10 Thoughts for the Week of September 6, 2020

1. R.I.P. JOHN THOMPSON

Basketball lost a great man on Monday. Black America lost a great man on Monday. John Thompson took a little school and made it a national powerhouse for two decades. He did it his way and he did not compromise. As a kid, I thought Georgetown was an HBCU and John Thompson was the epitome of a strong black man. When I was in middle school and high school, you were either a Georgetown or a UNC or Duke fan.

2. TORONTO v BOSTON

Speaking of basketball…let’s talk NBA Playoffs. This series went from almost 3-0 to the best series of the second round. It’s even at 2-2. The next three games are going to be straight war. That’s right…it’s going 7 games. Kyle Lowery is the type of player you love when he is on your team and hate when he is on the other team. It is fun to see him in the same game with Marcus Smart

3. MILWAUKEE v MIAMI

There is a very good chance that Milwaukee is going to get swept. The team that seems to have most benefited from four and a half months off (besides the Phoenix Suns) is the Miami Heat. They play hard and they are getting inspired play from Jae Crowder. Crowder has been nailing three-pointers in a heartbreaking manner if you are a Bucks fan. Giannis is the two-time MVP and Defensive Player of the Year has played hard and has sprained his ankle twice. Miami has neutralized the MVP and the rest of the Bucks have not stepped up. For the last three years or so, everyone has said,  once Giannis gets a jump shot, it is game over. My question is that day may not come.

4. CLIPPERS v NUGGETS

Both teams have each won a game very convincingly. We will see if there are adjustments that make a difference. Game 1 was all Clippers…Game 2 not so much.  Patrick Beverly losing his mind was out of character. Maybe it was a sign of the frustration the Clippers felt as they were outplayed all night. These guys still are the Clippers I guess.

5. LAKERS v ROCKETS

The Rockets stunned the Lakers in Game 1. This is the most curious series of the round. The big men of the Lakers against the small lineups of the Rockets. Lebron and AD should dominate, but it looks like the Rockets pulled out a zone and dared someone else on the Lakers to beat them. This could be a long series or the Lakers could impose their will the next four games.

6. TRUMP AND THE MILITARY

Jeffrey Goldberg’s article about Trump and his habit to denigrate the military has become a big deal this week. Calling people who get captured or die in war “losers” and “suckers” does not sound all that surprising after Trump disrespected John McCain. The only person Trump has shown any respect to is Vladimir Putin.

7. DODGERS ON CRUISE CONTROL

With the best record in baseball, the Dodgers continue to dominate the MLB. They have found their flow and now it is a matter of keeping everyone healthy. With the trade deadline last week, the Padres made moves to show they are going all in. This may be their first postseason in a very long time.

8. BROOKLYN NETS HIRE STEVE NASH AS HEAD COACH

The two-time MVP has all the bonafide to be a great coach. He was a good/not great athlete who dominated the game with vision and skill. I think it is a good move for a team that needs some swagger. It may help keep Kyrie Irving in check as well. My first thought was I hope he doesn’t end up like Jason Kidd. Then I thought about how Steve Kerr was hired for the Warriors where Nash did an apprenticeship.

Byron Scott complained the black coaches don’t get to coach a contender for their first job. Nash and Kerr are bad hiring to make that call on. They have two MVPs and three championships as players between the two of them. Although, it is sad Patrick Ewing was never a head coach after being an assistant coach for a long time.

9. HOW MANY LIVES WOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED BY A COMPETENT PRESIDENT SAVED

The editorial department of the New York Times has been writing about the number of lives saved in this time of COVID-19 if we had a competent president. David Leonhardt argues that 145,000 of the 189,000 death would have been prevented by a competent president. Ross Douthat argues that 22,000 deaths would have been prevented. Either way, there are a lot of people who did not need to die.

10. MESSI TO STAY IN BARCA

The three-week drama regarding Leonel Messi was resolved this week. Messi will stay at the place that has been his home in Barcelona.

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