff.
“We’re obviously not at full strength, but we’re just playing the way we play,” pitcher Jake Peavy said. “This is the identity we talked about in spring training, who we are as ballplayers and who we are as a team. We just come out and play our best team game and have the best approach.”
Despite injuries to key players like Matt Cain and Hunter Pence, the team is looking good and playing with grit,skill,and determination. They’re finding ways to win and really doing the things they’ve been projected to do this year. The June Swoon is obviously missing this team and for great reason. I don’t know if they’ll make a trade by July 31,but if they stand pat and keep their current bunch,I’ll be fine with that!
NHL Expansion looks like it will be happening as Las Vegas will be joining the league as its 31st team. The team,which will reportedly be known as the Las Vegas Black Knights,could begin playing as early as the 2017-18 season in the new T-Mobile Arena,which opened in April and will more than likely play in the Pacific Division giving the Western Conference 15 teams,the Eastern Conference has 16.
Official announcement is expected this Wednesday.
I think it’s great to see a league like the NHL expand. Nearly a decade ago,it’s existence overall once was on the rocks and with record attendance,interest,and TV ratings the league is once-again thriving and its willingness to expand and add Las Vegas is living proof of that.
I would like to see the Western Conference get bigger by adding a city like Seattle or Kansas City. Either that or add Quebec City and give Chicago back to the Western Conference.
Finally, with the Penguins winning their fourth Stanley Cup last week over the San Jose Sharks, the Penguins’ 50th anniversary logo that was unveiled in February prior to the team winning the Cup was already obsolete.
On the logo were three Stanley Cups which symbolized the team’s championship wins prior to last Sunday, it was updated to include the fourth one. If you ask me, revising an anniversary logo in that fashion is a good problem to have.
That’s Odds & Ends for this week!