By Chris Pennant (@kwandarykitten)
There’s a lot of noise in this time of 24-hour news and even the most insignificant sports tidbit gets at least five minutes of airtime before fading into memory.
Most of these news bits really aren’t deserving of such over-analysis and can be easily distilled into two categories: trash or not trash. It’s difficult for a regular person to find the time to distill, but have no fear, I’ve taken it upon myself to do it for you. Here’s the latest edition of “Trash or Not Trash.”
A quick note: if you were expecting to see the Fitchburg State basketball player appear in this week’s column, I deliberately chose not to publicize that story further. If you heard about it or saw the video, you’ve seen enough. If not, here’s the link. Just know: “trash” is not a strong enough word to describe that player, and as such, he doesn’t deserve any more words in this space.
Golden State Warriors — NOT TRASH (YET)
I once cheered Golden State as they rose to their seat on top of the NBA hierarchy, especially when they were destroying LeBron and the Cavs. Now, I’m like most of the fans in the NBA who are waiting to see if they’ll self-destruct before they can cement themselves as a true dynasty.
Truth be told, I don’t hate the Warriors. Steve Kerr is a likeable, forward-thinking, intelligent man and a quality NBA coach. Steph Curry is a great player. Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston are Illinois natives and good ballplayers. Even Boogie Cousins is a guy I enjoy watching.
It’s only fitting, then, that the two G-State players I most dislike were the ones involved in a back and forth snipe session near the end of regulation in Tuesday’s Warriors-Clippers match-up. Kevin Durant (aka His Mama Was the MVP) and Draymond Green got into it on the bench after Green failed to pass to KD with the clock running out in the fourth quarter, and instead lost the ball before time expired. Cameras captured the entire exchange on video.
Consider the fact that even though LeBron joined the Lakers in the offseason and Giannis Antetokounmpo is becoming a true once-in-a-lifetime player (he’s as close to a Hakeem Olajuwon backstory as we could possibly get in this generation AND he might have finally added a consistent jump shot), the Warriors are still the only real must-watch team this season.
They’re going for a three-peat, a feat still only accomplished three times in NBA history, Curry’s hot shooting start had writers foaming at the mouth before his injury, and looming over it all is the specter of Durant’s free agency. Now, the KD-Dray tizzy has rocket-fueled speculation that KD will begin another “new chapter” once the summer starts (and Regal Radio alum Scoop B has an idea where he might be headed!)
Meanwhile, the Warriors have lost three of their last five games, two by 20 or more points. It’s not time to push the panic button on such an accomplished team — especially one currently without the services of team cornerstone Steph Curry — but win or lose the Warriors will be must-see TV all season long.
NL MVP Race — NOT TRASH
Thank you, all that is good, including the supposed “baseball Gods.” For once in my long suffering White Sox fan life, the powers that be got it right.
Javier Baez is NOT the 2018 National League MVP.
Thanks to White Sox (and Brewers) fans on Twitter, I was clued into the fact that many Cub fans were championing Baez to win this year’s Most Valuable Player Award. On principle — fiery, bitter, Cubs-hating principle, I’ll admit — I was against it. There was no way he could be the MVP. Sure, he’s a phenomenal defensive shortstop, and he’s a dangerous man at the plate, but he strikes out too much! His average is too low! He couldn’t have MVP numbers, right?
I was wrong. Baez’s 2018 stats were very much worthy of MVP consideration, especially when you lump them in with his flashy, fan-impressing defense. However, thank everything for Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers.
If Yelich had not propelled the Brewers into the postseason with a monster second half of the year, and had he not done it at the expense of the Chicago Cubs, I would probably have to hear those lousy North Siders sneer for years about their MVP left side of the infield. The thought of it makes me dizzy.
So thank you, Yelich, for putting in supreme work and taking home that MVP trophy this year. You may bear an uncanny resemblance to Pete Davidson in his junior year of high school, but you saved me from a winter of discontent — for that, I’m forever grateful.
Nigerian Sports Radio — NOT TRASH
Other than telling you that the two men in this video are debating whether Cristiano Ronaldo is deserving of winning the FIFA Ballon d’Or, there is nothing I can say to describe this video without underselling it.
All I know is the man on the left is right and the man on the right is wrong, and I’m going to be faithfully listening to this sports station (Nigeria’s first and only sports radio, according to their Twitter) forever. Enjoy.
Chris Pennant covers professional basketball for WARR Media