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I created an algorithm to help me decide which hockey team to support in my inaugural season of NHL fandom. Here are the results!
Hello hockey As the title states, I have created a mathematical formula to decide what hockey team I will support. I will break up this post into a few sections to make it easier to read (aka casually skim through until the very end to see the results). There will be a TLDR at the end of each section. WHY Let’s start off with a little background for this fun scientific experiment. I live in a little midwest state by the name of Indiana. You may have heard of us. We’re known for many things, such as basketball (yay!) and the Indy 500 (meh). Outside of Larry Bird, Tony Stewart, and casual racism from everyone’s grandparents, there’s not too much else here. Anyway, growing up in the mid-to-late 1990s, Indiana was a great place in terms of sports. The Indiana Pacers were a consistently great team, thanks to Reggie Miller & company (still sad no titles). The Colts were up-and-coming with the one and only Peyton Manning. Bobby Knight still coached IU basketball and there was still an air of success around the program. Like most kids in Indiana at the time, I gravitated towards basketball. Fast forward to today. Here I am, nearly 26 years old. The Pacers heyday has come and gone, with our biggest star in 20 years now gone. IU basketball is the shell of a program it used to be, with the team flirting with relevancy during my days as a student there (2010-2014), before spiraling down to our current state of mid-tier in the Big Ten. The Colts, even though we secured a Super Bowl, felt like there should’ve been 2 or 3 more, and will forever be known as postseason choke artists of the 2000s. Enter the 2017 NBA and NHL Playoffs. The 2017 NBA playoffs was essentially a two month time period where some groups of guys tried to throw pebbles at a couple of Apache Attack Helicopters. Like when you’re playing Civilization, and you move your tanks into a group of crossbowmen. From day one of this NBA season, everyone knew the Finals would be the Warriors vs the Cavs. I love watching basketball, especially playoffs, but first three rounds of the NBA playoffs were hard to watch. Very few close, exciting games, with lots of blow outs. This left a void in my heart. I needed to watch something sports related before we got to the worst time of the year (the time of year where basketball is over and football has yet to begin, and the only sport to watch on TV is baseball. In-person, baseball is fine. You get some fresh air, some hotdogs, and a couple beers with some friends. Good times. But who wants to watch a full baseball game on TV? 55 year old, white, recently divorced fathers, that’s who. Seeing as how I am only one of those things (I’ll let you guess which), I did NOT want to spend the last couple months before baseball-only season with no entertaining sports. So, as I was watching my Pacers give up the largest playoff lead in NBA playoff history, I decided to flip over to some playoff hockey. It was so fun! I ended up watching Rangers vs Habs (Rangers won 3-2 in OT) and Sharks vs Oilers (Oilers won in OT). I struggled to understand some of what was going on, but it was EXCITING! So the next day, I watched the Caps beat the Leafs in OT, and Bruins beat the Sens in OT. And you know what, THOSE GAMES WERE EXCITING TOO (Well, Bruins - Sens was kind of exciting. More on that later). I barely even watched the NBA Playoffs that night, I was hooked. So I started popping into hockey and lurking through some of the game threads. I saw some gifs of Fleury doing silly things like hiding the puck from the refs, pat the goal-posts when a puck bounces off the iron, and even jerk off his stick when the handle saved a goal. Charles Barkley started preaching about the NHL being awesome, and I’ve always admired Chuck for telling it like it is. I saw both the exciting side and the silly side of the NHL in this subreddit. I knew I could get into this sport. Prior to those two nights of playoff hockey, my exposure to hockey was minimal. In 2002, when I was 11, I got the videogame Backyard Hockey for PC for my birthday. Martin Brodeur was my team’s goalie, and Jaromir Jagr lead my team in points. I chose the Flames as my franchise, because to an 11 year old, WHAT’S COOLER THAN FIRE!?! C is the letter of my first name, which as you know is also Calgary’s logo, so naturally, I had to pick them. I even renamed them the Calgary Caleb’s. What a fucking dynasty. 12 straight undefeated seasons. Wow, such an amazing run. One for the record books. That’s the only thing I remember from that video game. I didn’t play the game much after a month or so, because that is when I got sucked into Morrowind for hundreds of hours. The only other exposure I had into hockey was during college. Like I said earlier, I went to Indiana University, and of course, that school was LOADED with Blackhawk bandwagoners. I hadn’t seen a single Hawks jersey on campus until they won the cup in 2013, and then they were everywhere. This annoyed me. So the following year, I was out at the bars and the 2014 NHL Playoffs had just started. It was game 1 between the Blues and the Hawks, and of course, the bar was packed with people wearing Blackhawks jerseys, not even watching the game. Me, being slightly intoxicated, started heckling everyone wearing a Hawks jersey. “GOOOOOOOO BLUE TEAM!” I repeatedly shouted. Finally, after 3 OTs, the Blues won the game, so I began heckling even more. I’m surprised I didn’t get in a fight, but after a while, I realized it’s because the Hawks fans there were just bandwagoning and probably didn’t really care. Fun Fact: The number of fights I got into that night is equal to the number of games the Blackhawks won this postseason. Once I got sucked into the NHL playoffs this year, I knew I wanted to get into hockey for real. The problem was, I live in central Indiana. I can’t just support my local team, because I don’t have a local team. I thought about being a Blues fan (GOOOO BLUE TEAM!), but I didn’t really like the idea of supporting a team solely out of my disdain for the fans of another team (Hawks). I wanted to be fully invested in the team. I also considered the Golden Knights, but then I remembered this article from fivethirtyeight. I could totally come up with something like that for my own. After an hour or so of tweaking and determining criteria, the algorithm was born. TLDR: Channel Surfed to 2017 NHL Playoffs, games were awesome, no local team for me to support, time to create a (mostly) unbiased formula. METHODOLOGY Warning, some dry math-shit ahead. I will be assigning a score of 1 to 10 for every single team against a set of criteria. Each criteria will be weighted. I decided to score every NHL team on the following 14 criteria. 1. Jersey and Logo Coolness. Very much a personal opinion here. I wouldn't want to support a team wearing the Mooterus Stars jersey or the Fisherman Islanders jersey. Granted, there really isn't anything quite as ugly as those currently but I will also try and factor in throwback uniforms and logos as well. 2. Quality of Best Player (Skill + Likability). It's important to have a marketable player, both via skill and personality. For example, Crosby would score very high skill-wise, but low on the likeability factor. Half the score here is skill, the other half likability. This was 1 of 2 criteria that generated a lot of internal argument 3. Geographic Closeness. The closest team to where I live is the Blue Jackets at 3 hours 20 minutes(drive time). They will serve as the baseline 10 for this criteria. Every additional 2 hours past 3 hours 20 minutes will result in a loss of a point. Google maps will serve as the utility for which time is measured 4. Quality of Fanbase. Are you fans classy, or are they all inconsiderate douchebags? Low score = hostile fans or fair weather fans. 5. Appearance of bandwagoning if supporting. Nobody likes a bandwagoner. Indiana University was filled with Blackhawk jerseys after they won the Stanley Cup. I hadn't seen a single Blackhawks jersey prior. I find this type of behavior extremely annoying, so I do not want to join a team that has a high bandwagon factor. A low score indicates a high bandwagon appearance. 6. Potential for next 5 years (Youth + Assets). I want to support a team that doesn't necessarily have to be a contender to win it all next year, but I would like to support a team that at least is considered to be a on the upswing. This was the other criteria that generated a lot of internal argument 7. Past Postseason Success. Self Explanatory. 8. Franchise Reputation. Is the franchise known for having a great GM, making savvy personnel decisions, being considered a model franchise by other franchises and other fans? Think the San Antonio Spurs of the NHL. 9. Quality of Goal Song / Power Play Song. A small factor that shouldn't be overlooked. A good goal song should be happy and joyful, a good power play song should stir excitement. I don't even know if all teams have a goal or power play song, but if you don't, you're wrong and I hate you. I concede, Chelsea Dagger is a great goal song 10. Entertainment Factor. I don't care if my future team goes 82-0 if they win every game 1-0 with a goal in the first period. I want to support a team that will excite, for better or worse. Kind of like the Capitals being a choke-hazard. Ottawa, on the other hand, is notorious for running a 1-3-1, which in layman’s terms, translates to “Boring AF”. (The first Sens - Bruins game I watched this post-season wasn’t that bad, but as the playoffs progressed, I started to get worn down by their style) 11. Disposition for City Based Upon Other Sport Fandom And Other Personal Experiences. I like basketball and football. I used to be a bigger baseball fan, but that has waned off in the past 6-7 years. I still pay attention, but not to the degree of the other two sports. Naturally, the teams I support (Pacers, Colts, Reds) have rivals. It would pain me to be a fan of the Bruins, because I know that a lot of Bruin fans are also Patriot fans. Same with Chicago because of Bulls vs Pacers. A low score here indicates that I do not like other sports teams in this city. I will also factor in personal experiences if I have ever been to the city in question. 12. Coaching. Nothing more infuriating in sports than having a great roster with poor direction from the coach. I have much experience with that feeling, unfortunately. (See the 2013 IU Men’s Basketball team, who was ranked number 1 in the nation, but couldn’t break a fucking zone defense from Syracuse in the Sweet Sixteen. Really, Tom Crean? Really? That’s middle school stuff right there) 13. Arena Quality. How bad is the arena in need of renovations? Is there a new stadium coming? Does the stadium kick ass? I plan on actually traveling to see a game in the next year or two, a nice arena would be welcome. 14. Strength In Advanced Stats. My friend Jacob, the advanced stats nerd of a hockey fan, suggested this criteria. He created a custom formula to rank every team in this area. Here is his write-up for the formula he created. Warning, even dryer math-shit ahead. Skip this quoted area to get on with the methodology. No seriously, this shit is dry. You have been warned
GOALIES To summarize goalie performance, I wanted to use season-by-season goals saved above average (GSAA). Basic formula: GSAA=Saves-(Total ShotsLeague Average season save%)* Summary: "How many more saves did this goalie make than a league-average goalie would have made on the same amount of shots?" (higher is better). This takes into account ever-changing league average save% and weights for shot quantity. However, this alone does not factor in shot quality which in my mind is an important factor as well, to remove team defensive ability from the goalie’s performance. If a goalie pads his stats with saves on low-quality shots, what does that truly say about his ability? To include shot quality, I pulled goalie save data from firstlinestats.com, which has shots categorized by low/medium/high danger. I computed the league average for each of these danger categories & calculated every goalie’s GSAA for each category. I then rounded all 3 up into one number, which was weighted as such: Weighted GSAA=1.2High Danger GSAA+Medium Danger GSAA+0.8*Low Danger GSAA * Validity sniff test: In the 2016-17 season, the top 2 goalies by my calculations were Cam Talbot and Sergei Bobrovsky. Talbot had a huge workload (started 73 games) and had an above-league-average overall save% at .919, all while facing the most high-danger shots of any goalie. Weighted GSAA: 49.14 Bobrovsky had a big workload (started 63 games), had a historic overall save% of .931, also faced many high-danger shots, and won the Vezina trophy. Weighted GSAA: 48.89 Though some may debate the order, in my mind, this passes. I evaluated each team’s starter & backup by calculating each of their last 3 seasons’ weighted GSAA. To gauge their overall quality, I weighted their last 3 seasons 4/9, 3/9, and 2/9 (from most recent to least) to project ability & weed out outlier seasons as best as possible. For overall goalie systems, I used starter quality by weighted GSAA, backup quality by weighted GSAA, and prospect quality to get an overall snapshot of a team’s goalie system. Prospect quality came from InGoal Magazine’s rankings from pre-2016-17 season, which admittedly is dated but was the best I could find. Overall Team Goalie Quality=0.65Starter Quality+0.25Prospect Quality+0.1Backup Quality* SKATERS (note: in this section, when I say “shot” I mean “unblocked shot”, aka “shots on goal + missed shots”, aka “Fenwick”) To summarize team’s skaters ability, I wanted to cover 4 aspects: even-strength shot generation, even-strength shot suppression, power play shot generation, and penalty kill shot suppression. As noted by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com, shot generation & suppression are mostly independent, so I reviewed those 2 parameters separately rather than in terms of Fenwick %. Upfront, I’ll acknowledge the weaknesses in this section: Ideally I would have used zone-, score-, and venue-adjusted Fenwick for these calculations, but with Corsica down I made do with the free analytics data I could find. I also only used last season’s numbers here...since there have been plenty of offseason moves, particularly with the expansion draft, I figured looking at only last regular season’s shot data would be the most representative going forward, though I admit it won’t be perfect. To cover the 4 aspects mentioned previously, I pulled the following data, and weighted the numbers as noted:
Power play shot generation (10%): Shots attempted per 60 minutes on the power play
Penalty kill shot suppression (10%): Shots allowed per 60 minutes on the penalty kill
I then ranked all teams based on this weighted criteria. For Vegas, I made a snap judgement call & rated them right in the middle of the pack. This was reinforced by their current signed roster; they have a mix of historically positive shot impact players like James Neal, average possession players like Cody Eakin, & negative possession players like Luca Sbisa. As far as I can tell, they’re aiming for right in the middle of the pack in terms of puck possession. OVERALL After all that, my overall ranking system was simple. 40% goalie, 60% skaters to give a one-stop estimator of team’s advanced stats strength.
Wow, I thought my algorithm was in-depth, but Jacob put his super complex shit inside of my kinda complex shit. And I thought I was a nerd. But how did I determine the weight of the criteria? I didn’t want to just arbitrarily assigned values to each criteria. I wanted to be a bit more scientific. Using a website called www.allourideas.com, I input the 14 criteria into their tool. The website then randomly pits one criteria against another, and I had to choose which I think is more important. I did this over the course of three weeks with 700 matchups voted upon. This “over time” approach help paint a more accurate picture as to what I find truly the most important. My opinions could change day to day, but across 3 weeks, this helped create a better overall picture. Once I reached the day I had planned to do the algorithm, I viewed the results. The website presented me with a 1-100% chance that a criteria would beat any other criteria. I then took the values and divided them by 50. This reduced the scale of the weight to be between 0 and 2. I felt that a criteria weight between 0-2 was a good number. I didn’t feel that any one criteria was more than 2 times more important than another. This would give me a much tighter spread on final point totals than if I had just assigned a 1 to 14 criteria importance. Also, a tighter point spread means more excitement for me and my friends as we filled out the algorithm. If Franchise Reputation is weight of 1.5, and I scored a team with a 10 for that criteria, then that is worth 15 points. Hopefully that makes sense. See screenshot in the final google sheet for the head-to-head probability results. This is pre-scaling of the weight. I’m new to hockey, so how the hell am I supposed to know what team has a great coach, or who the hell has potential for the future, or a good reputation? To help me conduct the algorithm, I am relying on three of my friends who are hockey fans to help me determine point values for the criteria. u/the_team_plug is a lifelong Bruins fan, so when it comes to the Habs, I’m not sure I will take his opinion into consideration. Otherwise, he played goalie up through college, so he actually has a pretty good knowledge base. u/OsuJaws is a longtime Red Wings fan, and seems to believe the Red Wings won’t suck soon. Even though he went to school in Columbus Ohio, he could never bring himself to be a fan of the Blue Jackets. The other is Jacob (who won’t tell us his username, probably because he leaves creepy stalker comments all over porn subreddits). He’s the guy who came up with the advanced stats criteria above. He first got into the NHL when the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became a Jets, so he just sided with the newest team at the time. Because Jacob isn’t a complete sadist, he jumped off the Jets wagon and has now been a Predators fan for all of 2 months. Convenient timing and totally not a bandwagon move. TLDR: Math happened and an algorithm was made. Hockey friends will help me assign values that are somewhat in-between subjectivity and objectivity. The Stakes I am putting my money where my math is. Whatever team wins the algorithm scoring, I will purchase some fan gear at the end of the night. Maybe just a t-shirt, maybe a jersey, maybe a full blown mascot costume. That largely depends on how many beers I drink with the guys while scoring this. It also depends on how much I think my wife will harm me if I spend like $200 (Maybe I can make an algorithm for that as well. Beers consumed vs dollars spent vs doghouse potential, find the optimal break-even point). The two other guys are here not only to advise me in scoring of criteria I may not know, but also to keep me honest. I will buy merchandise and be a fan of whatever team wins, NO MATTER THE RESULT. Would it pain me to be a Hawks fan based upon my past experiences? You bet your ass it would, but the numbers don’t lie. And let’s be honest, my friends would have a laugh seeing me wearing a Hawks jersey. So whatever happens, that’s what happens. No going back to fudge numbers. This is it. If I feel ambitious (ie, not lazy) I may even do the stereotypical write a letteemail to the team, explaining the situation, and beg for merchandise asking for a letter back. TLDR: Gonna buy some gear when finished, no matter who wins. Conducting the Algorithm At the start of the event, we decided that it would be better to hide to total column until the very end. Once a criteria had been fully scored, we also hid that column. This would help prevent bias by being able to glance at the totals as started tallying. The Result and Closing Notes Before I share the results: I am certain that there will be disagreement on some of the scoring. I just want to take a minute and say that we scored everything to the best of our abilities. There was a lot of internal arguments for some of the scores, but all reached compromise. For things that we were uncertain, we researched between this subreddit and a few other hockey websites/forums. We know that these scores won’t please everyone. If you want to conduct this experiment on your own, I’d love to help you out! You can choose to uncover the spoiler here, or you can open up the google sheet just below that. I am pleased to announce that in my inaugural season of hockey fandom, I will be taking my talents to the Toronto Maple Leafs! Here is a link to the google sheet with league-wide results, sorted descending in final scoring. Be sure to hover over some of the cells to see detailed notes. I hope you all have enjoyed this post, and I look forward to becoming more knowledgeable and enjoy this great sport! EDIT: Whew, I struck a nerve huh?. Listen, I'm new. I know some of you had your team-pride hurt by my rankings. I can admit that some of it was inaccurate and this is not a perfect method. There probably is no perfect method to picking a team. I'm sure a lot of you are coming from a good place and are wondering on some of my scores. Even calling me stupid may be fair (I mean, I am new), but sending me PMs from throwaway accounts wishing harm upon me is a bit much, no? EDIT 2:https://youtu.be/ryZJWLMe1ag EDIT 3:Is only game
If you like this post message me to join the mastermind, we have a 24 hour promotion going on. Hey guys, As some of you know I’ve never been to Toronto. However, I do have friends who have been there. Overall, from what I gather Toronto is hard for Game. Since the girls tend to be the more liberal/hippie/feminist type who is difficult to hook up with, the city is very multicultural so you’ll have much more competition tons of guys who work there at IT and there’s a lot of guy who know about game/pua(it is where Mystery and other classic PUA’s are from, so you get an idea). At the same time, don’t be discouraged, a lot of guys live there and they have managed to make something out of it, therefore, so can YOU. Here’s a compilation post of multiple hardcore PUA’s who have lived or visited Toronto. I’m only sharing the best posts that I found, I’ve hand- picked every post to deliver for you the best and most clear quality posts. Edit 1: I'm editing out any content that is offensive, since we are an optimistic forum. Hardcore PUA 1: Night game in Toronto is not easy.I could list hot bars and clubs, but it doesn't mean you are going to get lucky. The place could be wall to wall chicks and you still could strike out.The city is also very strange, I have been to spots that were simply off the hook. A week later I return to the same spot and I was like WTF happened.Every weekend is very hit and miss, so you have to move around a lot and hope you hit one of those magical nights. Word of advice - get out early and pre drink before the PMS crowd gets on the scene. Are you ready to battle the club scene?Moma in one of our podcasts, talked about how he went 0 for 30 in a bar one night.How many rejections are you willing to take before you call it a night?How late are you willing to grind it out at night?Some of my best pulls have been in the early morning, either on the street or a chinese restaurant on Spadina. Sadly, a lot of these chicks love poutine and pizza. So you might have better luck in those spots. We can all agree that getting numbers isn't a good night.So when you meet Ms down-for-the-night, where are you going to take her? Having a pad downtown close to the nightlife is the number one thing that will help you pull girls. Location, location, location is what they teach guys selling real estate. Look at the prices for rent on King St W and you will see why. I was downtown in Yorkville yesterday, having lunch with a fellow RVFer. The talent wasn't great, in fact I saw more white jiggling cellulite thighs than I care to see. For an area that is suppose to be rich, elite, posh etc, it was very sad. My local suburban mall would have killed it with eye candy. Which leads me to this, are you guys in good shape?There are many gyms in this city, so you have no excuse to not be in shape.Go to a LA fitness and you will see girls in there killing it, like their life depended on being in shape.If I were new to a city, I would join a gym right away. The nicer the gym the more girls it will attract.Girls love Crossfit gyms, girls love gyms that have yoga.I know some girls who have more than one membership at a gym.With LA fitness you can visit other gyms, I don't work out at LA fitness. lol Drake Hotel - I never liked this spot, my friends go there quite a bit. For me it is too crammed and the talent isn't that great. It has always been a place that had a lot of dudes. Madison - As soon as I read a Toronto report that lists this pub/bar, I know straight away the guy is trolling. This spot use to be a RSD/PUA hangout a few years back and had horrible ratios then. Rebel NightClub/Cabana - both of these places are in the same location.I have heard Rebel is the hot club now, I have not been and quite frankly don't really care to go. They do have some good acts performing there, so I will "try" to make the effort to check one of them out. Future the rapper was there a few months ago, the place was crawling with chicks. Cabana - is a Miami wannabe day club.Do not go there unless you can pull up in your boat, afford the crazy bottle service prices and have girls you can bring with you or if you have a great physique and can draw girls with it.If you are curious, I would suggest going when they have a world renowned EDM DJ performing, I believe Carl Cox was there this weekend.Girls love EDM in Toronto, so if you can handle the noise and the beats per minute then this could work for you.I have seen girls at these spots solo. It has been discussed before but worth mentioning again.How is your fashion?You better have a decent wardrobe or one killer outfit that you can wear on a night out.Guys here still dress for crap and yes Montreal guys know how to dress. This isn't an excuse, make sure you have an outfit that is on point.I see Chinese dudes in Starbucks now, wearing Prada/Common Projects/Louboutin sneakers and $2K in clothing.I am not saying you have to be a label whore, but if you can afford it then go for it. Hardcore PUA 2 Toronto is an extremely attractive city, and even as I travel to some of the likes of Eastern Europe, it's never a complete let down to get back home. There's a catch. Most Toronto guys have no game, and the women here know it. Luckily, if you aren't from Toronto that doesn't apply. I normally let them know I am from the USA very early on in the conversations. Since you have a 1/2 chance of meeting a non-Canadian, it helps to have traveled a bit so you can talk to the many foreigners that live here about their countries. You'll meet lots of French and Germans, as well as Australians, Brits, Ukrainians, and Russians. A lot of them are here on Visas, and you don't get nearly the amount of weekend tourists as the other big North American cities. I find it crazy how many people going to Niagara Falls but not Toronto. I don't think game is too complicated in Toronto. The main thing is to talk to the women before you are incredibly drunk. The typical Canadian guy will wait til 1am to make an approach, and by that time he's normally pretty sloppy and it quickly becomes a shootout for the girls who aren't paired off by then. **Where to live/stay:**I would suggest the following corridor: West of Bathurst, South of Bloor, East of Jarvis. The best place for quality of women is going to be either Liberty Villiage or City Place. Rent will set you back about $1,600 for a one bedroom, or $2,300 for a 2 bedroom, as the buildings in these neighbourhoods are all relatively new with good amenities. There are older buildings in the above corridor which you can rent for around $1,100 for a one bedroom. The cheapest you'll be able to find would be $400-$500 for a crappy shared apartment. Girls are used to going home in ubecabs here, so as long as you are in that relative area, you probably won't have any logistics issues. If you are here for a weekend, best bet is to use AirBnb. There are 2 hostels downtown worth staying at if you are on a budget- The Planet Traveler -kensington market with an awesome rooftop, and the HI on Jarvis- Good location with a bar under it. Bars I like, by neighbourhood: Kensington Market- Eclectic Hipstery Neighbourhood Cold Tea- This is a speakeasy in Kensington Market that makes a perfect date spot. Expensive, but expertly made cocktails in an intimate setting. In the summer they throw Sunday-Fundays that can't be beat. They have a DJ, rotating restaurants supplying food each week, and a normally at capacity outdoor patio. It can be a hipster crowd, but there is always talent to be had there and I've seen some weird stuff go down. The Boat- Fun, open dance venue. Great place to grab some drinks on the weekend, can be hit or miss but when it's good it's a fun night out. Sneaky Dee's- Legendary place in Toronto known for cheap drinks and massive food plates. Downstairs can be tough to pick up since it is all seating, but upstairs is wide open. Busy on the weekends, but they also do karaoke nights, trivia nights, and host live bands. Queen/King St West Crocodile Rock- Cougar bar by weekend, but probably your best bet on a Wednesday night in Toronto. Cheap drinks, and lots of drunk students. The downstairs is probably the better of the 2 floors to pick up, but both can be alright. Gotta make your move early, it's a shit show by 12:30am. Queen Street Warehouse- If you are a looking for party on an off night, this is going to be your last chance venue. It's a very hipster bar, but you can get the non hipster girls in her occasionally, sometimes those in the industry. Always fun music, girls dancing on bars, and generous bartenders. $5 food for everything on the menu. Rockin' Horse Saloon - One of 2 country bars in Toronto. The talent here is always good, busy Thur-Sat. The mechanical bull and line dancing make for a fun vibe. The Porch (summer only)- Amazing rooftop patio with a view of the CN tower. Expensive drinks and food, but great place to meet beautiful women and enjoy your summer nights. Gracie O'Malley's - Irish pub with cheap drinks and a great student crowd. Really easy place to pick up and good looking 19-21 y/o sorority type girls. Live band alternating into a dj on the breaks. Student night on Thursday is a gold mine. I've gone here in a blazer after events before and it definitely helps with that crowd. The Cameron House- Amazing date spot, live music every night of the week and never cover for the main room. Tough place to pull, but it can happen if you get lucky. If you aren't looking to pull but just want to have a fun night listening to live music, give this place a go. Wide Open- Probably the cheapest place for drinks in Toronto. Small, skinny dive bar. Best bet here is to pop in for a drink to pregame at the beginning of the night. Sometimes there will be a couple girls to chat up. If not, the bartenders are normally good looking so enjoy that and move on. Bar 244- This cheap club has $3 drinks on Saturday nights. Bar is typically really busy, 2 floors and lots of girls. Definitely worth a look. The Drake- 3 level venue with 2 dance floors and a rooftop. Quality girls, good music. If you have some dance floor game this place can be really good. I do better meeting the girls outside of here, then walking back in with them. Dog and Bear- I've done really well here in the past. If you don't get here early enough, you'll be stuck in line for a while. The women are typically good looking and the set up of the venue makes approaches easy. A lot of times we will got to The Ossington bar early, get a stamp, then head here until the Ossington gets busy. Bier Markt-A beer menu that goes for ages, and live bands on the weekend. Great place to pick up, once again, normally a good crowd of girls but a lack of men hitting on them. The Addisons- Not on King West, but close, this venue is set up to resemble a house party. The outdoor patio will have all sorts of games to play, and inside looks like a big house party, to the extent that they bring in free pizza for everyone throughout the night. Beautiful women, approachable, and easy to pull. Oasis Rooftop (summer only)- This place brings out the best Toronto has to offer. Expensive drinks, but a fantastic place to have some Coronitas on a hot summer day. Good place to meet girls before heading somewhere else with them later in the night. Bar Hop- Another great date spot. Awesome beer menu, intimate bar. Underground Garage-[/i] If you want to go hard on a Monday, this is your best place. There will be some talent for sure, but you'll have to work for it. Weekends can be good too. Half bar, half dance floor, sketchy decorations. UG3- A newish venue in Toronto, great for picking up. Here you get the King West girls that aren't slutting it up at the Clubs. It's a live music venue that's entirely open and easy to meet people. Good looking girls, fun music, and PBR tallboys on special. What more could you ask for? Thompson Rooftop- You'll need to dress well for here, and sometimes the face control can be a bit strict. Top tier talent, and a pretty approachable venue with nice views of the city. If you struck out on King Street West, don't give up yet. Thursdays outside Gracies you can easily pick up last minute on the street. Friday and Saturday Walk between Bathurst and John anywhere from 2-3am and you'll have an alright chance. Also, if you head to Smoke's Poutinery or Burrito Boyz, there will be a bunch of drunk people ordering food and waiting for their orders. Can't count the amount of times I have pulled from the above tactics. Yorkville- Fanciest neighbourhoodThis neighborhood is where you will find the celebrities hanging out in Toronto. There are ok bars- Hemingways, Proof, but I don't normally go out of my way to go out here. Day by Day Recommendations:Sunday- Cold Tea (summer)Monday- Baby Hueys, Underground GarageTuesday- Queen Street WarehouseWednesday- Crocodile Rock, FictionThursday- Any, but for students- Gracey O'Mallies and Madison PubFriday- AnySaturday- Any Hardcore PUA 3: Let's get something straight......night gaming in Toronto is unlike any other city in Canada. Maybe I shouldn't speak as a know all about elsewhere as I've only visited Montreal twice for 2 nights each stay in terms of seeing other cities here. Being the best looking guy can count for Jack shit here at some venues. At some places you can be dressed in Gucci or whatever the hot fashion trend is......and at the same venue a guy can walk in the club in jogging pants and running shoes and pull the baddest broad while you are fortunate to get even a IG or whatsapp. Guys are spending a TON more than what you spend at venues in other cities here. In Montreal or other cities in Canada you don't have professional athletes and their entourages from 3 major sports franchises ( the Argos don't count,lol) often coming out and getting first dibs on the hottest broads. I think the Raptors coming here was THE worst thing ever to happen to night gaming in Toronto. These guys and their entourages dress like shit......but promoters know they're going to spend a TON on bottles. And they roll like 10 deep. Then you have visiting nba teams' players during the season and coming here in the offseason to party. This city used to fly under the radar. Just last night I ran into a New Yorker that said he loves Toronto....asked him what he is here for.....he was a friend of some rapper or athlete I think it was. Hardcore PUA 4: Toronto: I know that many hate this city, I found Toronto be a good city (not the best) to game girls. in Toronto there is options for every single human. This city is the warmest between the 3 , way more events , nightlife is amaziiiing >>>> MTL >> Ottawa. you can party every night from Wednesdayto sunday EVEN in winter .Toronto is super super expensive and stressful though. Even though i found womens to be easy if you hit the right spots, but stressful life made me focus in other staff more than the womens pros : ( my favorite city between the 3)- Nightlife !! many many options, girls can be as bitchy in some places and down to earth in others ( in Montreal almost in every place Girls are bitchy)-So diverse, this city offers many options and a variety of girls from all the world, so for sure one girl the country "X" will like you.- Your race won't matter, Toronto girls don't care where do you come from , as long as they like you. Conclusion : This guide was from back in the day, writen by a bunch of hardcore PUA's. I will create my own guide in the future. Note, offensive content will not be accepted.
382 points: MC_Mammoth's comment in [Woj] Free agent F Dragan Bender has agreed to a two-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, league source tells ESPN. Bender, 21, was the No. 4 overall pick to Phoenix in the 2016 NBA Draft.
343 points: indiemike's comment in [Haynes] Free agent center Robin Lopez has reached an agreement with the Milwaukee Bucks, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
327 points: BonzieCoolson's comment in [Woj] Free agent Kyle Korver has agreed to a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks, agent Jeff Schwartz of @excelsm tells ESPN.
314 points: ReverendGames's comment in [Andrews] Giannis Antetokounmpo is on stage addressing the crowd. “After this day, please don’t call me the MVP until I win it again next year,” he said.
251 points: OAktrEE4023's comment in Giannis says he is at 60% of his potential and stresses how important winning is: "I want to be a part of a winning team. As long as we have the same mindset and same approach to the game, there's no reason for me to move and not be like Steph, not like be like Dirk or Kobe or Duncan."
[OC] As Paul Pierce retires, I figure I'd share with you the story of one of The Truth's greatest moments- A 21 point 4th quarter comeback in the 2002 ECF.
March 13th, 2001. Just another day at the office for Shaquille O'Neal. One of the most eccentric and dominant players in history was cooling off in the locker room after a 112-107 Lakers win against cross country rival The Boston Celtics. The voluminous O'neal had only a year previously posted the first 60 point, 20 rebound game since the legendary Wilt Chamberlain. O'Neal after this game however, had a different target of his famous bravado. He grabbed a local reporter and gestured at his notepad. "Take this down" . Serious words from this jovial man were often resonant. "My name is Shaquille O'Neal, and Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth. Quote me on that and don't take nothing out." This was Shaquille O'Neal speaking. This was the same guy who delivered a hand written note to Hakeem Olajuwon challenging him to one on one after a loss in the finals at age 22. His praise typically delivered with a hint of backhandedness, something about the way that Shaq said this made it clear this was not about him. The way that number 34 put on in front of his hometown, 42 points on 13 of 19 from the floor- not the numbers themselves, but the way he did it, was enough to draw respect from the most bitter of rival. Los Angeles around the turn of the millennium had a personality. Dr. Dre's iconic album 2001 had encapsulated so many aspects of the culture, hard nosed, tough, and not to be disrespected, all riding on a cool California breeze calmer than Snoop Dogg himself. Looking back, its easy to see why Paul Pierce carries himself the way he does to this day. In Inglewood "You either bang or you ball". Luckily, that chubby who woke up at 5:30 every day to shoot in the shadow of the the forum understood Dr. Dre's words. "No man can choose the card he was dealt. You either gone quit or you gone play like you get it" Funny how things work. The man who no better could have represented LA in that moment was drafted by the team that could have been no more the opposite. Arch Rival. A city notoriously tough on black players. Just about as far removed from "A state that's untouchable like Elliot Ness" as you could get. The kid that played with that thick skinned Cali-cool knew that making his impression felt was just as much the way you did it as getting it done. Boston has always loved tough. They are a blue collar city. Resilience is respected in any culture across the world, and though Bostonians may not share the same west-coast state of relaxation, watching a man refuse to quit will always be worth its weight. So on September 25th, 2000, when Paul Pierce was stabbed 11 times in his back, neck and face, had a bottle smashed on his head, and underwent lung surgery as a result, Boston watched with bated breath. Pierce has never been in a gang, but it was clear the toughness of Inglewood ran in his veins when on October 30th, just over a month later, Pierce would start the first game of the season. And every one after it all season long. He was the truth, and there was no getting around it. That combination of southern California swagger and grit simply dripped from Pierce's skin. He wanted to win, he wanted you to know it was his doing, and he wanted to make it look effortless. He wasn't going to beat you with his athleticism, he wasn't going to muscle you. He wasn't a lightning fast ball handler or passer. He was just going to win. You knew where he was going to go, but he was going to get there, and he was going to win. If Stephen A. Smith thinks Aaron Rodgers is a bad man, then Paul Pierce should be sitting in front of the International Court of Justice. So put yourself in front of one of the oldest, most loyal, most historic crowds in pro basketball. Put yourself on one of the, if not the most iconic hardwoods that has ever graced the association. Put yourself in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now put yourself down by 21, with 9 points on 2-14 shooting, and accept the truth. It seems easy for anyone in this position to accept the truth. Except the Truth. The Jason Kidd led New Jersey Nets 74-53 in game three of the first Eastern Conference Finals since the golden era. With the series tied, losing one at home would be disastrous, and the current trajectory seemed to indicate that would be the case. Now, I'm the type of guy who'd give up the will to live attacked by any animal larger than a poodle (likely a bobcat but I'm not sure of their specifications). Paul Pierce is the type of guy who gets stabbed in the face eleven times and plays a pro sport a month later. The game wasn't over to him. The Truth would catch the ball on the baseline at 11:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. Two jabsteps and a drive to his left and and the lead had been cut to under 20 in the most unassuming way. The broadcaster took note of Pierce's cold blooded nature.- "Of course Pierce a great fourth quarter player" he said, "But The Celtics have put themselves in too big of a hole to make it matter". Talking about anyone else he may have made a safe bet. Co-star Antoine Walker would receive a pass off of a Nets turnover and cut the lead to 17. The broadcast team wearily acknowledging the possibility of a comeback, though there seemed to be little belief outside of the faithfully loud Boston fans and the C's themselves. A minute and 20 seconds after Pierce's first bucket, he again found himself using his trademark "How the fuck is this guy getting to the basket" technique to slip past The Nets defense for an and-one lay in. The crowd grew louder as a spark of emotion erupted from Pierce before he slipped back to his focused calm. Freethrow. 14 point deficit. The Celtics would again regain possession, and again, Pierce would slip to his left hand for a finger roll. The man who had shot and made only 2 of his 14 attempts in the first three quarters had found a solution. Not speed, or athleticism, there was no need yet to shoot. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results. The Truth had never looked more sane. Layup. Layup. Layup. The lead was dwindling. 12 points was the differential, and the crowd had grown so loud the commentators we're forced to yell over the excited buzz. This town knew Paul Pierce by now. 7:47 on the clock. Pierce again finds the ball within 14 feet of the basket and spins through two defenders to easily place the ball over the front rim. 9 points in the fourth quarter alone, yet every standing member of the Boston faithful in The Garden knew those were not his final tallies. By a slight over 6 on the clock the lead had been cut to 8. It was clear that night had already set itself apart from a typical game, but just how far could Paul Pierce's California Love carry the green and white. With another split of a double team, both calculated and controlled, yet effortless and smooth. What Pierce was displaying was different in so many ways. The NBA had seen men dominate by force of will plenty of times in the past. But these players did it with speed, strength, size. Number 34 in green and white seemed to be leading a team whose fate seemed hopeless because it was them or it was him. "It's either my life or your life, And I ain't leaving, I like breathing." - Dr. Dre, The Watcher Freethrow after freethrow the Boston Celtics began their ascent to what would be the greatest comeback in NBA Playoff history at that point. Jason Kidd watched the clock begin ticking away, while a four point lead, then a three point lead continued to look like an in increasing deficit rather than a winning margin. More and more often the camera would cut to the look on New Jersey Head Coach Byron Scott's face, pressed into some sweaty contortion of anger, desperation, and fear. The juxtaposition of the stoicism of Pierce and Jim O'Brian, the Head Coach of the Celtics desperately trying to his his excitement. When Paul Pierce yet again found himself emerging effortlessly like a weed through busted concrete at the rim. A minute and a half remained, The Nets' lead was only three. The Boston Garden was alive, the decibels jumping each time the C's lopped off a chunk of what was once thought to be an insurmountable lead. The free throw is a funny thing in sports. So few opportunities do fans get to view what should be almost guaranteed points. The crowd can feed off of a play that in truth, involves less action than really any other play within the game. But at a home game, when the crowd silently waits in anticipation for the pop of a ball against nylon, the result is unlike anything else in the world.* So when Paul Pierce, The Truth, the league leader in fourth quarter points on the season, hit one. To cut the lead to two. Two. To cut the lead to one. Three. To cut tie the game. and Four. To go up by one with 46 seconds remaining in what would potentially be the greatest comeback in playoff history. Boston Garden may as well have been behind a Boeing 747. The shell shocked Nets' attempts to retaliate would fall flat, turning it over, which would lead to a Kerry Kittles 2 point goaltend on a Kenny Anderson layup, and then watching their next two attempts get blocked. PP, the Celtics, and the City of Boston could let their guard down. For the first time since tip, Pierce smiled. 19 years since he left California, his career now ends in Los Angeles as a Boston Legend. But Paul Pierce never really left Inglewood. He brought it with him everywhere he went, with that chip on his shoulder- the chip that only the City of Boston could have nurtured. Together this blend of counter-cultures created without question one of most cold blooded motherfuckers in the history of sports. "And if you're wondering where's the proof, You should wait no longer cuz here's the truth" - Dr. Dre, Truth Hurts
The Story of Paul Pierce and the 2002, 21 Point 4th quarter comeback... with gifs. [OC]
March 13th, 2001. Just another day at the office for Shaquille O'Neal. One of the most eccentric and dominant players in history was cooling off in the locker room after a 112-107 Lakers win against cross country rival The Boston Celtics. The voluminous O'neal had only a year previously posted the first 60 point, 20 rebound game since the legendary Wilt Chamberlain. O'Neal after this game however, had a different target of his famous bravado. He grabbed the nearest Boston reporter within his enormous reach and pointed toward his notes. "Take this down" . When the flamboyant center got serious, his words were often resonant. "My name is Shaquille O'Neal, and Paul Pierce is the motherfucking truth. Quote me on that and don't take nothing out." This was Shaquille O'Neal speaking. This was the same guy who delivered a hand written note to Hakeem Olajuwon challenging him to one on one after a finals loss at age 22. His praise was always delivered with a tint of backhandedness. But something about the way that Shaq said this made it clear this was not about Shaq. The way that this kid put on in front of his hometown, 42 points on 13 of 19 from the floor, not the numbers themselves, but the way he did it, was enough to draw respect from the most bitter of rival. Los Angeles around the turn of the millennium had a personality. Dr. Dre's iconic album 2001 had encapsulated so many aspects of the culture, hard nosed, tough, and not to be disrespected, all riding on a cool California breeze calmer than Snoop Dogg himself. Looking back, its easy to see why Paul Pierce carries himself the way he does to this day. It's been said that in Inglewood "You either bang or you ball". Luckily, that chubby kid waking up at 5:30 every day to shoot in the shadow of the the forum understood Dr. Dre's words. "No man can choose the card he was dealt. You either gone quit or you gone play like you get it" Funny how things work. The man who no better could have represented LA in that moment was drafted by the team that could have been no more the opposite. Arch Rival. A city notoriously tough on black players. Just about as far removed from "A state that's untouchable like Elliot Ness" as you could get. The kid that played with that thick skinned Cali-cool knew that making his impression felt was just as much the way you did it as getting it done. Boston has always loved tough. They are a blue collar city. Resilience is respected in any culture across the world, and though Bostonians may not share the same west-coast state of relaxation, watching a man refuse to quit will always be worth its weight. So on September 25th, 2000, when Paul Pierce was stabbed 11 times in his back, neck and face, had a bottle smashed on his head, and underwent lung surgery as a result, Boston watched with bated breath. Pierce has never been in a gang, but it was clear the toughness of Inglewood ran in his veins when on October 30th, just over a month later, Pierce would start the first game of the season. And then every game for the rest of it. He was the truth, and there was no getting around it. That combination of southern California swagger and grit simply dripped from Pierce's skin. He wanted to win, he wanted you to know it was his doing, and he wanted to make it look effortless. He wasn't going to beat you with his athleticism, he wasn't going to muscle you. He wasn't a lightning fast ball handler or passer. He was just going to win. You knew where he was going to go, but he was going to get there, and he was going to win. If Stephen A. Smith thinks Aaron Rodgers is a bad man, then Paul Pierce should be sitting in front of the International Court of Justice. So put yourself in front of one of the oldest, most loyal, most historic crowds in pro basketball. Put yourself on one of the, if not the most iconic hardwoods that has ever graced the association. Put yourself in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now put yourself down by 21, with 9 points on 2-14 shooting, and accept the truth. It seems easy for anyone in this position to accept the truth. Except the Truth. The Jason Kidd led New Jersey Nets 74-53 in game three of the first Eastern Conference Finals since the golden era. With the series tied, losing one at home would be disastrous, and the current trajectory seemed to indicate that would be the case. Now, I'm the type of guy who'd give up the will to live attacked by any animal larger than a golden retriever (reasonably it's more like a bobcat but I'm not sure everyone knows their specifications). Paul Pierce is the type of guy who gets stabbed in the face eleven times and plays a pro sport a month later. The game wasn't over to him. The Truth would catch the ball on the baseline at 11:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. Two jabsteps and a drive to his left and and the lead had been cut to under 20 in the most unassuming way. The broadcaster took note of Pierce's cold blooded nature.- "Of course Pierce a great fourth quarter player" he said, "But The Celtics have put themselves in too big of a hole to make it matter". Talking about anyone else he may have made a safe bet. Co-star Antoine Walker would receive a pass off of a Nets turnover and cut the lead to 17. The broadcast team wearily acknowledging the possibility of a comeback, though there seemed to be little belief outside of the faithfully loud Boston fans and the C's themselves. A minute and 20 seconds after Pierce's first bucket, he again found himself using his trademark "How the fuck is this guy getting to the basket" technique to slip past The Nets defense for an and-one lay in. The crowd grew louder as a spark of emotion erupted from Pierce before he slipped back to his focused calm. Freethrow. 14 point deficit. The Celtics would again regain possession, and again, Pierce would slip to his left hand for a finger roll. The man who had shot and made only 2 of his 14 attempts in the first three quarters had found a solution. Not speed, or athleticism, there was no need yet to shoot. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results. The Truth had never looked more sane. Layup. Layup. Layup. The lead was dwindling. 12 points was the differential, and the crowd had grown so loud the commentators we're forced to yell over the excited buzz. This town knew Paul Pierce by now. 7:47 on the clock. Pierce again finds the ball within 14 feet of the basket and spins through two defenders to easily place the ball over the front rim. 9 points in the fourth quarter alone, yet every standing member of the Boston faithful in The Garden knew those were not his final tallies. By a slight over 6 on the clock the lead had been cut to 8. It was clear that night had already set itself apart from a typical game, but just how far could Paul Pierce's California Love carry the green and white. With another split of a double team, both calculated and controlled, yet effortless and smooth. What Pierce was displaying was different in so many ways. The NBA had seen men dominate by force of will plenty of times in the past. But these players did it with speed, strength, size. Number 34 in green and white seemed to be leading a team whose fate seemed hopeless because it was them or it was him. "It's either my life or your life, And I ain't leaving, I like breathing." - Dr. Dre, The Watcher Freethrow after freethrow the Boston Celtics began their ascent to what would be the greatest comeback in NBA Playoff history at that point. Jason Kidd watched the clock begin ticking away, while a four point lead, then a three point lead continued to look like an in increasing deficit rather than a winning margin. More and more often the camera would cut to the look on New Jersey Head Coach Byron Scott's face, pressed into some sweaty contortion of anger, desperation, and fear. The juxtaposition of the stoicism of Pierce and Jim O'Brian, the Head Coach of the Celtics desperately trying to his his excitement. When Paul Pierce yet again found himself emerging effortlessly like a weed through busted concrete at the rim. A minute and a half remained, The Nets' lead was only three. The Boston Garden was alive, the decibels jumping each time the C's lopped off a chunk of what was once thought to be an insurmountable lead. The free throw is a funny thing in sports. So few opportunities do fans get to view what should be almost guaranteed points. The crowd can feed off of a play that in truth, involves less action than really any other play within the game. But at a home game, when the crowd silently waits in anticipation for the pop of a ball against nylon, the result is unlike anything else in the world.* So when Paul Pierce, The Truth, the league leader in fourth quarter points on the season, hit one. To cut the lead to two. Two. To cut the lead to one. Three. To cut tie the game. and Four. To go up by one with 46 seconds remaining in what would potentially be the greatest comeback in playoff history. Boston Garden may as well have been behind a Boeing 747. The shell shocked Nets' attempts to retaliate would fall flat, turning it over, which would lead to a Kerry Kittles 2 point goaltend on a Kenny Anderson layup, and then watching their next two attempts get blocked. PP, the Celtics, and the City of Boston could let their guard down. For the first time since tip off, Pierce smiled. There would be more of these moments in his future than he could have possibly imagined. When you're from Inglewood, you either bang or you ball. But when Inglewood comes to Boston, when Inglewood brings that west-coast cool to that east-coast determination. You get a cold blooded competitor who can leave an opponent head in hands with nothing left to say but "DAMN I wish he was on my team." Watching him takeover for 19 points in the fourth quarter of that game alone, it's tough to argue the sentiment. Now Paul Pierce is gone from the Celtics. Back to Los Angeles where he made his start. But Paul Pierce never really left Inglewood. He brought it with him everywhere, with the chip on his shoulder, the chip that only the City of Boston could have nurtured. Together they created, without question one of the all time clutchest players we've ever seen. "And if you're wondering where's the proof, You should wait no longer cuz here's the truth" - Dr. Dre, Truth Hurts. *Except for this, which is in my opinion the greatest crowd-athlete interaction ever. As some of you may know, this is part of an ongoing offseason series called Youngblood University. It's a series of stories with GIFs inside to tell the best NBA stories of the 2000s. I like to show them to reddit first, plus you guys help me edit, which is great. Series Intro- The general idea. Episode I. "38"- Jordan scores 51 points at age 38 playing for the Wizards Episode II. "Straight"- Lebron scores 25 points straight to win an ECF game. Episode III. "Gold Standard"- The Redeem Team rebounds from a Bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. The rest of the weird shit I do like Top 10 NBA High School Mixtapes and interviews with @NbaCatwatch are here. Same goes for all those draft prospect player breakdowns with gifs.
How are you? I'm pretty good myself. Here is the Space jam script All of it Michael? What are you doing? lt's after 12. Couldn't sleep, Pops. Neither can we, with the noise you're making. Let's go inside. Just one more shot? All right. Just one. Good. Shoot it again. Getting pretty good. Shoot till you miss. You think if l can get good enough, l can go to college? lf you get good enough, you can do anything you want. l want to play at North Carolina. That's a real fine school. You can get a good education. l want to play on a championship team. Then l want to play in the NBA. All right, let's slow down, son. Shouldn't you get some sleep first? Once l've done all that... ...l want to play baseball, like you. Baseball. Yeah, now, that's a sport. When you've done that... ...l suppose you're going to fly? At this time... ...l've reached the pinnacle of my basketball career and must retire. The one good thing is that my father had the opportunity... ...to see me play my last game. That means a lot. What'll you do now? l've never really told anybody this, except for one person. l'm going to play professional baseball. What are you going to play? l don't know. As a kid, l was a pitcher. l think outfield, because it'll be hard for me to pitch. Let's get out of here. This stinks. Don't bring me again. Don't bring me again. Are you listening? Did you hear him? Did you hear him? That little brat is right. l told you, if l've told you once... ...l told you a thousand, thousand, thousand, thousand times! We need new attractions! New ones! Get it? Big, shiny new things. Absolutely, sir. Look at me and listen: The customer is always right! Right! The customer is always right! Exactly! Always! Right! Okay, we need something. We need something... ...nutty! Something wacky. Wacky! We need something, something.... Looney? Oops! Looney. Thank you! Looney? Yes! Looney! Now you're talking! Looney! Looney! That's it! That's the word l was looking for! Get the Looney Tunes. Bring them here. Sir, just noticing... ...they're from Earth. What if they can't come? What did you say? What if they can't come? Make them. Cool. Make them! We're gonna get them! Strike! Looks good in that uniform. Looks great. Can't teach that. Can't teach it. Thanks for autographing that basketball for my kid. l'm happy to do it. Let's go! Curve ball. Don't swing. Don't...swing. Ball! Fastball, outside corner. Swing. Strike! That was your pitch. l know, l missed it. l'll get you another one. Podolak! Come here. -l'm sorry, l didn't mean to-- -Come here! Make sure that nobody bothers Michael. l want him to be the happiest player. Slider. Don't swing. Strike three! l told you not to! l couldn't help it. l know. Nice talking to you! We're not worried. Good cut. That was a good-looking strikeout. You look good when you strike out. When l do, it looks nasty. At least you look good. Good-looking. Hi, Mr. Jordan. l'm Stan Podolak. Oh, jeez. You okay? That was a nasty fall. l'm Stan Podolak, Mr. Jordan, the Baron's new publicist. l'm here to make your life easier. Can l drive you somewhere? You want me to pick up your laundry, baby-sit your kids? l am here to personally guarantee... ...that no one will ever bother you. What was that? Hang on! -Hanging on! -Hanging on! Are we there yet? -Bombastic! -Cool. You irascible bunny! Come back here, you screwy rodent! l'll be with you in a second, folks, after l finish with nature boy here. All right, you pesky rabbit. l've got you now! One small step for moi.... One giant leap for Moron Mountain! And one whopper headache for Elmer Fudd. Diminutive, ain't they? We seek the one they call Bugs Bunny. -Have you seen him? -Where is he? ls he around? Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny. Say, does he have great big long ears? Like this? Does he hop around... ...like this? Does he say, ''What's up, doc?'' like this: What's up, doc? Nope! Never heard of him. You know, maybe there is no intelligent life... ...out in the universe after all. Hold on there, Mr. Looney Tune. What do you think we are? Stupid? Don't move a muscle. Okay, bunny, gather up your Tune pals. -We're taking you for a ride. -Move it. Totally. All right. So, like, where are we going? Are we there yet? -Sorry it took so long. -Don't worry about it. That exit on 65 wasn't clearly marked. -Hold up, right here. -Here? Thanks, Sherm. -Appreciate it. -lt's Stan, Mike. You can call me Sherm if you want. l follow your career and l think you're the greatest athlete that's ever lived. How do l get out? The door doesn't work. lt's a classic. lt's a classic, but it's got a few peccadillos. Hold on. A few? lt's smoking too. Thanks for the ride. This is nice. This is a nice house. Beautiful. What is that, Colonial? lt's a nice house. lf you need help with the house.... l'm fine, thanks. You gave me a ride. Thanks. l'll drive tomorrow, so l don't need a ride. But thanks, though. Too conspicuous? Yeah. Thanks, though. -Tomorrow! -See you tomorrow. Come on! No, not today! Get off me! Your breath! Mr. Jordan, are you okay? Get off of him, Charles! Bad dog! Git! Pooch, stop it! Get off of him before l cook you! Come on, come on, baby. Get out! Good game. Hey, Jeff, you okay? -How was your game? -l don't want to talk about it. How are you? You're covered with drool! That's your dog. What's wrong with Jeff? He lost 32 points in his average. ls that all? So that puts him at .685 or something. He's batting what? Smells good in here. What you cooking? Chicken. Chicken and what? Collard greens. Good. l need a good meal tonight. ls everything okay? l stunk up the place. Hope baseball was a good idea. It was another career day for Michael Jordan. What're you watching? He had 3 strikeouts. ls this the only thing on TV? What's up with this? His batting average is .214, which is his weight. Get this guy a tennis racquet! Did everyone get mad at you? No. Worse. They were nice about it. I know golf is your sport. But not here. You should open your stance. lt might make you more aggressive. You think so? l'll remember that. Watching this hurt me more than you. Why are you watching this stuff? lt's bad for you. There. Road Runner. Stop this cartoon! We've got an emergency Cartoon Character Union Meeting to go to. Hey, wait for me! Hold your horses! Where'd they go? Stop the music! Top duck coming through! Jeez! lt's getting so a guy can't even get himself wet around here! What's the big emergency? These little guys would like to make an announcement. Here. You... ...all of you... ...are now our prisoners! Oh, we're in big trouble now. We are taking you to our theme park in outer space. No fooling. You'll be our slaves. And placed on display for the amusement of our customers. Oh, fear clutches my breast. We ain't a-going... ...nowheres! Not so fast, doc. You just can't turn us into slaves. That would be bad. You must let us defend ourselves. Oh, yeah? Who says? Just a sec. Read. What's this? ''Give them a chance to defend themselves.'' Do we have to? lt's a rule. Okay. lt is in the rule book. Una momento! We must confer. All right, troops. lt is for us to choose a battlefield that affords us-- l got it. Yes, Private Porkster? How about we challenge them to a... ...spelling bee? Say... ...we could have a bowling tournament. Suffering succotash! What's wrong with you? Let's get a ladder... ...wait till the old lady's gone... ...and grab that little bird! Whoa! Take a deep breath, Sly! Okay, let's analyze the competition. Now what are we looking at here? We got a small race of invading aliens.... Small arms! Short legs! Not very fast. Tiny little guys. Can't jump high. We challenge you to a basketball game. Basketball it is! Basketball! What is basketball? -What's that? -Beats me. We didn't have that in school. Lights! Pardon me! Sorry. Down in front! An exhilarating team sport currently growing rapidly in popularity... ...is basketball. Unlike football and baseball, only 5 men can play on a team. It's a fast-paced, razzle-dazzle game that requires quick wits... ...and even faster reflexes. Here's how it's done professionally. The National Basketball Association... ...featuring the best players in the world. The best players in the world! The best! Excuse me. Oh, so sorry. Excuse me. Get off my nose! Quiet, they're looking! lt's basketball! Where? Whoa! Now what? -She's looking. -Close it up. Tightly. You poked me again. Sweetheart? l thought you'd get better seats. -This is the best l could get. -This guy's doing something weird. Just let me watch the game. Barkley is killing us. Someone's killing someone! No. Seriously? A killer! Let me see! There! That's the killer! He's big. He's good. He's mine! Go get him! Come on! Get back on defense! Let's go! Get back on d! What are you doing? Time out! Call time out! What's wrong with you? Let him in. Open up! Open! He did it. l got it! l got his talent! Super. -Sit down, Chuck. -Man, l'm fine! l am fine! l played you too much. -l'm not tired! -Get the doctor. You all right? You sure? Come on, we're okay. Come on, let's go. Come on, Patrick. Showtime! What's wrong with him? In a shocking development, 5 NBA players were put on the disabled list... ...in the last 24 hours, all suffering from the same mysterious ailment... ...that affects the player's coordination. l'll be home in a few days. Put your mom on. How you doing? Watching TV? What's going on? -You gonna be all right? -I'm ready, Coach. Looks like l retired just in time. l must go. l'll call you later. Love you, bye. lt's open! lt's game time! Lace up your Nikes. Grab your Gatorade and we'll get a Big Mac on the way. Now we go to the Los Angeles Forum... ...where the Lakers are refusing to take the court. Get dressed. We got a game in 5 minutes! We're talking a huge fine. We can't go in the locker room. You heard what happened to Barkley and Ewing. There's germs. Cedric, that was in New York, Bacteria travels faster than the speed of light. Like ''lnvasion of the Body Snatchers.'' All right. Dress in the hallway. Okay, okay, which one of you maroons has ever played basketball? l have, Coach. And there's an important question l must ask you. What do you think? l'm partial to purple and gold. lt's better with my coloring. Nice outfit, Daffy. The little aliens say it's their turn to use the court. Sure, let the little pipsqueaks knock themselves out. Too bad you can't practice getting taller, boys. Hey, little pig! l wet myself. Time to play a little basketball. These little pipsqueaks just turned into superstars! They're monsters! Suffering succotash! They're ''monstars''! Bye-bye. l think we might need some help. Okay, little fella. You my friend? Or my enemy? You are my friend. You are my ally. You are my associate, my personal assistant. You are my weapon. You are leaving. -Great shot. -Nice shot. You can stop posing now. Good try. Not bad. -Something for you to shoot at. -Hit it good. Do my best. Good shot. l know. l must ask you something. The NBA must face reality. What's happening is serious. They're going to need new players with talent. Skilled guys who never really thought about a professional career. Think l got a shot? Come on, really? Don't kid. lt's a man's game. -You can't play. -What if l tried hard? Keep it down. lt's because l'm white. No. Larry's white. So what? Larry's not white. Larry's clear. Get inside his ball! You clowns can't beat that. -My best shot ever. -You haven't played long. A Hall-of-Fame shot. -Nice shot, Mr. Bird. -Larry, please. Nice shot, Mr. Larry. Nice shot. You can do this. Don't be nervous, you can do this. You feel the NBA has to face reality, don't you? Look for some players where they never looked before. Just look at the ball. Visualize where you want it to go. Be the ball. Get off the tee. Can't jump. Go on. Close to the pin? For dinner? -Sounds good. -l'll go close to the pin. l'll have some. Not bad. Good shot. Get down. Look at that spin. Come on! lt is alive! My first hole in one. Never seen one of these. Nothing but the bottom of the cup. -That's his ball too. -Yeah, it's my ball. Wait, let me get a picture! You must smile. Reach in for the ball and then smile, okay? ls this good? Just take the picture! What kind of camera is that? Don't point it at me. -l didn't do anything! -Where'd he go? Look out for that first step, doc, it's a real lulu. Bugs Bunny? You expected the Easter Bunny? You're not real. Not real? lf l weren't real, could l do this? ls that Michael? lt's Michael! lt's Air Jordan. Basketball! l thought l saw.... l did. l did see Michael Jordan. Pardon me, Mr. Jordan. Can l have your auto-- Your John Hancock, please? Let the doctor take a look. A little high. Going down! So, what do you say we go for a little spin? Let's see what we got inside here. Say, ''Ahh.'' All right. He's okay! What's going on here? l thought you'd never ask. These aliens from outer space want to make us slaves in their theme park. They're little. So we challenged them to a basketball game. Then, they ain't so little! They're huge! We need to beat these guys. They're talking about slavery! They'll make us do stand-up, the same jokes every night! We'll be locked up like wild animals, trotted out to perform... ...for a bunch of bug-eyed, fat-headed, humor-challenged aliens! What l'm trying to say is... ...we need your help! l'm a baseball player now. Right. And l'm a Shakespearean actor. Mike? Michael? lt's Stan. Stan Podolak. l need you to come out now, okay? You got a baseball game tomorrow. And I'd look pretty stupid ifyou don't show up. Think he's all right? l hate to leave him. He's fine. l think he just had to get away from that Stan character. He's pathetic, isn't he? l'll give us both twos. We weren't in any kind of emotional state to putt. l think that's fair. lf Mike is gone, the NBA is going to need some new people. There's room at the top. An exciting guy who could even perform at half-time. You know David Stern? A phone call from you.... l want to help... ...but l haven't played in a long time. My timing's off. We'll fix it. Look at our facility. We got hoops. We got weights. We've got balls. You sure do. This place is a mess. You're worried about a mess? There's nothing here a little spit shine wouldn't fix. Spit shine! Lemony-fresh. You guys are nuts. Correction: We're Looney Tunes. And as such are the exclusive property and trademark of Warner Bros. lnc. l'm here! Me too! That hurt. Who are they? Remember the tiny aliens l told you about? You've heard of the Dream Team? We're the Mean Team, wussieman! Wussieman. We're the Monstars. M-o-n-.... Let's see what you got... ...chump! l don't play basketball anymore. ''l don't play basketball anymore.'' Maybe you're chicken. l say, l resemble that remark. You calling me chicken? Come here. Here you go. Take him! Watch the footwork. Can you believe it? Get out of the way! Everybody. Look at your hero now. You guys are making a mistake. You're all washed up, baldy! Baldy? He is not washed up! -Michael's the greatest! -Shut up! My poor little cranium. You okay? Yeah, are you okay? Whoops! You're not scared of them... ...are you? Let's play some basketball. You're...! You're Charles Barkley. Girls! Come on over! Hurry up! Hurry! Look! lt's Charles Barkley! Can l play? You're not Charles Barkley. Just a wanna-be who looks like him. Sorry. Break out. You shouldn't even be here! Be gone! Wanna-be! Be gone! Just a few more tests. Electrolyte levels, glucose, CBCs, RBCs, etc. And we've scheduled a stress test... ...and neurological battery to include EEG and.... And this girl... ...five feet nothing, blocked my shot. When did you first have this dream? lt wasn't a dream! lt really happened! lt climbed up my back... ...and into my brain. Are there other areas... ...besides basketball... ...where you find yourself... ...unable to perform? No! Just asking. l've been MRl'd, EKG'd, x-rayed, laser beamed.... l'll never swear again. l'll never get another technical. l'll never trash-talk. l've got other skills. l could go work on the farm. Really? Or maybe l could go back to the jungle and be a missionary. What are you saying? That l'm trying to disobey my mama? You said that, not me. l love her. Still can't find anything wrong! Maybe nothing's wrong! Maybe it's just in our head. We're fine. lt's psychosomatic. Or has to do with the moon. l'll never date Madonna again. What are you doing? l'm fixing a divot. He's fixing a divot! Has anyone here ever played basketball? l have. l'd like to try out. Hi. My name is Lola Bunny. Lola? Hello! My name's Bugs. You want to play one-on-one, doll? ''Doll''? On the court, Bugs. She's hot! Ready? l got it! l got it! That girl's got some skills. Don't ever call me... ...''doll.'' Check! Nice playing with you. Very smooth. She's obviously nuts about me. Obviously. Mais oui. Where's the ball? Let's do some drills. Can anyone lend me some sneakers? Sneakers? Sorry. Someone must get my gear from my house. Your house? ln 3-D land? Whatever you do... ...remember my North Carolina shorts. Your shorts? From college? l wore them under my Chicago Bulls uniform every game. l washed them after every game! l did! The view back here stinks. We're in front of his house. l knew that! Let's go in this way. l say, let's go in that way! He just never learns! Let me see. l must be very, very... ...close. Mother! Nice digs. Well, well. l wonder who that could be. Twinkle, twinkle, little star. Everyone's sleeping! l knew that. Come on, we must find Michael's basketball stuff. Nope. Nothing in here. Nope. But a very nice dinette set. Not here. Let's look upstairs. Yes, Oh, Fearless Leader. So, he needs his special underwear. Sorry. You think she's got enough toys? Speaking of toys, you know all those mugs and... ...lunch boxes with our pictures on them? You ever see any money from it? -Not a cent. -Me neither. lt's a shame. We need a new agent. We're getting screwed. We've found the trophy room. Spread out and search the place. Yes, sahib. Oh, brother. Here l am, in the peak of my form... ...playing second banana to some sort of harebrain.... This could be useful. lf this were a union job.... That's very nice. -l could use this. -One of his shoes. Where is the other shoe? Where are you? Eureka! Come to Papa. What a fuzz-foot. You are so clumsy. Catch. Thanks. Time to go. Did we get everything? The shorts! ln there? Okay, l'll check. l found the shorts. The pain! l'm right behind you. That's not reassuring. Nice puppy. Want a bone? No dice. How about a nice ham? Can't we talk this over? Down, Beethoven. The kids are here. Give it. Here. Thanks, kid. Bad dog! That is the last time l'm ever working with dogs or children. Where you going? You see, the Looney Tunes have a big basketball game coming up and... -...your dad's playing. -All right! Yeah! But don't tell anybody! l see aliens. Little aliens from outer space. They forced their way inside your bodies. They need your talent to win a... ...basketball game against... ...Bugs Bunny. l also see Michael Jordan... ...being sucked down a golf hole... ...by furry creatures. That's it. We're going. We're leaving. Let's try acupuncture. Good idea. This is it! This is it! l don't know where you are... ...but you obviously enjoy being there more than being with me! You better hope this Jordan character still can play. You and me both, brother. Listen, how is this for a new team name: The Ducks. Please! What kind of Mickey Mouse organization would name a team that? So sue me. lt's just a suggestion. You're doing it! You're becoming mighty! Go! No pain, no gain. Guys? Look who's finally ready to play! Let's see if l remember how. ls it really you? Thank God you're all right! l was so worried! Come on, Stan. Don't hug me, please. Sorry. -Why are you here? -l must take you back for practice. l can't. l'm helping my friends in their basketball game. Your friends are cartoon characters. Yeah. So? lt doesn't bother me. Let me help? Let me help! l can help! What can you do? l may not be tall, but... ...l'm slow. And large. And a dork! l'll do anything! Anything! Anything? Anything. Come here. Come here for a second. Sit right here. No problem. All right! All right, let's go, team! lf someone gets injured, we could see a lot of minutes. l'm a cheerleader. Mr. Commissioner, the place is sealed off. Quiet! Listen. After meeting with team owners... ...l decided that until we can guarantee... ...the health of our players... ...there will be no more basketball this season. Just get out of my way. Ready? Let's go! Are these the best seats? Like them! Can see everything from here! Very good! Ready to go? Yeah, sure. Riot! Ladies and gentlemen... ...the starting lineup for... ...the Tune Squad! Standing 2 foot 4... ...The Wonder From Down Under... ...the Tazmanian Devil! At small forward... ...standing a scintillating 3 foot 2... ...The Heartthrob of the Hoops... ...Lola Bunny! At power forward... ...The Quackster of the Courts: Daffy Duck! Thank you! Thank you! Very funny. Let's all laugh at the duck. And at point guard... ...standing 3 foot 3, ...co-captain of the Tune Squad... ...The Doctor of Delight: Bugs Bunny! Thank you! Thank you! And now... ...the player-coach of the Tune Squad... ...at 6 foot 6, from North Carolina... ...His Royal Airness: Michael Jordan! Who? ls he a Looney Tune? Perhaps. Ready? l'll take it to the rack. They'll wish they never were born! Guys, let's just go out and have fun. The challengers for the Ultimate Game... ...all the way from Moron Mountain: The Monstars! Go Monstars! Go Monstars! Go Monstars! What are you looking at? Cool shoes. Ready? l got it! l got the ball! Way to go! Did you see the moves on that one? Come on. Show me something! The duck! Oh, my! She was wide open. Watch the screen! Watch out! Get him! How did he do that? Nice shot, Mr. J. Let's play defense. Way to go! Air J! Red light! Feed me! Feed you? Feed me! -Bad old putty tat! -l'll take that. Don't try this at home! ''l wish l was in the land of--'' Going somewhere? May l remind you, sir... ...that physical violence is patently against the rules! Did you order Original Recipe or Extra Crispy? Let's go. Me? l'm ready. l can do this. You picked the mouse? l love basketball. l always have. Do you? l bet you're good. l'm small, but l try hard to be good. l always try hard. My mom says, ''Try your best--'' Try to get by me, doll. ''Doll''? Don't ever call me... ...''doll.'' Nice shot. There's the defense boy. l got you. Pie? Pork chop? Sorbet, perhaps? Half-time. Holy Putty Tat! We're better than them. We got them. Moron Mountain, here we come. We're going to be slaves. There's a whole other half to play. lt's the boss. Hello, Mr. Swackhammer! All right. Not bad for the first half. But we must keep this up. No problem. We stole talent from the NBA players! From the NBA! Shut up! l smell something. We've been playing hard. Not you, you idiot! lt's coming from over here. That locker. Look! lt's the chubby boy! lt smells like a... ...spy! You guys need a publicist? l can make you big. -l know we're down. -Let's hear the story. l've been here before. We can still win this. lt's not over. We must come together. We must believe in ourselves. That'll help us. Looks like Stan had a close encounter with a bug-zapper. The Monstars! The Monstars! That must hurt. The Monstars! The Monstars... ...stole the talent from the NBA players. So that's what happened to them. l think we should qui-- qui-- forfeit. Listen, l didn't get dragged down here to lose to ugly Monstars. l ain't going out like that. We're letting them push us! We must fight back! We must get right in their faces! Well? Are you with me or not? Finished? Great speech and all. You had them riveted. But didn't you forget something? Your secret stuff! Nice deltoids! Play along. Stop hogging it. We're teammates! Secret stuff? Secret stuff? You wouldn't hold out on us, would you? No. l didn't think you needed it. You're so tough. You're competitive. We're also chicken. We need it bad. -l'd like some of that. -Could l have a sip, please? This goes against everything l learned in health class. Do you want to win? Bottoms up. Yummy. How about we go out and kick some alien butt? How about it? Ready? Open! Coming through! Special delivery! Nice kaboom. Let's teach them a lesson. Nice butt! Going up! Slammy! Hello! A little surprise for you, my friends. This will be good. Okay, birdie! Time out! Shut up, get away from me. Powwow! We're right back in this game. Let's play tough defense. Why didn't you get him? He's a baseball player. A baseball player. Looks like a basketball player to me. Me too. He's the one l want for Moron Mountain. Are you talking to me? Yeah, l am. You want a piece of me? Come and get it! What do you have in mind? What about we raise the stakes? lnteresting. lf we win, you give the NBA players their talent back. But what if we win? lf you win? You get me. Good deal. Doc, you think that's a good idea? You'll be our star attraction. You'll sign autographs all day long. And play one-on-one with the paying customers. And lose. Do we have a deal? Deal. l don't think you should do this. l have faith in my team. Crush them! Defeating time, boys. Good-bye! Fore! But, Mommy, l don't want to go to school today. l want to stay home and bake cookies with you. l'm open! Heads up! Belly flop! Oh, my! ls this your man? You okay? Me? Oh, yeah. l'm fine. Are you okay? Thank you. lt was nothing. That was the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me. Time out. l could have been a contender! The Monstars! The Monstars! l could have had a V-8! We need a fifth player. You got any more secret stuff? l think it's starting to wear off. lt didn't wear off. lt was water. You guys had the ''special stuff'' inside you all along. Yeah, l knew that. But you got any more? Can l have some? -Stan? -Me? You're center. Just guard the big guy. Guard him? l'll smother him! l'll be all over him like a cheap suit! l'll be on him like stink on rice! He's going down! Over here! Over here! l'm open! Nice shot! Big man, ain't he? Let's get him out of here! Oh, my! How'd he do that? Anyone can do that. Even you. Watch this. No sweat. This is Looney Tune Land. Thanks for telling me, doc. l hate to be the bearer of bad news, Your Airness... ...but if you don't find a fifth player, your team will forfeit the game. Forfeit? Precisely, Sir Altitude. No way. We'll find someone. l didn't know Dan Ackroyd was in this picture! Perhaps l could be of some assistance? That's our fifth guy. Now you get to live your dream. Let's go. -We need to score 2 points. -Here's how l see it. You kick it to the girl bunny down in the post. You dish it to Bugs. You swing it to Mike. You go to the hole. -And dominate! -We're on defense! l don't play defense. Typical. You must listen to Mike on this. Someone steal the ball, get it to me and l'll score. Don't lose that confidence! Paws and wings in here! Okay! This is why l was born. l thrive on pressure. Excuse me, sorry. Easy on the trousers, Daf. Pardon me. Mr. Murray, something's really been bugging me. Just how did you get here? Producer's a friend of mine. Had a teamster drop me off. That's how it goes. You see this chunky fellow? That's good! Let's do it! Play fair. Don't choke now. Come on. lt's gut-check time! This must be mine. l'm going this way! l'm going left! Never trust an Earthling! Get the girl! Come on! l'm open! -That's mine! -Not today! Bring it on, dude. You're mine! l'm open! Never mind. The Tunes win! Nice pass. Great stretch at the basket too. You really got some skills. You could play in the NBA. Thanks, Mike. l'll probably quote you on that. But l'm going to take this opportunity to retire from the game. Come on. No, l'm going to retire right now and that's it. l'm going to go out undefeated. That's how it will be. -You go celebrate. -Come with us. l'd like to, but l have to ice down my knees now. They're starting to go. Good-bye. See you. You sure? Yes. Definitely sure. Definitely. -Losers! -Sorry. -Choke artists! -Sorry again. Wait till l get you back on Moron Mountain. The party's over! Get in the spaceship. Why do you take that? Because he's bigger. He's bigger? Than we used... ...to be. What're you doing? -Wait! What are you doing? Wait! -Come here. Had it in you all the time. One thing. Pass me the ball, Bugs. Give my friends their talent back. Do we have to? lt's part of the deal. Touch the ball. Fair is fair. Touch it. That was so much fun. l feel so... ...insignificant. My clothes don't fit. What a trip! l'm up for another! Can we ask you a favor, Mr. Bunny? We don't want to go back. -We hate it there. -lt stinks. l was thinking, could we stay here? Please! Oh, brother. l don't know if you guys are looney enough. Looney enough? Do you know what time it is? Seven-fift-- Seven-fift-- Quarter past seven. You have a baseball game in 5 minutes! Okay. Take this. ls it safe? Yeah, put it in my bag. Let's go. l enjoyed playing with you. You've got a lot of.... Whatever it is, you got a lot of it. Got to go. Stay out of trouble. You know l will. Come here! The delay is killing us. Where's Michael? Where is Michael? He's not back from his other game. What game? What other game? Ladies and gentlemen... ...Michael Jordan! Guys... ...we suck! My grandmother plays better. You guys are still tall. l'm nothing now. Just a short guy. You're right. That's the only thing you got right. -Who's that? -Who is it? l don't know. You've been getting beaten. lt's Mike. -What's up? -Why're you here? Don't be embarrassed. Just face it. You stink. Lighten up. l know. You want your games back. What games you had. lt's hard enough as it is. Give us a break. l'm going to regret this. Give me the ball. lt's like ''Star Trek.'' Touch it. No way, Jose. You want your talent back? Just touch it. -l don't know. -Don't touch it. You'll walk around with a bad game for the rest of your career. Touch it. Careful, Pat. We've tried everything else. Come on. Touch it. The rest of you. Just touch it. -What was that? -l liked that. l caught it! Look at Mugsey handle the rock! l can handle it again! That's the old Mugs l know. Yeah, get height now! lt gave me my powers back! Let me show you something. The Round-Mound is back! Want to see something? That felt good! -l got it. -You got it. Yeah, baby. Stay. Play some 3-on-3 with us? l don't think so. You going to work on your swing? Leave the baseball player alone. He doesn't play basketball now. He probably doesn't have it anymore. Do you hear them? They don't think you can play the game. There's one way to find out. The Chicago Bulls is proud to welcome back... ...Michael Jordan! What's the matter? Larry could have been me. Will you get off that kick? lt's over. lt's done with. You can't play. Let's go, Bulls! Well, that's all, folks! That's my line. Step aside, Babe. Let a star do this. That's all-- That's all, folks! Can l go home now?
[Very long, but I know you have nothing better to do] [EDIT: Tried to fix formatting. And for those who live in terrible places - take a joke!] When NBA players reach the rare points of their careers when they actually have the unfettered discretion to choose where they want to live and play basketball, they choose different places for different reasons. Where would he have the best opportunity to contend for a championship? Who can pay him the most money? Where can he be the number one option and play the way he wants to play? Who has the best coach and front office? Which city has the best weather? Which city has the best clubs? The best strip clubs? Proximity to models? Proximity to Kardashians? Where did he grow up? Recently, every slight compliment that Kevin Durant bestows on a team or a town leads to wild speculation of where he will play next season. As the biggest free agent since Lebron took his talents to South Beach in 2010 and since he took his somewhat fading talents back to Lake Erie in 2014, there is good reason to speculate about KD’s future. In all likelihood, his carefully crafted decision will lead to five years of playing for the Larry O’Brien trophy no matter which jersey he dons. The complexities of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the increasing intelligence of most front offices in the league (sorry Sacramento), and the ability to be marketable from anywhere in a globalized economy have changed the way that players make decisions. It is no longer about forcing yourself to the biggest market, which historically, have been the places where a player was most likely to win. A monstrous television deal that will only increase in the next couple of years has leveled the playing field. As has a CBA where a team actually has to plan and make smart decisions to manage their salary cap situation. But let’s pretend that it’s just about the city and the history of the franchise (but not the active basketball operations, coach and players. So – for example – we can say Michael Jordan played there! But, we cannot factor in Fred Hoiberg, the general current management of the team or the fact that you can play with Jimmy Butler). All else being equal – which NBA locations/teams are the most attractive to NBA players? Remember, we are looking at this from the perspective of young millionaires. BIG CITY, BRIGHT LIGHTS:
Los Angeles Lakers
It used to be like the rap wars of the mid-1990s. East Coast or West Coast? Biggie or Pac? New York or L.A.? Los Angeles had Hollywood opportunities (What if I told you that you get play a 7 foot genie, star alongside Francis Capra and Da Brat and be directed by the genius behind The Cutting Edge and three episodes of Miami Vice?) Jack Nicholson watching courtside, young actresses (and aspiring ones) flooding the Forum Club and then Hyde at the Staples Center. You could have a mansion in Beverly Hills or on the Strand in Manhattan Beach. A player could enjoy the finest well-done steaks at Mastro’s. Or you could live in a Park Avenue penthouse. Give high-fives to Jay-Z. Get your boy a guest spot on Law & Order SVU. 4:00 a.m. nights with models in Tribeca and SOHO. And most importantly, being in the center of the media universe could make you as marketable as…Patrick Ewing? But times have changed. In the age of Twitter and Vine, League Pass, and nationally televised games, no matter where you are, players don’t needNew York. They don’t need L.A. But they still want L.A. The perfect weather and the pull of Hollywood, which remains the epicenter of the entertainment industry. A place where you can blend in and be afforded a little more privacy because residents are more excited by encounters with Jax fromVanderpump Rules. Los Angeles remains the place where you can play for one of the two most storied teams in the league, while being able to roll along Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible maroon Bentley on a 78 degree January afternoon. It is the Lakers history that puts L.A. at the top. Veterans grew up watching the late Magic years. Younger players grew up watching the Kobe-Shaq dynasty or the Kobe-Pau years. The games under the Showtime lighting, framed yellow jerseys and 16 championship banners just feel different. It is one thing to be an NBA player. It is a whole other to be a Laker.
It’s pretty much Los Angeles, but with the occasional hurricane, worse humidity, and Cuban telenovelas instead of big-budget motion pictures. Miami still has the beach and the clear and beautiful warm waters of South Florida. NBA players love neon lights and other bright shit, making South Beach a favorite. There are the palm trees and the waterfront mansions. A player can still date models. Prime 112 has tempura lobster (A Jalen Rose favorite). Alonzo Mourning and the late 1990s teams brought legitimacy to a new organization. Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley turned them into a premiere franchise and Lebron and the big-three era catapulted the Heat to arguably becoming the most marquee NBA franchise, other than the Lakers and Spurs, in the post-Jordan era. Also, in case you forgot every Cribs episode, never underestimate an NBA player’s adoration for Scarface. BIG CITY, NOT AS BRIGHT LIGHTS:
Los Angeles Clippers
Basically the Lakers, but with selfies hanging inside Staples instead of championship banners and nostalgia for Eric Piatkowski instead of Magic Johnson. The trash organization gained legitimacy when the NBA evicted their slumlord owner and brought in a tech billionaire whose products are not used by a single person in Los Angeles, most of whom are working on Broad City spec scripts at their local coffee shop. The marketability factor is still present with opportunities for players to be the king of insurance or mid-tier Korean family sedans. It’s still Los Angeles and a player can always go out on Sunset and pretend he is on the Lakers.
New York Knicks
We pretend the Knicks are the unheralded kings of free agency. That everyone dreams of playing at the Garden and living in New York. But unless you grew up in the five boroughs - no one liked Ewing, Starks, Oak and Anthony Mason (RIP). Most NBA players would not know if Bernard King played on the Knicks between 1983-1987 or 1963-1967. The oldest active player in the NBA (the professor, Andre Miller) was born approximately three years AFTER the Knicks last won an NBA championship. Sorry, the Knicks aren’t a premiere NBA organization. And this is without even mentioning James Dolan. And - contrary to popular opinion - New York City is not the premiere place to live if you are an NBA superstar. A player would rather live in a sprawling 8,000 square foot mansion with a regulation sized basketball court, shark tank, nine-hole golf course, and a Ritz Carlton quality pool than pay $10 million for a 2,000 square foot apartment or brownstone. Your average NBA player would rather eat at The Cheesecake Factory than the awesome hole-in-the-wall Pho spot or David Chang’s latest Michelin rated restaurant. NBA players aren’t known to spend Saturday afternoons strolling the Museum of Modern Art or checking out trendy and provocative performance art projects in Bushwick warehouses. It isn’t 1981, so nearly every NBA city has some semblance of nightlife where a player can enjoy a bottle of Dom P, VIP area, and have a flock of jersey-chasers clamoring for attention. NBA players don’t fuck with the Subway. New York is really cold during approximately 80% of the NBA regular season. But even though I spent approximately 300 words shitting on New York, it’s still New York. Just ask JR Smith. [NOTE – THIS ABOVE PARAGRAPH DOES NOT APPLY TO YOU IF YOU ARE MARRIED TO LA LA].
The team’s history is buried in a swamp in New Jersey. The legacy of the team since it has moved to Brooklyn centers around former stars who were collective decades removed from their primes. NBA players are not Lena Dunham. It’s still New York, but not quite. Basically the New York Clippers. Having a Russian Oligarch multi-billionaire for an owner is pretty cool. NOT L.A. OR MIAMI, BUT THE WEATHER IS NICE
It’s hot. There is good food and lots of chain restaurants. Huge houses for cheap and no state taxes. Paul Wall, Mike Jones (who?) and Chamillionaire were at the height of their popularity when most of these guys were in junior high and high school. Hakeem might help you with your footwork. Allegedly, great strip clubs.
It’s hot. There are quality steakhouses and lots of chain restaurants. Huge houses for cheap and no state taxes. Unfortunately, no strong rap history. No one to help you with your footwork, but Cuban provides the best perks (remember when he put a Playstation 2 in every player’s locker back in 2002?) A lot of players are Dallas Cowboys fans because they are front-running assholes who grew up with the Irvin, Emmett and Aikman teams. Allegedly, great strip clubs. And if Chandler Parsons chose to play there you know it is a good time.
It’s really hot. There are lots of chain restaurants. Huge houses for cheap, but there are state taxes. Unfortunately, no strong rap history. NBA players treat Phoenix as if it is a distant suburb of Los Angeles. Few models, but plenty of surgically enhanced cleavage and Arizona State Coeds. More NBA players than you think golf. Pool parties where players can wear socks, rubber Nike sandals, and two pairs of oversized basketball shorts. The Steve Nash teams revolutionized basketball and rescued the NBA from the 84-79 point games era. Barkley took them to the Finals against Jordan and maybe a player can get invited to his poker game (hope he makes a max-level salary!)
Players have been known to live on lakes and jet-ski to each other’s houses to play Madden, which sounds like exactly the kind of life I would have liked to have led when I was 17. The weather is really nice and it’s almost tropical. It’s basically Miami, but rednecks instead of Latin people and New York retirees, lakes instead of the ocean, and strip malls and Disney World instead of any semblance of nightlife. Those D12 teams were underrated (beat Lebron in his prime), but no one has ever said “Dwight Howard did it, so you know it is a good idea.” Some goodwill remains from the Penny-Shaq era. Everyone forgets that T-Mac and Grant Hill played here. THE CITIES THAT SHOULD BE HIGHER
It is a mystery why Atlanta is not a more popular NBA city. You would think Atlanta would be at the center of the Venn diagram of where rappers and NBA players want to live. But apparently, NBA players don’t care too much about fraternizing with 2 Chainz, Outkast, Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri, Gucci Mane, Lil Jon, and Young Jeezy. It isn’t San Diego, but the weather is nice. The food is good. You can buy a Southern estate for about the price of a condo in Inglewood. You might be able to get a cameo on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Freaknik is in Atlanta, even though its heyday has long since passed. It’s at the top of the list of where traveling NBA players play like shit. Atlanta has arguably the best clubs of NBA cities that are not Los Angeles, New York, or Miami. Of course, I have to bring up The Gold Club, where you can feel free to hang around a little bit and talk to them, then leave. It’s one of the two major African-American metropoles in the country. Highlights of the Hawks history are basically limited to the 2015 team getting swept in the conference finals, that time Joe Johnson hit a three, and Dominique Wilkins almost (he should have) beating MJ in the 1988 dunk contest. Maybe that’s why guys don’t want to play here.
Affectionately nicknamed Chocolate City. But basketball has really never mattered in DC outside of Georgetown hoops. THEY ARE REALLY GOOD AT BASKETBALL, BUT THAT’S ABOUT IT:
San Antonio Spurs
What would San Antonio be without the Spurs? The answer is El Paso. No one wants to live in El Paso. This is a good reminder that this list does not consider the strength of the present-day organization, but it does factor in the history of the organization. Therefore, the Spurs get a bump for having five titles, four of which no one cares much about. There’s a better chance of Fox News covering a Bernie Sanders rally than Hardwood Classics ever airing a game from the New Jersey Nets and San Antonio Spurs 2003 Finals. San Antonio is, in essence, Dallas or Houston, but they tend to fare worse in the most obese cities rankings, more residents speak Spanish, and the chain restaurants are next to a dirty river. I am not sure any NBA players remember the Alamo. REMEMBER THAT WE ARE NOT FACTORING IN STEPH CURRY:
Golden State Warriors
Two years ago you would probably agree with this placement. Now you probably think I am insane, stupid or both. But in my completely arbitrary and not very well contemplated rules for this exercise, you don’t get to factor in playing with Steph and company, but you do get to factor in the insane current popularity of the franchise, which has been propelled by Steph and company. So – ummm – make sense? Until this ongoing Warriors run, Golden State was akin to Milwaukee west. The years of Run TMC were all too brief and the most prominent superstar (before Steph) claimed by this franchise shot free throws underhand and is widely regarded as the most despised Top-50 player and champion in league history. And as much as tech-bros are popularizing Northern California, NBA players aren’t exactly swayed by the most European of NBA cities. Other than Boris Diaw and Tony Parker, not many NBA guys would enjoy a nice red at a sidewalk café on a foggy San Francisco afternoon and coordinate team day-trips to Napa. BIG CITIES, SHIT IT’S COLD:
The greatest of all-time wore number 23. No NBA team’s identity is as much ingrained in the image of a single player. The Lakers are the Lakers even without one of Kareem, West, Wilt, Magic, Shaq, or Kobe. The Celtics are the Celtics even without one of Bill Russell, Bird, KG, or Pierce. The Bulls are the Timberwolves without Jordan. MJ has rewritten the history of the franchise so extensively that people forget that they were one of the league’s most dogshit franchises when they drafted Jordan out of North Carolina. To play in Chicago is to follow in Jordan’s footsteps, but unfortunately, the shadow he casts is so large that players are hesitant to fill those Air Jordan’s. Lebron – allegedly – scoffed when Chicago’s pitch to him in 2010 was exactly that. The Bulls sent him a pair of Jordans with an accompanying message: “Do you dare to fill these shoes?” We know how he answered. “Fuck no!” And that seems to be the attitude that modern superstars hold. Why would I go to a team where – no matter what I do and how many championships I win – I’ll never be Michael? Chicago is the pride of the prairie. It’s the grandest American city outside of L.A. or NYC. But it is also the windy city and the most frigid big city in the country, where gusts off of Lake Michigan will literally pain your bones. Unless you are an opera connoisseur, it doesn’t hold much appeal over many of the NBA’s mid-sized cities. There’s a reason in Kanye West’s Good Life, he raps: “The good life, it feel like Atlanta, it feel like L.A., it feel like Miami. It feel like N.Y., summertime Chi, ahhh, now throw your hands up in the sky.” Summertime Chi. As in – great place to play for the Cubs! But stay the fuck away during the NBA season.
How can the team with the most championships in NBA history be as low as 15? Why are the Celtics ranked below the Bulls when they have 11 more titles? Because even though Boston has the richest basketball history in the NBA, it also has - well - Boston history. Just ask Bill Russell about that. Even if Boston is a more friendly city to African-Americans in 2016 than the city was in 1966, it still has never been a free agent destination. The recent Big 3 era was orchestrated via trades rather than free agency, even if KG ultimately agreed to join Pierce and Jesus Shuttlesworth to win his first and only ring. But he was apprehensive, even calling Bill Russell to seek advice. Boston is a tremendous place to live, to go to college or graduate school, to be Irish, and the optimal place to be if you’re a fan of the Dropkick Murphy’s, where bagpipe-punk ballads are bar staples on far more than just St. Patrick’s Day. Memories of the Garden and Bird and the other several hall-of-famers certainly serves as a strong recruiting factor. But when New England poet Robert Frost poses the question about two roads diverged in a yellow wood, the NBA millionaire is not going to choose either road that leads to the frigid Boston winters, no matter how pretty the foliage when the season begins.
It is Canada. Which is not the United States. Which means it is a pain in the ass to deal with currency conversion. And you have to file taxes (which are higher in Canada) in two separate countries. Toronto is possibly the most metropolitan and lively large North American city outside of New York. Because I have not been to Toronto as an adult, I Googled the best clubs in the city to get a feel for how well those Canada nights complement the life of an NBA star. Number one as of July 2015 was Uniun, which sounds like a failing Vegas club at New York, New York, which not so successfully attempts to emulate some chic Manhattan spot. Here is the description: “Owned by the Ariana Grande of the Toronto club scene, Charles Khabouth…” So yeah, apparently a Lebanese Canadian club owner and hotelier in his fifties is the Ariana Grande of the Toronto club scene. Makes sense. Some other Union gems: BEERS ON TAP: None, but bottles of Heineken, Coors, Corona, and Molson Canadian. BAR SNACKS: None as of yet. WHO GOES THERE: Dressed-up fans of electronic music, beautiful people in their 20s and 30s. That place sounds TERRIBLE. I bet Jonas Valanciunas has a standing table reservation. In Toronto, English is still the primary language. While perhaps too similar to the Bratislava clubs in Eurotrip, there are numerous nightlife options. There is an abundance of diversity. Most importantly for NBA players, there is a Benihana! But it is cold. Really cold. Like colder than Boston, Chicago or New York cold. And if you’re learning anything from this list, it’s that NBA players do not like being in the cold. Which is a primary reason that the Western Conference has been dominant for two decades. Even if NBA players have a debaucherous time on the road when traveling up to The North - it’s hard to shake the perceptions that are formed in childhood. And nearly every NBA player grew up thinking of Canada, even places like Toronto, as an uninhabited frozen wasteland with the occasional igloo and Eskimo. Three years ago Toronto would be ten spots lower on this list, but it’s helpful to have your ambassador and biggest celebrity fan be the most popular rapper on the planet. Drake might be worth more to this franchise than Lebron is worth to Cleveland. MEMPHIS:
It’s a smaller town than the warmer cities listed above and the weather is less desirable. It’s one of the top cities for BBQ in the country, and perhaps, the best of any NBA city. Beale Street is apparently fun. It is more of a blue-collar city than NBA players typically prefer, but at least it is not in the Rust Belt. It is rated higher than similarly sized and geographically located cities Charlotte and New Orleans because the grit & grind era gave Memphis a distinct basketball identity that resonates with fans. The three most exhilarating things currently in the NBA are Russell Westbrook attacking the rim at full speed, Steph Curry pulling up from 40 and the Memphis PA system bumping Whoop That Trick during a crucial fourth quarter playoffs timeout. If only NBA players were bigger fans of Elvis. THE GREAT OUTDOORS:
The last remaining frontier of professional basketball in the Great American Northwest. Portland, as a city, has undergone a surge of popularity among America’s twenty-somethings, inspiring such articles as the Washington Post’s Why quirky Portland is winning the battle for young college grads. Oregon has lakes, streams, rivers, trees and picturesque mountains. It also has one of America’s most infamous foodie scenes and thousands of clones of young Bill Walton, albeit the political and socially-conscious new anti-yuppies of Portland lack The Big Redhead’s size and athletic ability. But riding a fixie bike does keep those quads strong. While natural scenic beauty and hiking have not historically been strong sellers to NBA free agents, Portland - or at least nearby Beaverton - does have one thing that turns the heads of young athletes…The Swoosh. The Blazers also boast an NBA title, one of the better logo/color scheme combinations in professional sports, a devoted cult-like local following, and hall-of-famers across multiple generations. If only it did not rain so fucking much.
I’d personally rather live in Denver than any NBA city outside of Los Angeles, but I reckon I enjoy snowboarding, the mountains and IPAs more than your average professional basketball player. My team-building strategy for the Nuggets would be to target all Euro stars and convince them that living in the mile high city is like residing in an eighties ski movie, which it probably is for Gallinari. Vail and Aspen are surely suitable stand-ins for the Swiss Alps. I would also try to work on getting Kendrick Lamar a residency at Red Rocks. Unfortunately, among the most forgotten teams and players from the eighties were the really fun Fat Lever and Alex English led scoring machines. Fresh in the minds of most players is Melo’s slow and painful mid-season exit and there’s no other recent period in Nuggets history which serves as a draw for free agents. But once the NBA gets out of the weed regulation business and ceases testing for non-performance enhancing drugs and non-narcotics, you can go ahead and bump the Nugs up a spot or ten. THE PROCESS:
The city of brotherly love is the fifth largest United States city. But just because it is big doesn’t mean that there is anything notable about the town. No one talks about the restaurants or the bars or the museums or anything that has really happened since the 18th century. There is the liberty bell, so that’s cool? Most people only know about Philadelphia because of Ben Franklin book reports in fourth grade. Alllen Iverson was just interviewed by Complex Magazine and said his favorite thing to do in Philly was go to TGI Fridays. But people remember Dr. J and Moses Malone. And more recently, Allen Iverson had his best years in Philly and brought them to the Finals and I am not going to underestimate AI’s impact, as he is up there with Jordan as one of the most iconic and culturally transformative players to ever pick up an orange ball. Too bad Sam Hinkie has worked his hardest to demolish a once proud franchise’s reputation. At least Philadelphia is not Milwaukee or Detroit. NICE CLIMATE, TOO REGIONAL:
New Orleans Pelicans
I don’t have a lot of history to go on here, since The Big Easy has been a permanent NBA town for about a decade. It seems like a pleasant enough place to live. It is inexpensive. The cuisine is excellent. You can hear the best Jazz of your life on an unassuming street corner. You can legally walk down the street with a drink in your hand. You can legally gamble. No one seems to mind if you urinate outside a bar in the French Quarter at five in the morning. There are Southern mansions and a quieter life available in the burbs. Cash Money records reps the 504, but unfortunately, I’m not sure Lil Wayne carries the same weight in 2016 as he did when he ruled the aughts. There’s an NCIS here now. The weather is mostly mild during the NBA season, but the worst natural disaster in United States history likely still looms large in player’s minds. Even if it is home to Mardi Gras and is essentially the Vegas of the American South, it’s still a very small town and that historically has not played well with NBA dudes. I just have the feeling it’s more likely for a player’s bachelor party than it is as a permanent residence. But New Orleans’ place on this list should be revisited in five or so years.
Everyone in Charlotte is a bank teller, financial analyst at a large commercial bank, works for the Federal Reserve or worships at the altar of Dale Earnhardt. I am surprised that the professional sports teams in the state don’t have a permanent 3 patched onto the breast of the team jerseys. Charlotte is where SEC and ACC grads end up if they didn’t get jobs in Atlanta. Other than middle-management at a regional office and NASCAR, when I think of Charlotte, one other thing comes to mind - college hoops. Jordan, Worthy, Stackhouse, Vince, Sheed and Dean Smith. Tar Heels versus Blue Devils. Pro basketball has already died once in Charlotte, but was singlehandedly resurrected by the greatest basketball player of all-time who just so happened to be from the state. If MJ was raised in Detroit, L.A. or Chicago, the Charlotte Hornets would be the Seattle Sonics 2.0 or the Kansas City Jayhawks. But every male between 30 and 35 years old, no matter where they grew up in the U.S., had a teal Hornets Starter Jacket. If the Hornets want to increase their free agency rankings, they need to go back to their early-to-mid 90s LJ and Zo throwback attire. They also need to make Grandmama the permanent mascot. And at least for the next five to seven years - the front office can lure free agents with 50 yard line seats to see Cam Newton. FACTORY TOWNS AND KIND OF A CALIFORNIA TOWN:
The epicenter of the desolate remains of once proud American manufacturing. If you sign with the Pistons, they may be able to hook you up with a good deal on a Ford Explorer. Living options are between a dilapidated warehouse in downtown Detroit or a 10,000 square foot mansion in a Pleasantville-esque suburb, which are similar to the Northside burbs of Chicago, but if Chicago itself no longer existed and it was even colder. But the Pistons do well with adopting the persona of Detroit toughness. From the Bad Boys to the Billups-Rip-Tayshaun-Sheed-Ben Wallace squad. So a player can feel good about being perceived as a badass, but will soon learn why everyone respects his toughness and resilience, he has to live in Detroit.
It sounds appealing to work and live in the capital of California, until you realize that the capital of California is Sacramento. The current Kings arena – Sleep Train (formerly Arco) – is located in a cow pasture. The best thing about Sacramento is the approximate 100 mile distance to Lake Tahoe and 90 mile distance to San Francisco. When your best selling point is being located not that far away from better places, it does not speak all that highly about your city. Sacramento…at least we’re not Barstow. The Maloof bros sold, so there is no longer access to free Vegas depravity. The Webber-Bibby-Peja-Vlade years were fun, but the franchise has since slowly slid into complete chaos and incompetence. They should just ditch the new digs and move to Orange County (which would immediately be a top three free agent destination), where players can live in Newport and Laguna Beach and not have to wait until retirement to hit on cougars at Javier’s.
Reggie Miller scoring eight points in nine seconds and miming the choking sign to Spike Lee single-handedly keeps the Pacers out of the bottom of the barrel. Aside from Hoosiers, Bobby Knight, Peyton Manning before the neck, Andrew Luck, Parks and Recreation, the beginning of The Jackson 5 and the non-NASCAR kind of racing, I don’t know much about Indiana. I know Notre Dame is in South Bend, but the Irish pretty much exist independently of the State. Apparently you can fish there, which Roy Hibbert and Paul George taught us that a friendly team fishing expedition can heal deep wounds. So…here we are. Indiana!
I’ll start with the obvious – if I was factoring in playing with Lebron, the Cavs would be near the top of these rankings. Although, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving might argue differently. Before Lebron Round One, the most iconic Cavs moment was Jordan nailing the double-pump, buzzer beating jumper in the 1989 playoffs and sending Craig Ehlo crying to his knees. During the early Lebron years, the Cavs are most remembered for wilting twice in the playoffs and being subsequently deserted by The King for the number two squad on this list. Cleveland rests on the shores of water so disgusting and polluted, that Lake Erie has caught on fire MULTIPLE times, including the 1969 Cuyohoga fire that played a major role in inspiring the formation of the EPA and the Clean Water Act of 1972. That same fire even had a cameo in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. The stench of failure is so strong in Cleveland that the Indians were the franchise chosen to be featured in Major League. Other than Jim Brown, Otto Graham and Lebron, Roger Dorn is probably the city’s most treasured professional athlete. At least there is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is basically a Hard Rock Café without the food. ONE DAY WE SHALL FIND OUT:
Oklahoma City Thunder
One of my good friends and former college roommates is from Oklahoma City. His dad is an incredibly nice and smooth man who happens to own an oil and gas business and whose world view is equally shaped by attending college in Austin in the 1970s. If he were so inclined, I’d let him frack in my living room. Here is what he has to say about living in Oklahoma City: We may not have the beach and we may not have the mountains, but people sure smile and say hello when you pass them on the street. While it may have warmth and friendly strangers, I don’t know if that is enough for NBA free agents. And until Durant and Westbrook are no longer in the Sooner State, we will not find out. THAT KG FELLA WAS REAL TENACIOUS, DON’T YA KNOW?:
It is cold in Detroit. It is cold in Milwaukee. It is cold in Chicago. But only one United States city has an entire downtown system of enclosed pedestrian footbridges (Minneapolis Skyway System), so residents can walk in a climate-controlled environment year round. How fucking freezing does it have to be for a city to build an infrastructure so people never have to feel the outside air? Minneapolis is one of the more underrated American cities, but that designation mostly applies between Memorial and Labor Day. A July day on Lake Minnetonka is a Kenny Powers wet dream. But unless you’re an ice fishing enthusiast, there are better places for the young and absurdly rich to spend their winters. It does not help that the most notable retired former Timberwolf is Wally Szczerbiak. Light Beer and Sausages:
Kareem played here, but after six seasons, forced a trade to the Lakers. In return, the Bucks received four guys I am certain you have never heard of. Oscar Robertson played here, but played the majority of his prime in Cincinnati. Ray Allen played here, but was traded after six and a half seasons along with a collection of spare parts for old Gary Payton (who left the next offseason) and Desmond Mason (who would play two more seasons for the Bucks). Expect to see the Bucks trade Giannis in three years for Deron Williams and Frank Kaminsky. The Bucks did have one of the better forgotten runs in NBA history between the 1970 and 1974 seasons, where they won an average of nearly 61 games per year. Their 1971 championship run led by Kareem and The Big O was among the most dominant in history, where they went 12-2 through the playoffs including a finals sweep. Most outside of Milwaukee forget that the Bucks’ success continued after Kareem and Oscar departed, when Sidney Moncrief led them to a decade of near excellence in the Reagan era. But their strong eighties teams have been greatly overshadowed by those great and better 76ers, Celtics and Pistons squads. As for the rest of Wisconsin - it is shitty beer, the Packers, cheese, Madison and whatever the hell is going on in Manitowoc County. The New Orleans Jazz Moved to Utah, Where They don’t Allow Music:
The State of Utah is about 61% Mormon and 91% white. Approximately 1.27% of the population is African-American. No other U.S. state that has an NBA team has a smaller African-American population. If the Jazz could guarantee the NBA players/budding film producers that their projects would be admitted to Sundance, they might be able to field a dangerous team. A Baron Davis/Kobe/Lebron core could perhaps secure the 7th seed in the West. The Jazz do boast a rich history and a rabid fan base. But the very smart and talented front office knows that they operate in Utah, so they are better served building through the draft, where you can retain players against their will.
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