Is there any worse team historically than the 76ers?

It’s funny, I like March Madness basketball, which has just anointed two competitors for the national championship.  I love baseball, whose’s Opening Day is literally on this day that I’m writing this.  But I think the NBA is more or less garbage, and here I am writing about it, because apparently, I can’t not talk about train wrecks.

Originally, I looked at the standings, because in spite of all the times I’ve said the Warriors will never catch the greatest team of all time, the 1996 Chicago Bulls, they’re currently sitting at 68-8, with six games to go.  Sure, they’ve got a tough remaining six left, as five of them are against playoff-bound teams, and two of them are against the Spurs, whom if not for the Warriors themselves, would be recognized as having a truly fantastic season in their own right.  But seeing as how the Warriors have lost pretty much one out of every eight games to this point, the idea of them going 3-3 in their final six to fall short of the 96 Bulls seems like its own impossibility.

I’d like to believe that the Spurs would love to be the team to deny the Warriors from breaking the record, or even hitting the 70 win plateau, but Gregg Popovich is also a big-picture guy who could just as easily not give two shits about stopping the Warriors if it meant resting his regulars so that they’re better prepared to face the Warriors in the playoffs, where it matters.

So at least in regards to the Warriors’ quest to beat or catch the 96 Bulls, or even hit the 70-win plateau, it seems like a foregone conclusion that I will have to eat my words, that they couldn’t do it.  Stephen Curry is a freak of nature that continues to defy my smarmy sports beliefs, and as far as what the NBA needs, he’s exactly what it is, to draw fans’ attentions.

However, while dissecting the Warriors’ chances of immortality, I noticed in the standings that the Lakers were really bad, having not won even 20 games.  There’s plenty of hullabaloo about how this is Kobe Bryant’s last season, and it’s kind of mind-blowing to think that I’ve witnessed the careers of two of the most legendary scorers in history, but there’s something kind of wrong with the notion that a guy like Kobe is being sent off in a carriage of shit that is the 16 Lakers.  Then again, MJ ended his career on the fucking Wizards, so I guess it’s inevitable that great players go out on the bottom, unless you’re David Robinson.

After seeing the record of the Lakers, I wondered if there was anybody worse.  I didn’t have to look very far, because the Philadelphia 76ers, well, simply put, exist.

The Lakers had a paltry 18 wins.  The 76ers had 9.  NINE WINS.  Out of 77 games played.

Where the Warriors have lost one in every 8 games-ish, the 76ers have won one in every 8 games-ish.  The 76ers went all of November, defeated, as in they didn’t win a single game in the entire calendar month.  In both February and March, they won but single games. At no point during the season did the 76ers win two consecutive games.

There’s nothing really more that needs to be said about how the 76ers are the worst team in the NBA this season, but the question that came to mind amidst this information was is there a worse team historically than the Philadelphia 76ers?

I mean, at this point, the 76ers have taken tanking not just as  a strategy, but as apparently a way of life.  It’s just not a viable strategy anymore, with how players roam and jump around when they’re unhappy, not just to other NBA teams, but to overseas, where they can potentially make more money, and/or potentially become gods.

So what if the 76ers get another #1 draft pick as a result of their shitty 2016 season?  Who’s to say that existing players, tired of sub-20 win seasons decide to opt-out of their contracts, act in manners in which their existing deals are voided, or some other horse shit that gets them kicked off the 76ers, and then they go to a stronger team, or go overseas?

The bottom line is that the 76ers, at least in my mind, are the worst team in the history of the NBA.  I’m 33 years old, and the history books tell me that in 1983, when I was a year old, the 76ers won the NBA championship, but after that, from when I got to an age where I was cognitive and potentially understood records, the 76ers have pretty much lived in the basement of the NBA, save for a brief period of time in which Allen Iverson resurrected the franchise for an appearance in the NBA Finals.  But aside from that, they’ve pretty much been in the bottom of the standings, and any playoff appearances at all, were almost all entirely first-round exits.

However, back when I was a big NBA fanatic, the worst records in the league would typically be around 20-22 wins.  I remember my jaw dropping the first time I saw that a team (probably the 76ers), finished with 19 wins.  And it’s apparent that parity continued to dissolve over the years as more teams would finish with 50+ wins, several teams would enter the playoffs with under .500 records, and it would become commonplace for there to be at least one team with a sub-20 win record.  Usually the 76ers.

The point is, the 76ers are always bad, and one has to wonder if they even are worthy to remain in the NBA.  At this point, I’m pretty sure guys in the D-League could compete with the 76ers and probably win their share in a series of games.  Every so often, there’s always the question of “best college team versus worst pro team,” where the pundits always side with the pros, but in the case of the 76ers, you really have to ask yourself if that’s the case.  Honestly, the 76ers are so bad, it begins to beg the question of “really really good high school varsity team versus the 76ers” would the 76ers struggle?

I mean, I don’t hide the fact that I’m not a fan of Philadelphia sports in any capacity, but the 76ers really are so bad, it garners a little bit of sympathy for the cretin Philly sports fans who have to put up with such a below sub-standard product for such lifetimes.  It’s got to really suck to know that going to a 76ers game is almost a guaranteed loss, and if the city weren’t such a miserable place to visit, I’d say it’s got to be the Mecca for sports fans of opponents to come visit and have a high chance of seeing a road victory.

QQing over wrestling

I’m sad because I’m missing Wrestlemania this year.

I’m not sad because I’m missing Wrestlemania this year, because the card looks putrid, NXT Takeover will inevitably be the better show, but Wrestlemania’s card looks putrid this year.  Nobody wants to see Roman Reigns win the world title, nobody wants to see Kevin Owens be in a match that includes the Miz and Zack Ryder, and the best match of the night very well is going to be the Divas title match between Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks.  No disrespect to the hardest working women in ages, but the rest of the card is definitely not worth sinking five hours of time into.

I am sad because I’m missing Wrestlemania this year, because it’s pretty much the first time in over a decade in which I’m not going to be watching it with some of my closest and longest tenured friends, whom we’ve had something of a tradition of doing for the better part of almost the last two decades.  Prior to this year, the only two blips in the radar have been the times in which I actually attended Wrestlemania, which were cool in their own right, but paled in comparison to evenings of catching up, shooting the shit, stuffing our faces silly, and commentating on all the bad matches of the night.

Despite the fact that the Wrestlemania card this year looks like shit, I’m still disappointed that I’m not going to be able to watch the shitty card in the company of some of my closest friends, for the first time in ages.

Part of it has to do with my more recent change in jobs, in which I am genuinely liking my new job, but there’s no denying the fact that I am the low man on the totem pole currently, and I have zero paid time off accrued, and even though they claim that I can take time off unpaid, the fact that I like my job and wish to maintain in the good graces of said job means that I don’t want to take any time off, even if it’s for a sentimental tradition like Wrestlemania.

The other part of it has to do with the fact that even if I were willing to take some time off, or endure the 5 a.m. flight on Monday morning to make it to work on time, it’s simply the fact that my previous wings have been clipped, and my capability to take to the friendly skies have been rendered much more difficult, as I’m subject to doing what “ordinary” people have to do, which is paying full fares for guaranteed flights, and being at the mercy of the unpredictable and unwavering airline industry for fluctuating fares and times.

So needless to say, my opportunity to go back to my old stomping grounds and partake in an annual tradition has fallen short, and it makes me very sad.  Hopefully, the circumstances will be different next year, but for this year, this weekend, I QQ.

Extreme Cheapskates: Kawhi Leonard edition

Actually, I love reading about how the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard is kind of a cheapskate, driving around in a nearly 20-year old car, and makes a big deal about free wings.

  • Leonard still drives a 1997 Chevy Tahoe that’s nicknamed “Gas Guzzler.” He does it because “it runs and it’s paid off.”
  • Leonard freaked out after he lost a book of coupons from his sponsor Wingstop last summer and asked for them to give him new ones so that he could get free wings—even though his new $94 million contract had just kicked in.

So basically, one of the better players in the NBA right now, a year removed from a championship, and on a team very much in contention for another one, and is currently on a fairly freshly-signed 5-year, $94 million dollar contract, still understands the value of a dollar, and the importance of not being frivolous with money.

Now the car, it’s up for debate that by now, he could probably get a current Chevy Tahoe, pay for it all entirely, and ultimately end up starting a timeline in which the improved fuel economy of a current car versus a 19-year old one, would eventually begin saving him some money, but Leonard clearly doesn’t like the idea of spending any money in the first place.  So if Gas Guzzler continues to run, there’s no reason to replace it, I suppose.

Naturally, the obvious crosshairs of this story is the Wingstop mention, and how Leonard is apparently quite fond of their product, and especially not paying for it.  Now I’ve never had Wingstop wings before, but I’m not going to lie, I just now just Googled the company to see if they had any Atlanta locations, and low and behold, they have quite a number of them that aren’t unreasonable to go to.  The jury is out on whether or not they’re worth boasting about getting them for free, but give Kawhi Leonard’s general salt-of-the-earth kind of persona he’s cultivated throughout his blue-collar, defense-oriented skillset, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’ll probably enjoy them, and wish I had a book of coupons to get them for free too.

The point is, articles like this are kind of meant to ridicule Kawhi Leonard for not living like a baller and enjoying the more luxurious things in life.  But really, who says any athlete or anyone with tons of money really has to?  It’s ultimately pointless and kind of insufferable, if you ask me.  If Gas Guzzler and free Wingstop wings are what makes him happy, and keep him satisfied enough to remain happy to show up to work and hang W’s for the Spurs, who the fuck are we to criticize?

Playing in New York makes a Dark Knight not

You know what I think is stupid?  How sports media insists that the nickname for the Mets’ Matt Harvey is “The Dark Knight.”

I get it, he plays in New York, which is alternatively known by nerds as the de facto Gotham City, and doing heroic things like playing a kids game very well warrants being called “a hero;” therefore being “a hero” in “Gotham City” is basically Batman AKA The Dark Knight.  We get it, media.  So very clever.

However, let’s be real here.  Matt Harvey plays for the Mets, who play in Queens, which is outside the borough of Manhattan, which is probably more of what Gotham City kind of is supposed to represent.  No matter what happens, the Mets are always going to be the little brother of the Yankees, the second-in-line team playing in a second-in-line neighborhood to New York City; so it’s almost more appropriate to say that Matt Harvey is more like Robin, the second-in-command to Batman.

Not to mention the Mets’ colors of blue and orange don’t exactly resonate well with comparisons to Batman’s black, more black, and some nearly-black-like shades of gray.  Blue and orange are actual colors, which is again, closer to Robin, who actually has colors in his outfit.

The bottom line is that it’s stupid that Matt Harvey is so often referred to as The Dark Knight, when I’ve basically just given several unbiased (totally biased) reasons to why he probably shouldn’t.

So if Matt Harvey shouldn’t be The Dark Knight, who should?

  1. Nobody.  These are baseball players, not actual heroes, who do actual heroic things like stopping or solving crimes, helping those in need, or burying the Lazarus Pit so R’as al Ghul doesn’t cleanse the world.
  2. If there had to be a baseball player who could be a real-life Batman, it would probably have had to have been Derek Jeter.  Firstly, he played for the Yankees, the actual Gotham team, and second, he kind of was like Bruce Wayne in the sense that he was a womanizing playboy with more money than god, and in terms of sports heroics, he does have a large list of some notable hits.  But he’s retired and out of the picture, so Yeah Jeets is off the table.
  3. If you think about the criteria in which Matt Harvey was anointed The Dark Knight, one doesn’t need to look any further than the New York pitcher that basically did what Harvey did, a year later, when Harvey was out for the season recovering from Tommy John surgery: Masahiro Tanaka.  Comprehensively, Tanaka didn’t have the ERA or even WAR that Harvey notched in his own rookie season, but Tanaka did for the Yankees what Harvey basically did for the Mets: struck everyone out, had an extremely low ERA, and pretty much won every start.  Going by their first 14 starts, Tanaka pitched in more innings, struck out more guys, had a better ERA, and won more decisions (11) than Harvey did (5).

But there’s no way the media would give a foreign player, let alone a Japanese player like Tanaka have a cool name like The Dark Knight.  Who cares if Tanaka actually played for the Gotham City Yankees, and was having a better rookie year than Harvey did, the name was already anointed to a bum like Harvey, and there’s no takebacks.

The bottom line is that calling Matt Harvey The Dark Knight is about as cool as your own parents dabbing or using hashtags in commonplace dialogue.  Just because Harvey pitches for a team that resides in the state of New York doesn’t automatically mean it’s Gotham City, and imagine if the association was reversed, and Batman was given the Mets’ color palette instead of the Yankees?  Yeah, that’d look pretty fucking gay, seeing a blue and orange Batman.

For the love of god, I’d plead that Matt Harvey cease to be called The Dark Knight, but that’s not going to happen until he starts sucking.  And since he’s on the Mets, I’m hoping for it to happen sooner rather than later.

Probably a very smart decision

Thank the fucking lord: Georgia governor, Nathan Deal has declared that he will veto House Bill 757, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, AKA Operation to Okay Discrimination.

When this passed the Senate and made it’s way to the Governor’s desk, I thought to myself, “there’s absolutely no way that Deal is stupid enough to alienate billions of potential dollars for the state, just so a few fucking hicks can be legally allowed to discriminate against, mostly homosexuals.”  It was the no-brainer of no-brainers, pitting the Stig in a Corvette against Fred Flintstone’s car with no wheels and Fred Flintstone himself missing his legs.

You know what the scary thing was though?  In the spirit of jinxing it, Murphy’s Law, and all other superstitions, I never said anything aloud along the sort.  That’s the scary thing; that Georgia could be that much of a fucked up backwater state that it’s governor just might agree with the bigots and just let HB 757 to have passed.  And then the entire state collapses on itself, and when Florida is declared unfit to remain a part of the United States, might just have Georgia dragged along with it when it’s sawed off the country and shoved into the Gulf of Mexico.

But thankfully, greed wins out over bigotry, and Nathan Deal just so happens to like money more than he hates the gays.  I guess those of us who live in Georgia should feel a little relieved that such is the case, but I don’t buy it for a second that Deal wouldn’t have signed HB 757 if not for the intervention of just about every single major corporation basically threatening to condemn their business in the state if it passed.

Believe me, I worked for the state, and I was exposed to the Governor’s existence more than the average Georgia probably would want to be.  Lord only knows the head cheese of my old office would bend over backward and die trying to turn water into wine if Deal asked her to.  But I also learned that he’s a pretty staunch Republican conservative, and it didn’t take a genius to see the sneer in his face when subjected to the topic of equality, and the photographs where he’s pretty obviously distancing himself away from black people when he visited factories and groundbreakings.

Here’s my favorite part of the announcement that Deal was going to veto:

I know his choice to veto this measure was not easy.

I disagree.  It was probably the easiest decision to make in his entire life.  Easier than choosing which pair of socks to wear in the morning, and whether or not he should wear a white oxford shirt or a cornflower blue oxford shirt.  When it’s basically “appease 141 bigots” versus “tank the entire state’s financial stability,” it’s like I said, it’s the no-brainer of no-brainers.

Although I’m relieved that my state is a little bit less embarrassing to be a resident of now, I’m actually still agitated that all of this clown bullshit was even allowed to occur in the first place.  I’m not satisfied with it just being vetoed, I’d like for there to be some fucking accountability for 104 house members who voted this through, and then the 37 senate members who leapt aboard as well.  I’d love to see that along with the veto, that all of these motherfuckers are singled out and accused of wasting valuable taxpayer resources to fund this discriminatory agenda.

I’m also agitated with the notion that as a result of Deal converting the 2-inch putt into the Grand Canyon, Deal is emerging from this whole shit show as some kind of hero.  As I said, I don’t think he vetoes HB 757 if there weren’t hundreds of businesses threatening to pull billions of dollars from the state’s coffers, but because he was put into basically a win-win situation, he comes out looking squeaky clean, regardless of what transgressions he’s let slide in the past.

Whatever though, this is just the conspiracy theorist in me more or less being a sore winner.  I’m relieved as hell that HB 757 is shot down, but everyone has to admit that he’s a crying fucking shame that it made it this far at all.  Greed triumphs over Jesus-fueled homophobia, in a battle that should never have even come to arena in the first place.