Thursday, November 17, 2016

ADEDS 2016 MLB All-Swaggy Team

The crack research department at ADEDS has spent the entire year documenting and charting the copacetic manneurisms and fresh-to-death idiosynracies of majorly Major League Baseball players.

We did that, so you won't have to.

Only 10 can make a top 10 we would be remiss if we didn't mention these fine ball players and all-star level swaggicians:

Melvin Upton, Jr., OF, Toronto Blue Jays
The player formerly known as B.J. "Bossman Jr." Upton ain't soft now that he goes by Melvin.  Adding the Jr. to your name is a trendy thing but not for Bossman.  He'll still back hand a trick if he has to.
Always has, always will.

Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals
Bryce had a tough year at the plate but he definitely didn't struggle in the hair and beard department.
To be expected. 

Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros
Baseball's Mighty Mouse.
It doesn't matter that his teammates have to bend down to celebrate with him; the joy and grit in which he plays with is unmatched. 

Jayson Werth, OF, Washington Nationals
Classic lumberjack here.
If Paul Bunyan and Jesus had a child, his name would be Jayson Werth.

Brett Lawrie, IF, Chicago White Sox
Brett is already one of the most tatted players in the MLB, and has shown us a strong Oakley frame game over the years. But up the ante with a 'vampire fangs' mouthguard??
Sure. Why not?

Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox
Gold Cuban link chunk chain plus O'Shea Jackson scowl circa 1992.
This man is a legend. 

Javier Baez, 2B, Chicago Cubs
It's pretty much mandatory that the swaggiest Puerto Rican player be on this team, and in 2016, Javy was that guy.  The retro Jordan 1 custom cleats pictured here only made it a cinch.

Brandon Crawford, SS, San Francisco Giants
Classic Son's of Anarchy.
Those black batting gloves he uses for clutch hitting are probably the same one's he uses to clutch the throttle on his Harley.

David Ortiz, DH, Boston Red Sox
It's Papi's world and we're just living in it.

Noah Syndergaard, P, New York Mets
His nickname is Thor, and it's not just because of his Scandinavian features, and the fact that his fastball hammers the strike zone with the force of Mjölnir.
Actually, nevermind.
It is.
Franciso Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
Going with multiple rosary beads over multiple gold chains is a nice touch.  Also, he is the first player in MLB history to still look cool while playing in stirrups.

David Ross, C, Chicago Cubs
The enforcer.
If manager Joe Maddon is the mad scientist alà Walter White, then David Ross is Mike Ehrmantrout.

Josh Donaldson, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
Classic country boy redneck.
They should let Donaldson play in a mesh trucker hat and deer hunting camo.
He'd still hit 450-foot homers.

Johnny Cueto, P, San Francisco Giants
Besides honing about 15 different deliveries, including the vaunted "shimmy", Cueto's dreadlocks and Bubble Yum game give him an heir of nonchalance on a scale that no mere mortal can even comprehend as attainable.

That's it.
Feel like someone got snubbed?
Feel free to admonish me in the comments.
Also any emerging candidates for next year leave in the comments.  Might help with a preseason All-Swaggy team.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

All Day Throwbackz: 1996 Déjà Vu?

Shareef Abdur-Rahim averaged 18.1 ppg and 7.5 rpg during a 12-year NBA career (1996-2008)

You can't make stuff like this up.

Jaylen Brown is a top prospect in the 2016 NBA Draft and declared after a standout freshman year for the University of California Golden Bears.  Brown was a McDonald's All-American playing prep ball at Joseph Wheeler in Marietta, Ga.

The No. 3 pick of the 1996 NBA Draft was Shareef Abdur-Rahim; who left Cal after his freshman year after receiving all-Pac 10 honors.  Abdur-Rahim attended Joseph-Wheeler in Marietta, Ga. and was a McD's A-A.

So if the Boston Celtics take Brown at No. 3 it would mark 20 years since this exact scenario occurred.

You can't make stuff like this up.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

4 Things the Golden State Warriors MUST Do To Win Game 7 and Avoid an Epic Collapse

Kerr has probably been on the phone with Pop and Phil these past couple days.  He has to find the right mixture to get his team back to looking like the one that won 73 games.

Keep Steph Curry out of foul trouble.

Not sure how much zone defense the Warriors have played this year but it probably wouldn't hurt them to use some in Game 7.

The Cavs are putting LeBron James in pick and roll situations with whoever Curry is guarding in order to get Curry switched on to James.

Curry guarding LeBron is probably the most physical mismatch between any two players that could occur in this series.

The Warriors can't afford to have Curry on the bench and it is utmost to find a way to keep the Cavs from exploiting this matchup.

Also, Curry needs to stop reaching and play defense with his feet.  

Foul or not, the more you reach, the higher the chance of you getting the whistle blown.

Barbosa over Livingston.

Shaun Livingston was arguably the best reserve guard in the NBA this season, and brings unique versatility both offensively and defensively because of his size and length, but Leandro Barbosa needs to be the first player off Kerr's bench.

Barbosa is more similar to Curry in style of play in that he is aggressive on offense and forces the tempo.  Too many times has the Warriors offense gone on a scoring drought (11 first quarter points in Game 6) and Barbosa has proven on many occasion that he can provide that intensity.

Exploit Kyrie defensively.

Games 1 and 2 were blowouts in favor of the Dubs, and much of it had to do with Cleveland's ineptitude as a team on defense, and also the fact that Kyrie Irving is a great offensive player but also a notorious defensive liability.

If the Cavs are successful exploiting Curry's defensive ineffeciencies then why not do the same to Cleveland's weakest defender?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Iguodala is good in many positions...this ain't one of 'em.

Who's gonna do the Iggy?

Andre Iguodala was the MVP of the 2015 NBA Finals, not for his greatness as a scorer, but for the job he did defensively on Lebron. 

Iggy's lower back was clearly bothering him during Game 6 and it's difficult to think that he will be able to contribute much of anything in Game 7.

Problem for Kerr is that as deep and talented the Warriors' bench is, there is no player that can replicate the physical tools and skill set that Iguodala provides.

Kerr may be forced to use Klay Thompson as the main LeBron-stopper, which could also hinder his offensive production, but it's basically pick your poison at this point. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Throwbackz: Randy "Shaun" Livingston

Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, and Reggie Miller have all made the same mistake.

All three of these NBA on TNT analysts have accidentally referred to Golden State Warriors reserve guard Shaun Livingston as "Randy" Livingston.

Randy Livingston at famed Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, circa 1992

The casual basketball fan is aware of who Shaun Livingston is. He's Stephen Curry's backup and one of the best second-unit players in the NBA.

But who the hell is Randy Livingston?

Sadly, the idea of Randy Livingston that remains within the subconcious of NBA All-Stars from the 1990s never truly materialized in reality.

Randy made it to the NBA when he was drafted in 1996 out of Louisiana State University and was a professional basketball journeyman; playing for 12 different teams in 12 seasons, including stints in the Continental Basketball Association, D-League, and Turkey.

But before he arrived at LSU -- and devastatingly tore his ACL during his first official practice on campus -- Randy Livingston was touted as the best high school player in the country, and was destined for NBA stardom.  (Ironically, a gruesome knee injury derailed Shaun Livingston's career, although he has bounced back now with a solid niche roll off the Warriors bench.)

Livingston was the 2007 D-League player of the year, but was never what he could've been before the knee injury.

The 6-foot 4-inch point guard, who was the 1993 Gatorade National Player of the Year and McDonald's All-American, was featured in a national news story (video below) chronicling his early years growing up in the notorious Calliope projects in New Orleans, to starring at famed Isidore Newman School, where he was teammates with Cooper Manning; Peyton and Eli's older brother.

Friday, May 13, 2016

NBA TRASH TALK: 2016 NBA Playoffs Edition : Meanwhile, In The Offseason....

The Sacramento Kings hired former Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger.  No word yet on who will replace him once DeMarcus Cousins eventually tunes him out and turns the whole team and organization against him.
When your boss tells you to do something, but you know he'll lose his job before you do.

VIDEO:  Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverly was spotted working on his game --showcasing his relentless D and highlighting his long range shooting ability -- by playing some one-on-one versus a 12-year old girl.
Beverly is bringing nuance and innovation to off-season training by doing this because the league's premiere player, Stephen Curry, is in fact built like a pre-teen.

Can't wait to see the F.C. Utah Jazz wearing these new uniform alternates next year.
Picture Gordon Hayward in this, rocking shin guards and heading in an alley-oop, or making a side out-of-bounds two-handed overhead throw.

If you thought the NBA wasn't leaning towards putting ads on jerseys like they do in soccer, this is evidence to the contrary.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2016 NBA DRAFT: 'Peak Lamar Odom?': Why NBA GMs will hesitate to take Ben Simmons with the No. 1 pick

Simmons averaged 19.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 4.8 apg, and led the nation with 23 double-doubles as a freshman.

Still sure you want Ben Simmons as the number 1 pick?

The 6'10 point/power forward from Australia has all the talent and all the game to succeed on the big stage, but when it comes down to the level of maturity it takes to be a team's franchise player, Simmons has some serious red flags.

Let me preface what I have to say by making it clear that I hate the one-and-done rule.  They should let them go straight from high school or be three years removed from it like they do in football and baseball.

Simmons didn't wanna be at LSU.  Not for a one-year spectacle at least.  He probably knew from the minute he stepped on campus he was no normal college student. He's Ben Simmons.  And, everyone knows that he's less than a year away from becoming a millionaire.

But this is actually the new norm for college basketball now and guys are expected even as 18 and 19 years old to be able to handle it.

Simmons hasn't made the best case as being one of the guys that can handle it this year and his blatant disregard for the whole "student-athlete" thing causes questions of character, work ethic, and maturity.

Simmons' passing ability has garnered him comparisons to the great Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

The John Wooden player of the year award is one of the most prestigious accolades one can achieve as a college player, and for good reason.  It not only acknowledges playing skill but also academic standing is incorporated.

Simmons didn't make the cut.

Student-athletes must maintain a 2.0 GPA to be eligible for the award.  I guess no big deal but consider other one-and-dones such as Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and John Wall were eligible for the award. When asked about it, Simmons had this to say:

"Mr. Wooden was a teacher, right?"

Simmons then added, "It's their award.  I'm not too worried about it.  I just want to win. I'm a team guy.  I just want my team to do well."

His team did not do well.

Winning is always the best elixir, and Simmons didn't do enough of it to turn his season into a feel good.  Best example: Carmelo Anthony was academically ineligible for the Wooden in his one-and-done year but, not only did he lead Syracuse to a NCAA tournament berth, they won the whole thing.

LSU struggled all year and the losses of forwards Jordan Mickey and Jarell Martin hurt it's consistency.  But with Simmons, his AAU teammate and top recruit Antonio Blakeney, veteran swingman Tim Quarterman, and a few other key pieces, it should have been a cinch that the Tigers make the NCAA tournament.  The wheels fell completely off when LSU got whooped by Texas A&M in the SEC tournament 71-38. But even if you go back to the loss at Kentucky March 6th, players were finger-pointing and complaining about a lack of leadership.

Simmons and Blakeney couldn't lead LSU to a tournament berth, even in a below average year for the SEC.
"A leader has to lead by example more than his mouth," Blakeney said. "This team has a lot of leading by talking and not by example."

Something tells me that Simmons is the catalyst for Blakeney's sentiments.

When LSU did not qualify for the tournament, the school announced it would not participate in any postseason tournament.

Simmons doesn't want to get hurt before the upcoming draft so I get that but aren't there other players on the team, too? Would a university like LSU cater to a player/student who had what basically amounts to a one-year deal?

Simmons has hurt his draft stock from about December on (this is probably the point in the season where he felt he did enough to prove he was the best NBA draft prospect and got bored with the minutia of 'playing school') and all of the questions of character and work ethic and the lack of winning are starting to get noticed and analyzed by scouts and draft pundits.

Last week, Jonathan Givony of dropped Simmons to No. 2 in favor of Duke's Brandon Ingram.  People like NBC's Kurt Helin are reporting that Simmons at his best could be "peak Lamar Odom."

He's probably way too talented to pass up at outside of the top five, but the signs of negligible maturity are there.

-quotes c/o Jeff Goodman, Kurt Helin of NBC's ProBasketballTalk