Chris Grant’s Sports Talk: This and That

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There’s a lot going on. From the playoffs to baseball, to bad behavior to expensive shoes, there is quite a variety to talk about today. So, I better jump right into it.

 The Boston Celtics are still alive in the NBA playoffs. The last time I wrote about this, I was predicting their end in the first round. Looks like I was wrong. They are currently locked in a 2-2 tie with Washington for the right to advance to the Eastern Conference finals where they would face Cleveland. Golden State awaits the Rockets or the Spurs on the other side of the bracket. You kind of get the feeling we’re going to get a repeat of last year’s finals, right? LeBron and company are rolling and the Warriors are seemingly the best team on the planet. I guess the Spurs could upset them. I mean, anything is possible. But I just don’t see it.

While there’s not a lot of surprise on the hardwood, I am very surprised by the fact the Ottawa Senators have reached the Eastern Conference finals. I would say I fully expect the winner of the Capitals-Penguins series to eliminate them, but there is something about the way Ottawa is playing that hints at the fact they are going to the Stanley Cup finals. Maybe even to face the Nashville Predators. Boy, that’s got to make the higher ups in the NHL offices squirm. If hockey didn’t already have a hard time attracting casual fans to their television broadcasts, a Nashville-Ottawa Stanley Cup might just draw the lowest ratings of any major American sports final. Ever. I guess we’ll have to wait and see though. Still, a lot of hockey to be played before we cross that bridge.

New York Mets ace Matt Harvey decided to take Saturday’s game off. Problem is, he didn’t tell the team and ended up being suspended for three games because of this lapse in judgment. There’s no telling what Harvey was thinking here. He says he went out on Friday night and then played golf Saturday morning and the combination of these two things stopped him from getting to the park. In any other job, this would probably not be such a big deal. I mean we’ve all called in sick when we really weren’t, right? Well, most of us anyway. Harvey, however, is a professional athlete who makes millions of dollars to play baseball. He is held to a different standard than the rest of us. Harvey is too old to write this off to immaturity. Honestly, he should know better. The question now is, will he learn from his mistake? The Mets certainly must hope so.

Finally, let’s talk about LaVar Ball’s sneakers. The ones that cost $495 a pair. The ones that are more expensive than Air Jordans because “Michael Jordan was no Lonzo Ball.” All of this ridiculousness comes courtesy of the UCLA star’s father who certainly knows how to cash in on the family name for modest (depending on who you believe) profits. I wonder what Lonzo thinks about all this? He remains curiously silent on the subject. But maybe that’s the only strategy when dealing with LaVar’s antics. I find it hard to get too upset by any of it (yes, the shoes are ridiculously expensive, but so is Cristal. No one is forcing you to buy either one). LaVar Ball is doing a masterful job of keeping himself in the news which will inevitably move more of his products and put more money in his pockets. If you don’t like it, just ignore him. Personally, I am more amused by his audacity than repelled, so I will continue to follow along. I certainly have no use for five hundred dollar sneakers, but I can always use a good laugh.