Philly Has The No. 1 Pick!

76ers Logo

Da Sixas, a.k.a., the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers (if you’re not from Philly), have the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.  Look out Warriors!  That’s right — NBA Finals, here we come!  (in a few years, or so, give or take).  Anyway, Philly snatched the No. 1 pick from Boston, that’s right BOSTON — that hated rival up nawth — and now we’re on our way. Whoever said your enemies are good for nothing didn’t realize that your enemies are actually good for somethin’.

Anyway, while it’s distasteful and disdainful to celebrate prematurely, in sports that is, in this case we’re going to make an exception. Because spiritually speaking, you never wait till the battle is over when in the end you know that you’re going to win.

Now, the Sixers will have “Trust the Process” Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor AND potentially Markelle Fultz on the same squad!? Seriously? And they’re all young and hungry?

Drop the mike!

So, if and when the Sixers win an NBA Title with this roster, it will be one of the greatest turnarounds in sports history. So, when and if that happens, I’ll need all of you to hit me up and say that you heard it here, and you heard if first at Godandsports.net.

Go Sixas!

 

 

You Need To Go To A Baseball Game

Guess what? I went to a baseball game! And not just any game – I went to Orioles Park at Camden Yards to watch the O’s play the St. Louis Cardinals.   And we had a blast. It was a Father’s Day gift from my wonderful wife, and my son came down from Philly to join us.  It was just what the doctor ordered. 

Never mind it was 90 degrees in the shade! But thank God we had shade, because we would have baked and broiled and fried to a crisp in that hot sun. But who’s complaining?

Never mind I’m not an Oriole’s fan. Before the game, I couldn’t tell you one player on their roster, but that doesn’t matter. We were at the ballpark, a ballpark I’d never been to before, mind you, and the feel and the vibe and the atmosphere were second to none. AND this season Camden Yards is celebrating their 25th Anniversary!  You mean to tell me that I’ve been talking about going to Camden Yards for 25 years?! Good  gracious! 

And never mind I wasn’t wearing black and orange, the home team’s colors; the rule is, you “route, route, route for the home team,” and cheer and yell and scream for the home team I did. There were a heap of home runs and triples (two in one game by the home team)  and it was a thoroughly entertaining affair. In the end, it’s always great when the home team wins big, and the O’s won 8 to 5. At one point, the score was 7 – 2, and it wasn’t that close.

So why do you need to go to a baseball game? I’m glad you asked.  Going to a game, pretty much any game, puts you in touch and in tune with the game.  Yes most of us watch on TV because we can’t get to the stadium or the arena or the park everyday (not to mention we can’t afford to do so). But there comes a point when you just have to be there.  

And here’s the point; there is no sustitute for presence.  In life and in sports, being there is just as important, and sometimes more so, than the outcome. My wife loves gifts, but she loves me more. And I enjoy her company and the company of my sons and daughters more than what they can give me or buy me or order on line.

So, the next time you want to dial it in,  or take a rain check or wait until next time- think again. Because being there is more fun, and getting there is half the fun.

Warriors Win!

The Golden State Warriors are just better. 

They’re better than the Cavaliers by a country mile. Yes the Dubs have Durant, but that’s not their fault.  Truth be told, the only reason this series wasn’t over in four games was that unbelievable, super human, Herculean effort in Game 4  by the Cavs which they will NEVER be able to duplicate.

On the other hand, the Warriors can turn it on at will, and they wanted to win at home instead of on the road. Nuff said.

So congratulations to the Golden State Warriors, the 2017 NBA Chdmpions.  And congrats to Kevin Durant, the Finals MVP.  He got his well deserved ring, and I for one am glad he did.

Can Dusty Get It Done In DC?

dusty baker (2)

I like Dusty Baker. I do. But there are a few who don’t and that’s why Dusty’s days may be numbered in DC. He’s in the last year of a two year contract, and if he doesn’t make hay now, there may not be many managerial days left for the old-school baseball traditionalist.

Johnnie B. “Dusty” Baker Jr has been around the block more than a few times. He’s managed in San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati and now Washington. All of his teams have excelled in the regular season. Unfortunately, it’s that pesky postseason that’s a perennial problem for Dusty.

The Nats are 38-23, with the third best record in Baseball and are 10.5 games ahead of the New York Mets, who aren’t even playing .500 ball. But they are in first place in their division, which is nothing to sneeze at. It’s just June, so there’s a lot of baseball left to be played.

So here’s to Dusty. I hope that he and his team can leg it out and make a run for it in this year’s playoffs.  I’m not a Nats fan, (I can’t be, I’m from Philly!) but  I can and do route for Dusty.  The Nats have not extended his contract beyond this year, presumably because the Front Office is waiting to see how the team does down the stretch under Dusty. Last year, the Nationals would win the NL East in his first season, but they lost in the NLDS against the Dodgers.

Go Dusty!

Refuse To Lose

Kyrie Irving NBA Finals

Game Four of the 2017 NBA Finals could have been the highest high and one of the lowest lows for each team.  For the Cavs, they could have been swept right out of the Finals on their home floor.  Ouch.

On the other hand, for the Dubs, aka the Golden State Warriors, they could have won their 16th straight playoff game and gone undefeated in these playoffs. They could have run out of Quicken Loans Arena and soared out of Cleveland and galloped off into the sunset as the best playoff team ever. I said could have, aka shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Instead, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers mustered more than enough mettle and played like a pack of rabid, wild wolves protecting their young in order to avoid being swept out of the Finals.

Instead, the Cavaliers played with the resiliency of POW’s breaking out of solitary confinement and overtaking their evil captors en route to saving a town full of forlorn fair maidens.

Instead, the Cavaliers didn’t just stave off elimination; they made a collective statement by scoring the most points in a quarter and in a half in NBA Finals history. Wow. Who saw that coming?

So what happened?

I’ll tell you what happened; Kyrie Irving and Lebron James told their teammates that they absolutely refused to lose to Golden State on their home floor and they absolutely refused to be swept into insignificance. The Cavaliers refused to lay down and roll over, as they put on an impressive performance that has become one of the highest points of their not yet over season.

Kyrie Irving played with disciplined reckless abandon that was infectious and contagious. Now, it’s the Golden State Warriors who have to come out and prove that they are worthy of winning a championship. So where was this high wire, high scoring, center ring, almost circus act during the first three games?

Fear is a fierce motivator. Fear of failure leads to fight or flight. And last night, those Cavaliers put up a fight second to none. They got out to a big lead and anytime the Warriors even tried to get close, Kyrie and LeBron took out the hammer and lowered the boom.

The question is, can the Cavs play like this again in this series? The odds say no, but then again, the way they played last night, the Warriors better be wary of letting these rabid wolves come back from the brink and giving them an outside chance of doing the impossible.

Let It Happen or Make It Happen?

Durant and LeBron

The phrase “Let it happen” can often be used in a situation where someone may be trying to force something like a relationship, or a deal, or a connection. The phrase is applicable in life, and of course, in sports. “Make it happen” is mainly used for advice for friends, but may not always be the right thing to do. This phrase accompanies a sort of ideology that some things are meant to happen, while others are not; therefore one should not force things.

On the other hand, “make it happen” means to do something and complete it, usually under extreme circumstances. And in case you’re wondering, I’ve obtained this privileged prudence from the wonderful wisdom of www.urbandictionary.com.

Game Three of the 2017 NBA Finals is one of the biggest games in the history of the sport. Why? Because tonight we will see which one works. Are LeBron and the Cavaliers trying to make it happen? Or are Kevin Durant and the Warriors so good that they will let it happen?

So which is it? Should we let things happen or make things happen? Should we yield our will or impose our will?  Should we lay ourselves on the altar or grab hold to the horns of the altar? Which one works?

As we live and breathe, both are simultaneously true.  We must both let it happen and make it happen, both and all at the same time. God will do His part and we must do our part. As a wise man once said, “pray as if everything depends on God, and then live as if everything depends on you.”

Yes the just shall live by faith, and, at the same time, faith without works is dead. So the axiom and the truism is this:  God has done His part; it’s now up to us to do our part. We let it happen by trusting and praying and believing. We make it happen by loving and caring and forgiving.  I call it the marriage of theology and practice. Letting it happen and making it happen are opposite sides of the same coin.

So make it happen, but only after you let it happen.

Durant and Warriors: “Be The Best You Can Be”

Warriors

That’s what the Golden State Warriors are showing us and teaching us; they’re schooling us on how to be the best. They are undefeated in these 2017 Playoffs. They are winning games by double digit margins. They have the best shooters, and they are playing the best defense. The Warriors won Game One of the 2017 NBA Finals 113 – 91, and they won Game Two 132 – 113. That’s pretty impressive.

After Golden State’s Game 2 thrashing of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, the questions abound:

How is it that last year the Warriors lost Game 7 at home in a close, contested contest that saw LeBron James lead a pretty good team against a really good team and win? How is it that the best team (a 73 game regular season win squad) in the NBA last year got even better? How is it that this year the Kevin Durant led Warriors, made an already great team an instantaneous juggernaut? And how is it that the Cavaliers are playing really close but then are getting really blown out?

Now, the questions get fewer and finer; can the visibly vulnerable and discernably dejected Cavaliers mount a charge against the mighty Warriors? Can the defending champions (that’s right, they ARE the defending champions) summon the stamina to withstand this relentless, oncoming tide of three pointers and pick and rolls and more points than they can find? And can LeBron save face and win at least one game? I say no.

The Warriors look borderline unstoppable through two games of the 2017 NBA Finals. And, to add insult to injury to the rest of the League, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the rest of the Dubs looked poised to dominate the Association for the foreseeable future.

The Warriors are dead set on proving to the basketball world in general and to the sports universe in specific that last year’s loss was a fluke. The fact that they should have won is fairly debatable. The fact that they didn’t win is forever undisputable. But now these Durant led Warriors are bent on proving that they are the undisputed heavyweight champions of the basketball world.

Not even the great and mighty LeBron James can carry his team up this mountain. Not this time.When these Warriors play their best they’re at their best, and they’re simply unbeatable. Period. 

And the same goes for you and me too. When we are at our best and when we do our best and when we display our best, we are relying on God and not on our own strength. When we “walk by faith and not by sight;” when our “love is sincere and we hate what is evil and cling to what is good” and when we “trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and don’t lean to our own understanding,” we are at our best and we are the best we can be.