Kawhi Leonard “paid” millions to “buy” NBA Championships

Thursday, 11 July, 2019

 

20190711 Kawhi-apalooza is over and it ended strangely By Doug Smith - Sports Reporter

20190711 Kawhi-apalooza is over and it ended strangely By Doug Smith – Sports Reporter

I love Doug Smith’s analysis and he is always a good read. In this case (see below for an excerpt), I disagree with Doug and want to make a few observations.

  1. No one got “played”. Everyone knows exactly what they get themselves into.
  2. I won’t call billionaires “riverboat gamblers” because the millions to them is “nothing” like you and I pay $5 for a cheap movie. For billionaires, it is not gambling if you enjoy the time spent watching the movie (or your NBA team do stuff) as they can never finish spending their money in their lifetime and last I check, even if you bring money to your grave, your hands are kinda stiff and you can’t spend the money.
  3. And wow Kawhi! I admire Kawhi so much as he has left “that much money on the table” (in the words of Doug) to buy (“buy” is my word, and yes, he “paid” millions to “buy”) the maximum chance to win NBA Championships and to win them fast asap, preferably in the next two seasons in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021!
    Kawhi (and his team of advisors including Uncle Dennis) thought carefully about how best to increase Kawhi’s chances to win. He is gambling with a pair of legal mercury loaded dices named Leonard & George that he personally designed. He has put the Clippers on the clock (and they know it) to win like NOW.Remember, at some point, any extra millions Kawhi can make also becomes meaningless to him because, lets not forget, his aim in life is NOT to collect the biggest number of houses around the world or the most number of fancy cars! Kawhi’s aim in life is to win the most number of NBA championships in the time that he is healthy to play basketball. In case anyone is counting, Kawhi is currently at 2× NBA champion (2014, 2019).

Kawhi told a reporter in 2015, “I’m just trying to pass Tim Duncan in championships if I can one day.”

For the record, Tim has 5× NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014). That my friend is what the #FunGuy has been thinking since high school and aiming to achieve in his basketball career all along, 6(?)× NBA champion (2014, 2019, 2020(??), 2021(??), ????, ????) How can you not admire Kawhi and think he is kinda “fun” in his own champion kinda way!

Here is a brief excerpt from Doug Smith’s blog post, “Kawhi-apalooza is over and it ended strangely

“Wow.

Only doing a two-plus-one deal with the Clippers sure caught everyone I talked to by surprise and once again proved Leonard is impossible to read and to think you can is folly.

But a lot of people were combination of mystified and perturbed by the move and some were kind of thankful it ended as it did.

I talked to agents who simply couldn’t comprehend a client leaving that much money on the table and I presume some eyebrows were raised at the players association office, as well.

It’s kind of telling that no player – not Leonard, not Durant, not Kyrie Irving, not Jimmy Butler to name just four – got every last dollar they could have out of the market. Not sure if that means the market is flawed or just too full of money but I do think it means something.

What it also means, to me in the immediate moment at least, is that the Clippers got used and a bit played and now the pressure on them to win big and win fast is astronomical. [K note: “win big and win fast is astronomical” is exactly the position Kawhi want Clippers to be in] It was one thing to pay the highest price ever paid by an NBA team on the trade market – basically two good players and a decade of draft picks to get the one guy the guy you wanted demanded you get – when the expectation was you’ve have Leonard for four year, a much longer time to win championships than just two.

I don’t know for 100 per cent that they knew they were only going two years guaranteed and if they did, wow, are they riverboat gamblers. If they didn’t, they got played.”

2019 July 11st update:

ESPN, July 10, 2019 “Kawhi’s contract puts the Clippers under pressure – Stephen A. | Pardon the Interruption” (quite similar to one of the points I made)

xxx


Lee Iacocca (1924-2019)

Wednesday, 3 July, 2019

 

My 1986 copy of

My 1986 copy of “Iacocca: An Autobiography” which I used for a high school English class assignment/book review. This is one of the autobiographies that got me onto the path of lifelong learning form insightful people’s biographies.

Goodbye Mr. Lee Iacocca (1934-2019), you will be dearly missed.

Thanks to my high school English teacher for letting me use Iacocca‘s best selling autobiography for one of the book review/class assignment which got me on a lifelong path of reading and enjoying autobiographies and biographies of many people which got me to learn valuable life lessons and teachable moments from them.

CNN, “How Lee Iacocca became an American icon” (bought back so many good memories)

Jun 2017, RegularCars, “The Legend of Lee Iacocca” (hope this is good)

xxx


Anna Maria Tremonti’s final edition of The Current (with a new Quote I LOVE)

Friday, 21 June, 2019
20190619 Anna Maria Tremonti's final edition of The Current

20190619 Anna Maria Tremonti’s final edition of The Current

I’ll miss Anna Maria Tremonti very much as I listen to the final edition (full text transcript) of The Current. AMT is one of the best broadcasters in Canada (if not the world). I totally admire her and see her is a National Treasure! Looking forward to her new podcast.

I highly recommend you have an enjoyable listen to AMT‘s final edition of The Current.

AMT, best of luck to you from a confessed listener since The Current started in 2002!

Here is an excerpt from the last interview of AMT by Carol Off, the departing host being interviewed on her show! (emphasis added, transcript mistakes fixed and link added)

AMT: […] To be able to do that story, to be able to say to The Current I want to take half an hour of prime time morning radio and I want to talk about the rape of women in war. And the bosses say: Okay. What do you need? We’ll let you do that. That’s the gift of The Current as well we have been able to tackle those kinds of stories at a time of day when people would go ‘Oh we’re not so sure about that’. And you know what the listeners have said thank you for that. And that’s really been important to me.

CAROL OFF: Because that’s the gift of Anna Maria Tremonti because what you do with that story is that you don’t make it so horrific that no one can bear it. You tackled it as into the humanity of those stories and that has been your hallmark no matter who you talk to, no matter where you’ve gone, you have made it a hallmark of your empathy of being able to draw those people and I think what people remember most about what you have done for these 17 years is that you have made Canada your hometown. You have been from coast to coast, talking to people on the line but also going to town halls everywhere. You have connected with this country. What does that meant for you?

AMT: A lot. You know when I became a foreign correspondent it was Joe Schlesinger who said now that you’re foreign correspondent you better think about what you’re going to be when you’re not. And I thought about coming home because when you’re foreign correspondent you never want to come home. It’s a great life. And the people you answer to are far away and asleep. So it’s perfect.

And here I’m adding a new quote to my long list of Quotes I LOVE,

“For 17 seasons you have been my partners in listening. In fact the most important thing I have learned in hosting The Current is how to listen, not how to talk, not how to ask questions, but how to listen. How to say nothing even and hear what someone else is really saying because I learn not in the asking but in the hearing. I learn about someone or something in the words that are spoken and then how they’re spoken and the words that are used in the exuberance, in the hesitation, in the emotion. Even the silences tell me something and they tell me something loudly.

At a world where so many people are shouting at each other, where so many refuse to hear anything but their own voice, the ability to hear another side to think differently, to question yourself, to learn something new, that is a gift.” – Anna Maria Tremonti (1957- ) (AMT’s final edition, timecode (~1hr 08min 38sec))


NBA Champ Raptors, Load Management, Kawhi Leonard, and a whole lot more

Tuesday, 18 June, 2019

For the record, the following are excerpts from five insightful articles I found to read re “Load Management” as used by NBA Champion team Raptors on its players including MVP superstar Kawhi Leonard. Pay attention to mentions of Alex McKechnie, Raptors’ director of sports science (hired by Raptors in 2011) who now has six, yes SIX,  NBA championship rings!

Let me start by sharing this cool bonus video that I found online:

How Toronto Raptors’ Alex McKechnie Built a Career in the NBA

Article #1 (This, by far, is the most insightful one out of the series of four)

June 1, 2019 Sportsnet, “The maestro of load management has been key to Raptors’ playoff success” Here is an excerpt (with emphasis added),

The Raptors were 17-5 when Leonard sat in the regular season but his value — and the value of Toronto’s patience — has been proven in the post-season.

The Raptors are 22 points better per 100 possessions with Leonard on the floor than when he sits, which is why Nurse has leaned on him so heavily when the games have mattered most.

That Nurse has been able to do so reflects the outsized impact of the club’s director of sports science, Alex McKechnie, a white-haired senior citizen with a Scottish accent who has as much influence in the organization as anyone other than Nick Nurse and president Masai Ujiri.

When the Raptors traded for Leonard, who had missed 73 games in San Antonio in 2017-18 due to an unspecified right quadriceps injury, a Raptors insider texted McKechnie with a simple message:

“You’re the most important person in the organization now.”

Managing the load
When Leonard arrived in Toronto, he made his priorities clear — after establishing that he was, indeed, “a fun guy” — a few minutes into his opening press conference on the eve of training camp.

He was asked: What does he want for his career?

“Just be able to be healthy, that’s my No. 1 goal,” he said. “Play a long, healthy career [and] be able to be dominant, wherever I land.”

He’s dominant. He showed it all season long as he posted career highs in points (26.6) and rebounds (7.3) and was second-team All-NBA and second-team all-defence despite playing just 60 games — missing most of the other 22 due to “load management.”

The term is a medical one, recognized by the NBA and deemed an acceptable reason for teams to sit out players who aren’t otherwise acutely injured or ill. It was McKechnie — who’s in his 19th NBA season and seventh with the Raptors — who made the term part of the lexicon and was responsible for managing the load by keeping track of Leonard’s fitness through a combination of biometric measures, outside medical opinions and feel.

Shortly after he joined the Raptors, McKechnie — who was not made available to be interviewed for this story — described his approach, honed after more than 40 years working in the field, as a blend of science and instinct born of thousands of hours of in-field experience.

“When we look at rehabilitation and training and conditioning, there’s a science to it, [but] once you establish the science the trainer becomes an artist, and so it’s really painting that individual’s picture,” McKechnie told Raptors.com in 2012.

“For example, you’re not going to do the same things you may for a post-up player as you would for a guard. Totally different approach to the training protocols. In much the same way that we look at a player shooting on his right side as a guy shooting from his left. There’s a completely different set of default postures that we look at.

The following excerpt is also very insightful (with emphasis added) but again, I recommend you read the whole report “The maestro …“, Read the rest of this entry »


Happy Green Balls from Paris

Friday, 31 May, 2019
Green Balls from Play | Alexander Ekman & Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris | Palais Garnier 2017

Green Balls from Play | Alexander Ekman & Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris | Palais Garnier 2017

Respect and help others, even total strangers. This is one of the many lessons my dad taught me by example.

You see. one year our family traveled to Thailand and there were performances (dancing and singing) at lunch. As our tour group finished our meals, people were getting ready to leave. All except our table.

Dad convinced our fellow travellers to stay seated for a few more minutes to allow the singer to finish her song before we left. The singer noticed and appreciated it. She was someone we would never meet again. I guess in some sense even she didn’t mind people leaving en masse mid-song as she must have come to expect and have seen happened many times. But our small gestures made a small difference to her that day.

Dad didn’t intend to teach me any lessons. He was just being himself. Respectful and polite (and be firm with reasons when needed) to everyone including strangers. I in turn got a lesson for life. By example.

So back to my green balls which signify playfulness and happiness to me thanks to the epic ballet Play in Paris (see trailer video below). It just so happened that while watching Play in Paris during an intermission, I was posting stuff on Facebook and saw a friend’s post which I saw as a “cry for help”. Long story short, after getting my hands on a few of the magical green balls at the end of the performance, I snapped a photo and sent it to my friend and promised to arrange a coffee meetup to give the friend one of my treasured green balls. We had a good talk. And the friend felt better.

Today, another Facebook friend from overseas seemed to be having a bad day so I took the above green balls photo and sent it to the friend with a few words of encouragement and care. Giving the friend my balls (photo of them) and keeping them. My version of “having my cake and eat it too“.   ;)

At the end of the day, I believe love and care are like that, the more you give, the more you have. We are all on this earth for the blink of an eye and may be gone tomorrow. Might as well be good and caring to our loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. We may not be able to be good all the time, but try we can. A new thought just came into my mind as I typed this paragraph. You see, if you think about it carefully, we are that “strangers” to others we don’t know. And the world and we ourselves would be better if we are all a bit nicer and kinder to that strangers as our world seem to fall into a darker period in our recent years.

Thanks dad. Thinking of you. OK, here are those balls, lots and lots and lots of balls! Enjoy!

Play trailer | Alexander Ekman & Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris | Palais Garnier 2017

xxx


The moral is to have [no referendum] at all. – New Quote I Love

Thursday, 30 May, 2019

Recently retired UK Supreme Court justice Lord Jonathan Sumption has been giving the 2019 Reith Lectures in the last few weeks. BBC Radio has broadcasted two out of five episodes so far. Check out my earlier post “2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption” for links to the lectures.

Here is a particular section that I got a new entry to Quotes I Love from (Lecture 2, In Praise of Politics, timecode 40:01)

BH: (BBC radio Host): If representative democracy is so effective as you argued that it is.

JS (Jonathan Sumption): I accept that it is not always.

BH: But parliament decided on a referendum when it came to Brexit.

JS: Yes, parliament can do many things that are unwise, that are inconsistent with the way democracies ought to work. I’m certainly not suggesting the referendum was unlawful. I’m simply suggesting that it was extremely unwise and that the last three years are an illustration of quite a lot of the reasons why.

BH: OK, you are not a fan, I get that.

JS: I’m not a fan of referendums, full stop.

BH: Well, that answer the second thing. To get us out of this mess, do we need a second referendum.

JS: Well, I don’t think we should have the first.

BH: But we had it now. So now how do …

JS: Let me finish my sentence. I don’t think we should have the first. But having had the first, it may well be that the only way that we can get out of the mess created by the first is to have another one. But the moral is not to have as many referendums as possible. The moral is to have none at all.

 


Raptors – Kawhi Leonard: “I don’t care about being best player. I want to be the best team.” Kyle Lowry: “Why not feed the big dog? Let the big dog eat.”

Sunday, 26 May, 2019

I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed watching “Kawhi Leonard & Kyle Lowry Postgame Interview” along with reading the report “NBA Playoffs 2019: Masai Ujiri’s bold moves, starting with the Kawhi Leonard gamble, forever changed Raptors history“. Here are links to a few notable time codes in the Postgame Interview,

0:11 Just LOVE this answer from Kyle Lowry: Why not feed the big dog? Let the big dog eat.

4:35 Kawhi Leonard: I don’t really judge my game like that. I’m more of a team aspect, see what my team is doing. Just want to win. I don’t care about being best player. I want to be the best team. I always said that.

5:13 Love this Q&A. [HT Canadian Press /CTV news for the following:]

//And another grin as Leonard and Lowry shared the post-game podium in the wake of the history-making 100-94 win over the Bucks. It came after Lowry was asked how this group had managed something no other Raptors team had accomplished. The point guard cracked a smile, looked left at Leonard, then broke into a laugh, looked at Leonard again and continued laughing. Leonard happily grinned back. “The one thing about Kawhi, and you guys all know it, is he literally stays level-headed all the time,” Lowry said admiringly. “He never gets up, he never gets down. He showed some emotion after Game 7 against the Sixers. But I think him and Danny (Green) brought that championship pedigree here, just kind of staying level-headed and even-keeled.” In the same news conference, Leonard deflected praise from team president Masai Ujiri, who called him the best player in the league during the post-game trophy ceremony.//

Milwaukee Bucks vs Toronto Raptors – Game 6 – Full Game Highlights | 2019 NBA Playoffs

Raptors, Good luck and all the best in the finals.

P.S. The following are great read too.

CBS Sports, “NBA Playoffs 2019: Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard stating case as best player on Earth with transcendent postseason run

The Star, “Kyle Lowry took his chip and went all in with the RaptorsRead the rest of this entry »


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