The NBA ended its worst season in recent memory on Sunday. Yes, it was really that bad.
It never felt good. Not at the start of the season. Not in the middle of the year when the league celebrated its greatest players on its 75th anniversary. Or even at the end where we might have seen some meaningful games with teams playing for something.
No. Nope. Nada.
Instead, we got mush, goo.
The best way to describe the 2021-2022 NBA season goes like this. It was disjointed, incomplete and never really whole.
Way too many stars were missing in action for many different reasons.
In short, most NBA fans couldn’t have enjoyed it. It just felt like there was still meat left on the bone as the regular season concluded.
Sure, the Play-in Tourney is next, and then the postseason. Hopefully, NBA fans will get more excitement and thrilling outcomes.
As for the regular season, here are the top five reasons the NBA was hot garbage.
1. The Lakers
For sure, there were plenty of fans who were happy to see LeBron James and the Lakers not make it to a Play-In game. Most assumed that with the roster the Lakers had they were at the very least going to make the postseason.
Instead, it was a train wreck from jump. People kept thinking it couldn’t get any worse, but it did. Anthony Davis got hurt and seemed to miss a million games — again.
Russell Westbrook, the Lakers’ big offseason addition, wound up being what most NBA writers and analysts thought: not a good fit. In fact, he was a terrible fit with James.
And we saw with our own eyes that James — who averaged 30 points a game — doesn’t impact winning anymore.
The Lakers were so terrible that it wasn’t even fun for anti-L.A. people to watch. Somehow, with four Top 75 players on their roster, the Lakers failed to win back-to-back games since Jan. 7.
2. Injuries all over the league
If the NBA was a TV show this season, it would be M.A.S.H. All around the league, there was a wave of missing stars on rosters. Kawhi Leonard didn’t play a single minute for the Los Angeles Clippers. Neither did Zion Williamson for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Kevin Durant missed 21 games. The Denver Nuggets missed two of their best players most of the season in Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr..
Warriors star Steph Curry got injured at the end of the season. Golden State hopes he can return for the postseason. Chris Paul missed time with the Phoenix Suns. And Damian Lillard was shut down by the Portland Trail Blazers.
There were plenty more. But there’s not enough room on the internet to list them all.
3. Kyrie Irving
Sure, it was his personal choice not to get vaccinated, but he stole away the chance for Nets fans to see the three-headed monster — Durant, Irving and James Harden. He missed most of the season in Brooklyn because of a city ordinance. It was a bummer for those who wanted to see what was possible with three of the best scorers in the game on the same squad. Hence, the Nets were half-baked.
4. James Harden forcing another trade
Harden, one of the league’s most prolific scorers, has turned into a walking disaster. It’s hard not to look at him sideways. He has now forced his way out of two teams the last two seasons.
First, from Houston to Brooklyn last season. And this season, from BK to Philadelphia.
And after his first five games in Philly, many thought the Sixers struck gold. Not anymore. His regular season ended with a fizzle.
5. Ben Simmons not playing a single minute this season
Simmons’ season played out like the soap opera he has become. He finally got his wish, a trade out of Philly to the Nets. Sadly, another injury (lower back pain) sidelined him. He has yet to suit up for Brooklyn. The star forward, however, could play in the first round, if the Nets get out of the Play-in Tournament.
All of this made for a terrible season for the NBA, a terrible watch for its fans. The NBA was so bad this season that a Golden Girls marathon on Lifetime often offered better entertainment instead. Thank you ladies for being a friend through all this.
Chelsea FC: Brilliant Badiashile leading way for new signings as Thiago Silva partnership blossoms
His promising early form at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea will hope, hint at better times to come through their new signings.
The arrival of French centre-back Badiashile at the start of last month kick-started a record January spending spree of more than £300m.
After Chelsea were sent spiralling into crisis with defeats by Manchester City and Fulham, Badiashile made his debut in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
After the Blues claimed a further two clean sheets in 0-0 draws away at Liverpool and at home to Fulham, he is building an impressive partnership with Thiago Silva.
Badiashile was one of five new signings to feature in Friday’s 0-0 draw with Fulham. He started alongside £106.8m Enzo Fernandez, who started well but faded over 90 minutes, £89.5m Mykhailo Mudryk, who struggled over 45 minutes while carrying a cold, and £30m Noni Madueke, who was bright after being brought on at half-time.
“What a waste of money” was the regular chant from the Fulham fans in the away end.
That felt harsh in Badiashile’s case. With his size and speed, he looks like a perfect partner for 38-year-old veteran Silva.
In addition, he showed the ability to play brilliantly out of Fulham’s well-drilled press and he coped in his duels against Aleksandar Mitrovic.
There is still adaption to be done, as Graham Potter barked instructions about his positioning in relation to Silva.
However, using French to communicate with the former Paris Saint-Germain captain, Badiashile has helped steady the ship in the absence of the injured Wesley Fofana, and with Kalidou Koulibaly out of form.
While still only averaging just 1.05 goals per game in the Premier League, Chelsea will draw more than they win unless their new midfielders and forwards step up.
Arriving in the weeks after Badiashile, the likes of Fernandez, Joao Felix, Mudryk and Madueke have not had as much time to adapt to their surroundings.
With Chelsea still in 10th place and increasingly falling behind in the race to qualify for Europe, they must follow Badiashile’s lead and hit the ground running before time runs out.
Reporter’s notebook: Jesse Marsch’s Leeds side showed encouraging signs at times but lack of points cost him his job | Football News
Jesse Marsch was approaching his one-year anniversary as Leeds United head coach before the decision was taken on Monday to relieve him of his duties.
The defeat to Nottingham Forest a day earlier had been the final straw for the Leeds board, who were all aligned in the view that a change was necessary after almost three months without a Premier League win.
The recent statistics paint a grim picture for Leeds. Seven Premier League games without a win and just two wins in the last 17 league games. And against Forest, although they dominated in the first half and created the better chances, a worrying pattern had started to develop which had become a huge concern for fans. Leeds were producing performances with lots of positives, but not enough points.
There is little doubt that a large proportion of the fan base had lost patience with Marsch, and they made their frustrations clear at the full-time whistle on Sunday with calls for a change of head coach.
What is very evident is that Leeds have not kicked on this season. At times there have been really promising signs, but the fans and the board at Leeds wanted more. Marsch will feel that with time he could have delivered more, but he was also realistic enough to know that he was walking a tightrope.
I got to know Jesse well during his 12 months at Elland Road and it was abundantly clear he cared passionately about the club. He understood what it meant to be head coach of Leeds United and what the club meant to the city and the fans. And he has to be given great credit for keeping Leeds in the Premier League last season.
Although it hasn’t worked out for Marsch this season, there is a strong argument to suggest that the next Leeds boss will be in a great position to move the club forward.
Patrick Bamford and Luis Sinisterra are now fit, and the January additions should make the starting line-up stronger. The club has also invested heavily in young players and one of those, Willy Gnonto, has emerged as one of the shining lights of the season.
Those factors have created an expectation that Leeds are better than their current league position, and that means a reluctance to accept another season fighting to avoid the drop. It also means that there are reasons to be optimistic about the future.
The process of finding a replacement for Marsch is already underway and Leeds hope to make a swift appointment. A move for Marcelo Bielsa is highly unlikely, but West Brom boss Carlos Corberan, who worked under Bielsa, is a candidate, while Ange Postecoglou at Celtic has also been linked.
It is also worth noting Leeds have a track record of leftfield appointments, so as they work through their list of targets, there is a good chance that a candidate emerges that could surprise everybody.
In the meantime, Michael Skubala, Paco Gallardo and Chris Armas will take training at Thorp Arch, and will be in the dugout for Wednesday’s Premier League fixture against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
February 8: Manchester United (A) – kick-off 8pm
February 12: Manchester United (H) – kick-off 2pm, live on Sky Sports
February 18: Everton (A) – kick-off 3pm
February 25: Southampton (H) – kick-off 3pm
March 4: Chelsea (A) – kick-off 3pm
March 11: Brighton (H) – kick-off 3pm
March 18: Wolves (A) – kick-off 3pm
Tom Brady in his underwear is taking over Twitter
It’s Super Bowl week, and if you thought Tom Brady was going to let this week go by without being all up in your timeline…well. Just a week after announcing he’s retiring from football (you’ll never convince me he didn’t play an extra year just to stick it to Adam Schefter), Tom Brady has dropped his first thirst trap on Twitter. Or, attempted thirst trap. Actually, IS this a thirst trap?
As will many things Tom Brady, the attempt to be cool and edgy just winds up being sterile, boring, and kinda sad. A beige man in a beige room in beige underwear with a “pleass clap” look on his face.
And because OF COURSE:
Yes, Tom. We all knew the plug as coming. I’m not sure what color “heather crimson” is supposed to be, but I believe this is what we used to call “puce,” which… meh. The fact that there is something called the “Brady Boxer Brief” is enough to make me want to stick my head in the oven, because you know there are guys in New England burning up the internet right now to wear the same undies as their hero. And even more so because no amount of refusing to mask during COVID, vouching for Antonio Brown, stumping for Donald Trump, or getting a PPP loan during a nationwide pandemic is enough to get people to stop buying what this guy is selling. He’s even gotten to Jane Fonda, for crying out loud.
Of course, this entire thing was set up by Brady’s own brand:
So…whatever. It’s Super Bowl week and everyone is talking about Tom Brady, which is exactly how he wants it to be.
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