Jim Adams: Whoa! How about those Warriors?
June 9, 2017
WARRIORS CHARISMA — What is left to say? They reach The NBA Finals and blowout the Cleveland Cavaliers in Games 1 and 2. They score the last 11 points of Game 3 after trailing by 6. Go 15-0 in the playoffs. 30-1 over the stretch. Compare them to the Glory Lakers and Bulls! With Durant and Curry, this team is a juggernaut. At the end of Game 3, LeBron James exclaims, "I am drained right now, both physically and mentally." If Durant stays next season, expect more of the same.
PENGUINS TAKE SERIES LEAD — The Stanley Cup will be in the house on Sunday. Pittsburgh holds a 3-2 lead in The Finals thanks to a 6-0 whitewash on Thursday night. Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne lays a rotten egg in the 1st period with 3 goals on 9 shots. The Penguins roll. The Predators must hold serve on home ice to send this one to seven. They must score and play tight defense. Watch for this one to possibly go to the limit.
FAMILY FIRST — You have to love it. Phil Mickelson will miss golf's U.S. Open this year. Why? To attend daughter Amanda's high school graduation. The irony? He almost missed the event in 1999 for the birth of Amanda. In 2013, he had to fly cross country to attend her eighth-grade graduation. Best finish ever is a 2nd, but he quips, "As I look back on life, this is a moment I'll always cherish and be glad I was present."
OAKLEY DEMANDS DAY IN COURT — After the unfortunate dust-up between Charles Oakley and security guards at MSG on Feb. 8, he was hauled out of MSG and arrested. He is offered a plea deal that would dismiss all charges, but he wants to have his day in court against the New York Knicks. His conduct is labeled "inappropriate" and the media circus entails. Should be great court drama for the star who shined for the Knicks from 1988-98. An event the team must dread.
KERR IS BACK — Not a big deal that Steve Kerr returns for a triumphant Game 2? Wrong! It is a dark cloud lifted off the team. His ability to orchestrate his talent is superb. He has a long stretch of days in which he feels better. He does it because he truly feels he can see this through to the end. And do not discount it. This is vital. Could the team win without him? Probably. However, he feels it locks down all parts of the puzzle … and he is right. The team is highly supportive and gives him the leeway to make the decision. He has made the right one. The team is better with him … and everyone knows it.
UGLY OAKLAND SCENE — At the conclusion of Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Oakland, several fans brawl near the Cavaliers exit. J.R. Smith and LeBron James are delayed slightly. ABC covers the first few seconds of the physical dispute. Security intervenes quickly. Unrest squelched early. It mars a magical night as Golden State takes down Cleveland. Unnecessary end. Can we expect better behavior in Cleveland? Thuggery.
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THE ODD COUPLE — NBA's Charles Barkley crashes the party at the NHL's Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Sir Charles loves hockey. NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, invites him to this special tilt. He appears on NBC's 2nd intermission. He jokes of the time NBC's Mike Millbury jumped into the stands as a player in 1979. He adds, "Thank God for the NHL Playoffs. That's what I would be watching in the back instead of some of these blowouts." He is humble, yet humorous. Great move by the Peacock Network and NBC.
RYAN LOCHTE'S TRAGIC LOW — U.S. swimmer reveals in an ESPN expose that the travesty in Rio led him to consider "Hanging up my entire life." He speaks of how he was the most hated man on earth. It was OK if he went to sleep and never woke up. Indeed, it is the lows of his deceit and the false claim of being robbed at gunpoint while really vandalizing a gas station after a night of debauchery. Now, shockingly, he is focused on Tokyo. Time will heal all wounds…including this one.
GIANT STRUGGLES — It is a 3-4 week for the Giants. Another blown save by Mark Melancon on Thursday only to have teammates rescue him in the 10th with 4 runs. 29th in batting average at a paltry .233. 28th in runs scored. Last place in the NL West. It is a lackluster season and a serious June swoon after two previously poor months. Except for Ty Blach, the pitching staff is inconsistent. Running out of time to be part of the equation.
A'S TRUDGE ONWARD — At 26-33, Oakland is 3rd in the AL West. They are finding ways to win games with a 3-2 week. Could have gone 4-1 had they swept the Blue Jays. Doing it all while 24th in ERA, 25th in runs, and 27th in batting average (.235). Give this team some credit. They are batting, winning and resilient.
FINAL THOUGH — As training camp nears with each week, Colin Kaepernick will not start the season with a team. One of the worst financial moves by Kap ever in sports.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.