Cleveland Makes Wholesale Changes

Cleveland Cavaliers Logo

Sometimes we need to make changes, wholesale changes. When there are structural deficiencies and institutional incompatibilities, cosmetic corrections and surface suggestions just won’t cut it. When the apple is rotten to the core, radical reforms are needed in order to right the ship and produce lasting results. And that’s what the Cleveland Cavaliers figured out.

Isiah Thomas is gone. Dwayne Wade was shipped back to South Beach. And other fixtures of the franchise that revolves around LeBron James are gone too. Were such drastic steps necessary?  Only time will tell. But sometimes you have to do some deep cleaning in order to get rid of all of the dross.

Not that individual players were the problem; it was the chemistry of the team that was the problem. And in order to fix what’s wrong chemically, you need an entirely new formula. That’s what happened when Jesus came to town.

Jesus came to make wholesale changes. The Pharisees and Sadducees and the religious establishment had settled unto a fixed, flat-rate, unforgiving system that they thought worked for them, when in truth it didn’t work for anybody. Jesus came with new rules and a fresh perspective and a better way of living. The only problem was, he had to blow up the old system and make wholesale changes. And the establishment didn’t like.

That’s the lesson. So, let’s take a page from the Cleveland Cavaliers playbook. When things aren’t working, look at everything. And I mean EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY.  Some of the things you’re doing may need to be revised, revamped or even revoked. The same goes for the people in your life that you may even like.  If they’re not working for you, they may in fact be working against you.   

So do yourself a favor. If you must, and some of us are in a season or situation where we must, make wholesale changes. It’s better that being bitter.  Indeed, the changes may hurt.  But the changes, if done with the goal of getting better in mind, will in fact help.

Charles Oakley and The Sad State of the New York Knicks

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It’s all so sad. It’s all so saddening. And it didn’t have to end this way. The removal and arrest of former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden didn’t sit well with fans in and outside of the arena and current and former NBA players alike, who were shocked at his treatment.

Oakley — a fan favorite known for his toughness, defense and rebounding alongside Patrick Ewing during the 1990s — was removed from MSG by security and then was charged with three misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault and another third-degree misdemeanor.

Oakley, the tough-as-nails big man who played 10 seasons in New York, got into a shoving match with security guards during the Knicks’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. The 53-year-old was escorted from the World’s Most Famous Arena in handcuffs, according to another source, by the NYPD and he subsequently was charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal trespass.

We don’t know what Oakley may have said, but we know what James Dolan and the Knicks organization did. And a handful of current and former NBA players reacted to the incident on social media, supporting Oakley.

There’s right and there’s wrong. There’s a right way and there’s a wrong way to do things. And this one smells really wrong. With something like this occurring just a few feet away and allegedly at the direction of James Dolan, the owner of the Kicks, it’s no wonder that this once proud and prestigious NBA franchise is stinking on and off of the court.

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10years!!! 10 years Oak gave everything he had for this organization and the image everyone will be left with won’t be this picture. It will be the imagine of him being taken down to the ground last night in the same arena he gave his all 2 as a player by the guards! This Could happen to any of us!!! #StayWoke We are not above this treatment!

Westbrook Slams The Spurs, a.k.a. Can You Hear The Thunder Roll?

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder

This year, more than any other year in recent memory, the NBA Playoffs are as unpredictable and un-scriptable and unforeseeable and undeterminable as could be. I mean, the twists and turns and bumps and bends in the road are enough to throw anybody off of their game. And that’s just like life. That’s why you play hard and play smart and trust and believe that all things will work together and work out for good (Romans 8:28).

Sometimes and oft times and most times you think the ball is going to bounce your way and you think that things are going to go your way and all of a sudden, out of the blue, you’re injured and break your hand or bust your knee and everything changes. Just like that. On the other hand, you could win when no one gave you a chance and you could defeat the favorite when they were supposed to blow you away, and just like that, you’re contending for a title.

Yes, King James is going to play in the Eastern Conference Finals, and yes, Stephen Curry is going to defend in the Western Conference Finals, but all in between we’ve had unbelievable and unpredictable results.

In the East, the Raptors and the Heat are playing Game 7 in Toronto tomorrow. And it’s anybody’s guess who will come out on top, as the Raptors look like champs one minute and chumps the next. So, if they get by Dwayne Wade and his band of boys from South Beach, there’s no tellin’ how they’ll fare against King James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the next round. But the gift we really want to see under the tree is Wade and LeBron going head to head. But this year’s playoffs don’t seem to be in the giving mood.

More importantly, the LA Clippers are as snakebit as they come. I felt really bad for Chris Paul. I did. He and the Clippers just can’t seem to win in the playoffs. And the amount of injuries the Clippers dealt with in just one series was almost unthinkable; losing Chris Paul (hand) and Blake Griffin (quad) in Game 4, they could’ve phoned it in when their stars went down. Instead, the banged-up, beat up, severely depleted Clippers fought and scraped for every loose ball and every long rebound in an elimination Game 6 against the Portland Trailblazers, before eventually falling just short in the game, the series and the season in a 106-103 loss.

Then, to top it all off, the San Antonio Spurs lose in six games to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Who saw that comin’? The favored and fundamental Spurs fell from grace in six games, losing two games AT HOME, as Russell Westbrook and the 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant wouldn’t go down without a fight. And it turns out they were determined not to go down at all. The Spurs were supposed to win going away and set up a showdown with Curry and the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Oh well; there goes the script.

So who ya got? Can Curry carry his comrades past the plucky, perky, chirpy duo from the dustbowl destined to derail the destiny of the boy wonder? We all want Curry to win another title. It would be a shame to waste a record setting 73-wins season and not win another Championship, right?

But who could argue against a Kevin Durant/LeBron James Finals? Steph Curry could. So this is a tough one. If Curry loses, the basketball world will be voting and pulling and cheering for Durant to finally win the NBA Championship he so clearly and dearly desires and deserves. That’s why we play the games and keep score.

So tell me again – why aren’t you watching the NBA playoffs?

The Society We Live In

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Why Does Free Agency Cost So Much?

Free Agency costs too much.  For starters, Dwayne “D” Wade just re-signed with the Miami Heat for $20 mil. That’s twenty million dollars to play basketball for one year.  Regardless of injury or his declining ability, he gets paid. Twenty million dollars. Do you know how much 20 million dollars could buy? A lot.  A whole lot. But this is the society we live in. 

Free agency is not free. It costs. It costs our society and our civilization. It taxes and tolls and adds tension to our already stressed and strained, divided and dichotomous domain.  It continues to separate and segregate and isolate and insulate the upper echelon and the higher carillon from the lower and lesser and feebler and frailer amongst us. Because this is the society we live in.

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In sports, what we as a society pay professional athletes only seems to aggravate and exacerbate this devilish dualism.  The “haves” and the “have nots” continue to coexist along parallel paths that never cross or converge. We can spend what we will on what we want (athletes salaries) but can’t seem to find the money to pay for the things we need. And this is the society we live in.

The cost of free agency to the players who sign and savor these huge, overinflated and overabundant contracts is negligible to them. I like D. Wade. I do. And this is not about him, per se. It’s about the salaries of athletes and CEO’s and movie stars alike. Are they at fault for receiving or are we at fault for allowing such exorbitance and extravagance? Who is at fault when so many have so little and so few have so much?

Twenty million dollars to play basketball for one year.  This is the society we live in.

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I’m not hatin’. I’m just saying.

End Of An Era

Guest Blog from http://writersandhunters.com/

Spurs End of an Era
After the Heat got off to an 8-0 start last night, it made you wonder why Mario Chalmers was in the starting line up in Game 4. Having Lebron guard Tony Parker definitely slowed down the Spurs attack as well. As Mark Jackson said, “You take Chalmers out of the starting line up and you lose nothing, because LeBron can play any position on the floor”.

Spurs started the game 1-11. Kinda looked like they got sucker punched…

Lots of things going through my head at this point, most of all, can the Heat keep it up?

Well, then the Spurs went on a 12-0 run. Momentum shifted. Heat were up 29-22 after one, their 1st lead after the first quarter in the series, but believe it our not, I still had the feeling the Spurs were still in control. Mid way through the 2nd, it felt like the Heat were drifting back to their former selves. Wade missing easy buckets, Ray Allen dribbling the ball into the ground. Everyone staring at Lebron.

Spurs led 47-40 at the Half. This one was over. Fat lady was singing.

Almost four minutes had gone by and the Heat still hadn’t scored. For the record, I’m not a Miami Heat fan but a LeBron James fan. Love his game. It was pretty painful to watch a great player struggle on a mediocre team. But the King won’t get any sympathy. He’s still a two time champ and at 29, still has another 5 or 6 good years left in him.

The Spurs were without a doubt the best team in the league this year. Not even close.

I’m glad the best team won.

All Hail, King James! a.k.a., You Can’t Beat The Heat

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Lebron James prophesied that the Miami Heat would win multiple NBA Championships. More to his point, he predicted that he, with the help Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, would win championship after championship playing together on Miami’s South Beach. Odds are that no team can or will beat the heat before they win at least one more ring. The only thing standing in their way is in the mirror staring them in the face: they can only beat themselves.

Lebron has been crowned “King” James. Right now, he’s the biggest and brashiest, fiercest and fastest athlete on the court. He’s the king of his jungle. He’s a proven winner, he’s nasty with a smile, and he’s got a game face second to none.

Lebron James and the Miami Heat have eight, count ‘em, 8 wins to go before accomplishing what only a few other teams have done; winning a third consecutive title. Some think Indiana or even the Spurs or the Thunder have a chance at beating the Heat. Please. If the Indiana Pacers defeat Miami in the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, I will personally pass out dollar bills on Main Street. That’s the proverbial Main Street, mind you. The only way Miami gets beat is that they beat themselves. And that just aint gonna happen.

Lebron James has made up his mind that he’s gonna win. Not going to win, but GONNA win. “What separates champions from the rest of us is a line so thin you can barely prove it exists.” (Michael Wilbon: Doing What Champions Do: Washington Post, June 3, 1993) There a thin line that separates the men from the boys; the prevailers from the pretenders; the up and over’s from the down and unders. The also rans don’t have what those who are determined to disappoint the devil do.

So let’s take a page from Lebron’s book. Let’s make up our mind what we’re going , I mean “gonna” do. Let’s renew our resolve and redouble our efforts, let’s dictate and determine our futures and focus on the goal. The goal is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The goal is knowing and doing the will of God. The goal is the acknowledgment of the truth. The goal is the discernment of the Urim and the Thummin, the revelation and truth and the light and the perfection of God.