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Donald Trump Congratulates the Cleveland Cavaliers (but just the…

On a day when it was revealed that Donald Trump’s campaign manager was let go by Ivanka Trump and that his campaign had almost no money, The Donald tried to offer some congratulations to the newly crowned NBA Chamption Cleveland Cavaliers.  However, in classic Trump style he managed to forget Finals MVP Lebron James, star sidekick Kyrie Irving and everyone else that is black on the team! He gave a big shout out to Kevin Love, but Trump has obviously moved well past dog whistle politics and has gone full racist bullhorn with this one.  Try to laugh if you aren’t crying while watching this:

(Be sure to give the video a like on YouTube when finished watching)

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Lebron is the Greatest, but Hakeem Already Did THIS…

I have spent the last 8 years of my hoops fan life calling Lebron the greatest player of all time. His combination of Magic Johnson skills, and a size and athleticism combination suggesting an evolutionary leap forward made it obvious to me.  And then for 4 years I wrote and podcasted his greatness to death post-The Decision, mainly because of the obviousness of his talent and the hypocrisy of non-Cleveland basketball fans who seemed to only express outrage at Lebron’s disloyalty because he was not disloyal with them (hi Knick fans).  So it is sort of bittersweet to see Lebron getting so much respect and credit now from people with low basketball IQs who could not fully appreciate Lebron’s greatness until they had 100% proof in the form of this year’s Finals run (a LOT of people on my Facebook feed qualify).  Was he not the greatest of all time last year when he played great, but was severely under-matched against a brilliant and hungry Spurs team? Well now everyone is back on the Lebron bandwagon more than ever before and it has forced me to point out a fact amidst this love fest narrative: Lebron may be doing something Michael Jordan never did (potentially winning a finals without a stud second banana), but what Lebron is doing is NOT unprecedented.  It happened in 1994 and was done by Hakeem Olajuwon.

In 1994 Hakeem Olajuwon took a team of journeymen and young, not yet developed talent on his back and carried them to a 7 game win over the Knicks (hi Knick fans) in the Finals.  He averaged 28 ppg, more than double the next best playoff average on his team. And let’s look at his roster:

  • Vernon Maxwell
  • Robert Horry (rookie year)
  • Kenny Smith
  • Otis Thorpe
  • Sam Cassell (rookie year)
  • Mario Elie

Wow – doesn’t that roster inspire fear???  Not one all star on the team. Not sure if Thorpe ever made an all star team and I was informed on social media this morning debating this point that Sam Cassell made one all star team… in 2004.  So the idea that no player has ever done what Lebron has done is plain false.  Sorry, I have defended him and love watching him play, but facts are facts.  And watching this finals aren’t the Cavs sort of displaying the same sort of unlikely heroes that the Rockets sort of did?  Granted both supporting casts benefit from playing with a top 10 all time player, but let’s look at it:

  • Dellavadova is playing as great as any role player in Finals history.  And it is not all because of Lebron. The man is on every lose ball like one of those annoying guys trying to impress the coach.
  • Tristan Thompson is rebounding like the spirit of Dennis Rodman is inside him
  • Timofey Mozgov is proving to be a competent center (Hi Knick fans). Not an all star, but solid in the post, able to hit clutch free throws (game 1) and a legitimate rim protector
  • JR Smith and Iman Shumpert (just to say hi Knick fans), but isnt JR Smith basically Vernon Maxwell?

My point is this: I freely admit that this Cavs supporting cast wouldn’t win 30 games without Lebron, but neither would that 1994 Rockets team.  So let’s enjoy Lebron’s run as potentially the greatest finals performance ever, but what he is doing is not completely unprecedented.  Hakeem may have operated int he shadow of Michael Jordan’s departure, but it is no reason to bury his legacy under the ascension of Lebron James.

For more opinions, comedy and bridge burning check out the Righteous Prick Podcast on iTunes and/or STITCHER. New Every Tuesday so subscribe for free!

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LeBron – Cleveland or… New Jersey?

LeBron James should go to the New Jersey Nets, IF he leaves Cleveland, which he should not –

https://jlcauvin.com/?p=1499

But if he does leave Cleveland the New Jersey Nets should get LeBron (sorry Knick fans).  Here is why:

It's a bird, it's a plane - it's a New Jersey Net!

1) Unlike the Chicago Bulls, the Nets have no real star legacy (i.e. identifiable with one star), whereas the Bulls have the most identifiable star in team sports.  The six titles and the shadow of Jordan would almost guarantee that LeBron would have to settle for second best for his own team, regardless of how well he plays and how many titles his teams win, assuming he only wins 2 or 3 with Derrick Rose & Co. 

Furthermore the Nets will be moving to Brooklyn, which will make him the equivalent of a Founding Father to the fracnhise.  And he’s friends with the minority owner (in percentage and race) Jay-Z.  But so is A-Rod so it can’t be that cool (I like A Rod, but I think he is a loser, not in the title winning sense, but just in a “dude, you are kind of a loser,” way).

The King of Hip Hop and the King of Basketball. Do you have to have a busted mug to be a King?

2) The Nets new owner – Mikhail Prokhorov.  He is a Russian billionaire who will spare no expense.  Now there is a chance that the lap of luxury could create a team of coddled, lazy players who have the killer instinct Play Stationed and massaged out of them (if they ever had it) like Mark Cuban has with the Dallas Mavericks, but if he is willing to pay up to bring in top talent then it won’t really matter.  The Nets have the most cap room coming in to this new season (even more than the Knicks) and they have an owner who will not care about going over the salary cap if it means winning and creating a successful brand (and the Russian models and prostitutes on his private plane don’t like losers either).  So they have enough money to bring in another superstar to entice LeBron and still give LeBron max money.

3) Evan Turner – the Nets will probably draft Evan Turner, who most people think is the next Brandon Roy.  They may take John Wall, but they already have Devon Harris, who when healthy is an all-star level player at point guard.  That gives LeBron a much better backcourt than he has ever had in Cleveland.

4) Devon Harris and Brook Lopez.  Brook Lopez is already a top 5 center in the NBA at 21 years old.  Devon Harris (see above).  So before any free agents are even signed the Nets could potentially offer LeBron a point guard, a center and a shooting guard who have been or could be all be all stars in a couple of seasons. 

5) Free agents.  The tricky part here is convincing a power forward to sign before LeBron signs, I think the Nets should make a big push for Chris Bosh (not sure if LeBron would want to play with Carlos Boozer given that he left town stabbing a blind man in the back and could have probably helped LeBron win a title in 2007).  If you are Chris Bosh, why not?  You still get to play with several very good players in the NYC area, which has to beat playing with several mediocre players in Toronto.

If winning matters to LeBron, as he says it does, how could a team built to win and only requiring LeBron at the small forward not be the most obvious place for him?  A starting lineup all under 30 all star level talent?  No weakness at any position.  I don’t think any other team will be in a position to give LeBron a better chance at a title than the Nets. 

That said, if he leaves Cleveland there is something dick-ish about him.  But it would be forgiven because at least he would anger the thousands of slumbering Knick fans who are waiting to resume talking sh*t after a decade if he went to the Nets.

I hope not.

Next week I will get back to less sports centric- themes.  Have a nice weekend.

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A Recap Of The Rock n Roll Hall Of…

Yesterday I went to the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame & Museum in Cleveland.  If you have not gone I strongly recommend it.  Perhaps if your favorite team is playing the Cavaliers, Indians or Browns one day/weekend build a trip around that, but the museum was awesome.  It is also geared as an all day experience (I spent about 5 hours there, which is a record for me at a non-school trip museum visit).  It was also relatively empty, which made for a pleasant visit (but it was weird watching all of the various movies and exhibits in empty theaters, except for the 45 minute recap montage of all the inductees – that was too amazing to feel weird in solitude).

And there is a special Bruce Springsteen exhibit on the top floor featuring tons of memorabilia.  Most interesting, at least from my perspective, was seeing items from the late 60s when he was promoting shows with handmade signs  saying “Come see The Bruce Springsteen Band – $3.”  With today’s technology, any as-hole (this as-hole included) can make impressive looking promo materials, but it must be especially gratifying for Springsteen to be able to see exactly how far he has come in every way.

I also had a black light with me to scan the exhibit for any body fluids of my housemates from Williams College.  Nothing was found, but the exhibit is supposed to be there through 2010.  Now I will give you a detailed recap of my favorite things in the museum, in case you never make it to Cleveland.

Best Hall of Fame Classes (in my opinion)

1) Gold Medal – 1989 – Rolling Stones, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Phil Spector (for producer and street cred).  This must have been an absolutely incredible induction ceremony.

2) Silver Medal – 1988 – The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, Bob Dylan, Les Paul.  Many would claim that this has to be number one, but I like the Stones way more than the Beatles, The Temptations win the Motown battle with The Supremes.  I do like the Beach Boys a lot, but they are cancelled out by Dylan’s mumbling. I did learn a lot about Les Paul at the Museum – they have a great exhibit dedicated to his evolution towards the electric guitar.  It was just great to learn about the guy who invented my Guitar Hero guitar.

3) Bronze Medal – 2001 – Michael Jackson, Queen, Aerosmith, Paul Simon.  MJ is like the LeBron James of the Hall of Fame classes – he could not have the supporting casts of the earlier classes (though Queen and Aerosmith are definitely better than the musical equivalents of Mo Williams and Anderson Verajao), but he alone makes this one of the greats.

4) To Be Determined – 2012.  This is when Guns N Roses is eligible and if the Hall of Fame can get them to reunite then all bets are off. (I was happy to see Welcome to the Jungle as one of the 500 songs that defined Rock according to the Hall of Fame).

5) Honorable Mention – 1999 – Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen.  No need to argue the better 70s/80s/90s singer-song writer when they are both on the bill.

Most Awkward Hall Of Fame Moments

1) 1992 induction of Ike and Tina Turner.  Nothing else needs to be said.

2) 2004 Induction of George Harrison as a solo artist.  Not sure he merited it, but it was the Hall of Fame’s way of telling Ringo Starr, “We really think you are the useless member of the Beatles, which is why the rest of them have been inducted twice.”

3) There is an exhibit of a photographer who has captured major musical moments at Madison Square Garden.  The last two photos in the exhibit are from a 2008 Holiday Concert.  The top photo is of Rihanna.  The bottom photo is of Chris Brown.  Did the Hall of Fame not hear about them or did they figure leave it – perhaps we’ll induct them together in 20 years.

4) 1998 Induction of the Mamas and the Papas.  Did nobody think it weird when one of the inductees was grinding his daughter on the dance floor?

Other than personal goals in comedy and seeing a Utah Jazz title, seeing a reunited GNR in concert would top my list of things I want to see

5) 1997 Induction of the Bee Gees.  Have you ever looked at the 4 Gibb brothers?  Clearly Mom fu-ked someone else when she had the ugly twins.  Andy, who died young, looked like a more handsome Heath Ledger and Barry Gibb looked like him.  The twins looked like anorexic Paul Giamattis.  But I will cut them slack since one of them passed on and their music was excellent.

Members That I think Are Overrated

1) Elvis Costello – don’t get him, don’t care for him

2) The Police – Every Breath You Take – great.  The rest of their songs – repetitive and annoying. 

Other Thoughts/Observations from the Hall of Fame

  • Based on sheer volume how is Phil Collins not in the Hall of Fame – he seems to meet their criteria.  Then I saw Genesis on the 2010 list of inductees.
  • Frank Zappa – has a musician ever looked more like a porn star?
  • No one has ever rocked a beard better than Marvin Gaye. Except maybe for early 90s Tom Cruise.
  • I used to not get why David Bowie got so much respect in the music world (you mean the guy from Labyrinth that slept with Mick Jagger?).  I wonder no longer – that guy’s catalogue is pretty sick.  And so diverse.  He’s like a whiter, more feminine Prince, but 10-15 years earlier.
  • Tom Petty has the deepest speaking voice and the whiniest singing voice.
  • Even though I usually roll my eyes at “spiritual” people (they generally believe enough to make themselves seem worldly, but really just hate judgment), Jim Morrison seemed pretty cool, at least the way they write him up.  Val Kilmer was a good choice to play him, but if Will Ferrell got in shape when he was younger and wore his Chazz Michael Michaels hair from Blades of Glory I think he could have pulled it off.

 See what I mean?

  • Good God a lot of rock stars died early.  How are Motley Crue and the Rolling Stones still alive given all the drug and plane crash deaths that seem to strike musicians.
  • I don’t want to meet James Hetfield of Metallica. TO me he seems like he’s 7’0″ tall and 350 lbs.  He looks like a monster bad ass on stage and it would be disappointing to stand next to him and dwarf him.
  • Steve Winwood was a member of Traffic, who got inducted in 2004.  Between his solo work, The Spencer Davis Group and Traffic this guy is like the Robert Horry of music.  Good work Steve.

Ok, that is it for the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame & Museum.  Now tonight it’s off to see LeBron in person (19 rows from the court).  And then it’s a good thing shows start up again at the Cleveland Improv tomorrow night because I think I will be out of activities to do in Cleveland.

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King James & Court Jester Cauvin

I am off to Cleveland tomorrow for the next 10 days and do not know if I will have WiFi so I may have to just write a giant Cleveland Recap when I return.  Here are all the pertinent things you need to know in my absence:

I am taking an 11 hour, 55 minute Greyhound trip out to Cleveland.   This should be a piece of cake after my 17 hour, 35 minute trip from Detroit to NYC via Greyhound a few weeks ago.  Total cost – $50.

I have been warned by the manager of the Cleveland, one of the most up front and funny managers I have encountered (I think Lou Brown from Major League would play him in a movie) to hit these folks hard and often (not as much story telling) because the Cleveland crowds are… from Cleveland (my words).

During my two day lay off in between gigs I will be attending a Cleveland Cavaliers game, spending a majority of my travel savings on a ticket (but I did pass on a courtside seat).

Sorry LeBron, but you will have to share the spotlight with another 6'7"+, 260 lb+ superstar for a couple of weeks in Cleveland.

The apartment I am staying at is 1.5 miles from a gym and a movie theater.  Over/under on total trips to these two establishments is 9.

I return on a 13 hour Amtrak – cost $67.  Being surrounded by comatose and obese people avoiding the TSA – priceless. 

And one piece of advice to comics in NYC pondering an open call for any comedy contests, go to the one at Comix on January 29th.  It is run by Josh Filipowski and Bryan Kennedy and is run in an egalitarian fashion.  It may suffer from the failings inherent in any contest, but at least they have demonstrated the integrity to not use comedians as a visual prop to falsely exalt the status of already pre-selected (but unannounced) comics.  But if you want that, there will be other competition “open calls” soon.