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I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But... 
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Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:02 am
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Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:37 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
So, the Finals are likely over and the Heat will likely win their first title. As much as it pains me to give them credit, they deserve it. Shockingly, they've been the better team this series, and they've totally earned their ring. Lebron's been great, Wade's held up, Bosh has contributed, and they've gotten a role player or two to step up consistently. A few thoughts on the series a as a whole:

Lebron's the best player on the planet, by a pretty wide margin. When he plays in the post and attacks the basket, he cannot be stopped. That's always been true, but he's figured that out now. As much as I dislike him, it's fun to watch him play when he's not dribbling out the shot clock and taking contested 24 footers. I love Durant, but Lebron is quite a bit better than him right now. Durant's a better shooter, but Lebron is literally better at every other things people do on a basketball court. When he's in the post, he's either going to score, get fouled, or get someone a wide open jumper. I don't know why it took him so long to realize this, but now that he is - yikes!

All that said, watching him ham it up on the court and the sidelines because he had fucking cramps was embarrassing. It's cramps! I understand if you have to come out, but seriously, stop acting like your ankle was broken or something. It was cramps! CRAMPS!!!

For all the star power in this series, the difference has been the role players and the 3rd member of each big 3. Bosh has been at, or close to, a double-double in every game minus Game 1. He's been hitting that 15-18 footer and has gotten some huge offensive boards. Harden, minus his big Game 2 (and even that was really only a half of great play), has been...wait for it...MIA! His steal and subsequent blown layup last night pretty much sums up his first NBA Finals appearance. After that, he was playing timid and scared, and he's worthless when he's playing like that. Miami's also gotten big contributions from guys like Battier and Chalmers, while OKC's role plays have almost no impact on the game. Perkins had a solid Game 3, and Ibaka's been blocking shots, but neither guy is hitting the boards like they should, and none of the role players can get any jumpers to fall. For the most part the Durant-Westbrook vs. Lebron-Wade matchup has been pretty even. OKC just can't get over the hump without any help.

How long is it going to take Scotty Brooks to realize that James Harden CANNOT guard Lebron James? Seriously, it's been 4 games and he keeps throwing Harden out there to get abused by Bron! Lebron just goes in the post and owns him. Every. Single. Time. Granted, Lebron is playing great now, and he's not someone you can just shut down, but you can make it difficult for him. Durant actually does a pretty good job on him because he's so long, but Brooks does everything he can to avoid that matchup. I don't get it. Harden doesn't make life remotely difficult for him. Make the switch, man!

Westbrook's unforgivable, completely idiotic foul aside, last night is why you can live with him not being a pure point. He was spectacular and was the only reason Miami didn't run away with that game.

To give myself some credit for a correct prediction, the ends of these games have been utterly dreadful to watch. Both teams love them some hero ball, and it's on full display for the last few minutes of each game. It's ugly and boring to watch and takes away from what has been a really well played Finals outside of that.


Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:00 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
(A bit of background as I enter this thread.) I've followed the NBA on and off for quite a few years now. Don't have the expertise that some of you have but still love the sport to bits and try to catch the playoffs regularly (Support the Lakers FWIW).

Agree with Pete. It really will take a miracle for Oklahoma to get back into this now. But, my God was Westbrook awesome in that fourth quarter. I've read a lot of opinions on him here but the guy is seriously good for someone who is 23 years old. Obviously he needs the experience to not have brainfarts like he did when he fouled Chalmers which effectively cost OKC the game. I've always felt that that is one of those aspects that comes as a player matures. But watching OKC play, the only thing that went through my mind was that a better young team couldn't be assembled anywhere in the league right now. If they can keep the core together, I'd seriously love to watch how they play and develop together over the next few seasons.

As it stands, I cannot imagine how the Heat can fuck this one up even though I'd love it if they do. (Never really liked them at all.)

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Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:55 pm
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Balaji Sivaraman wrote:
(A bit of background as I enter this thread.) I've followed the NBA on and off for quite a few years now. Don't have the expertise that some of you have but still love the sport to bits and try to catch the playoffs regularly (Support the Lakers FWIW).


Welcome to the best thread on these forums! It's a shame that the season is ending (probably tomorrow night), but we're glad to have you.

Balaji Sivaraman wrote:
Agree with Pete. It really will take a miracle for Oklahoma to get back into this now. But, my God was Westbrook awesome in that fourth quarter. I've read a lot of opinions on him here but the guy is seriously good for someone who is 23 years old. Obviously he needs the experience to not have brainfarts like he did when he fouled Chalmers which effectively cost OKC the game. I've always felt that that is one of those aspects that comes as a player matures. But watching OKC play, the only thing that went through my mind was that a better young team couldn't be assembled anywhere in the league right now. If they can keep the core together, I'd seriously love to watch how they play and develop together over the next few seasons.


I was furious at Westbrook for that foul after the game last night, but I've softened my stance a bit today. He really was the only reason OKC was in that game, so if anyone's going to blow it, at least it was him. OKC fans should be angrier at Harden's no show for the Finals than anything else.

Balaji Sivaraman wrote:
As it stands, I cannot imagine how the Heat can fuck this one up even though I'd love it if they do. (Never really liked them at all.)


But boy would it be awesome if they did. I won't happen, though. Lebron seems to have figured it all out now. He could be ready to go on a legacy making run these next few years. We shall see. Either way, he's getting title #1 in a matter of days.


Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:29 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Egads! Has any team ever come back from 3-1 down? I don't think so, right? Either way, this series looks like it's over tomorrow night (if so, I've lost a bet and owe a friend movie tickets, damn you Thunder!)

I totally agree with Pete about role players making the difference. Did you guys hear that Battier tied an NBA record for most 3's made after 3 Finals games? Shane Battier! I mean, he was always a good 3-ball shooter but he clearly regressed this season (offensively and defensively) and there's no way I would have ever expected him to tie an NBA record. That said, he went a little cold last night. So what happens? Mario Chalmers plays fantastic basketball. And give Norris Cole a hand too. He's been excellent on both ends in the last two games.

I also think we're underrating Miami's defense a bit. These guys are ridiculously fast. The Thunder have an incredibly high number of apparent open jumpers that are suddenly contested at the last moment. The Heat may not have great post defenders, but they're absolute beasts at help defense and clogging the lanes.

You know what really sucks? 1 ring builds confidence. If LBJ and co really end up winning "not 3, not 4, not 5..." I might just stop watching basketball. Well, probably not...

In regards to Westbrook's very silly play, is he totally at fault? My first impression is yes, but is there a responsibility on the coaching staff to remind the players of these kind of things? Probably only if they're coming out a timeout? What does our resident hoops coach say?

Incidentally, Miami did a really good job of not fouling. Westbrook kept attacking the hoop, took 32 shots (32 shots!!!!) and went to the line 3 times. That's incredible. The Thunder only went to the line 16 times (as opposed to 25 trips for Miami). Remember that OKC is one of the best teams in NBA history at drawing fouls.

In other NBA news...the Wizards! Pete! I can't believe they traded Rashard Lewis. I'm surprised they could get something for him. But then...is this a good deal. Sure, they get rid of Lewis, but Ariza is horribly overpaid. Okafor is a solid player, but very injury prone. Could they have gotten more? I think it's probably a fair trade for both teams but am interested in hearing some other takes on this.


Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:01 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
ed_metal_head wrote:
In other NBA news...the Wizards! Pete! I can't believe they traded Rashard Lewis. I'm surprised they could get something for him. But then...is this a good deal. Sure, they get rid of Lewis, but Ariza is horribly overpaid. Okafor is a solid player, but very injury prone. Could they have gotten more? I think it's probably a fair trade for both teams but am interested in hearing some other takes on this.


Here's your boy Zach Lowe's take, which is pretty fair, I think: http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/06/20/hornets-wizards-trade/?sct=nba_t2_a4

It's an odd move. One on hand, the Wiz are clearly better with Okafor, Ariza, and Nene as opposed to Lewis, McGee, and Young. There's just no question about that. On the other hand, we sacrificed a whole lot of cap room and committed a lot of money over mulitple years to those 3 guys. They're likely on the team for the forseeable future.

The downside is that Nene and Okafor are both 30+ (or at least will be this year) and injury prone. Ariza is horribly overpaid and thinks he's a lot better than he actually is. Also, we still need some shooting in the worst possible way. This trade all but locks in Bradley Beal for us at #3 next week, and I'm ok with that. We need someone who can shoot and score.

The upside is that with Seraphin's emergence towards the end of the year, and Booker being a legit rotation player, we have 4 quality big men. Not many teams can make that claim. We also upgraded our SF spot with Ariza, but that's very faint praise, as Vesely and Singleton were probably the worst SF combo in the league last year. Vesely did get better as the year went on, so hopefully he becomes a legit rotation player.

I'm not sure we could have gotten anyone to trade anything more for Lewis' contract (and make no mistake, this was all about cap room for the Hornets, not the player), but I do think we might have been able to get a bit more if we attempted to use that money in free agency. I'm not too keen on tying up that much money in an injury prone center and an overpaid SF. At the same time, who knows if anyone who's any good would have wanted to come play in DC anyway. We may have ended up spending all that money by overpaying someone worse than Ariza. Or multiple people worse than Ariza. Either way, this is the Wizards for at least the next 2 years.

The bottome line, to me, is that Wall needs to make a big leap this year. He needs to be a star for any of this to truly matter. We've always had the excuse that he hasn't had a real NBA caliber team around him to take advantage of his talents. Now, he does. It's time for him to become who we drafted him to be. We'll see it if happens.


Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:38 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
YAYYYYYYYYY


Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:09 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I was totally wrong: the Heat won in five, not six. I think I got LeBron right, though; he turned the corner this year, and he was shuttling towards this bright, shining moment. And he did it as the Heat's MAN. Absolutely brilliant postseason from him, start to finish. He's not only the best player in league by a mile, but Durant isn't even CLOSE.

P.S. - Mike Miller may be a walking corpse now, but MY what a well-shooting corpse! Miami as a team stepped up, and I don't think LeBron could have gotten the monkey off his back more monumentally than this (maybe if averaged a near triple double per game and had over 20 assists over the last two games - oh, wait). He's also the first player in league HISTORY to have at least 650 points, 200 rebounds, and 100 assists over the course of the postseason (not including tonight). Just a once-in-a-lifetime talent.



So, suck it, Karl Malone. Suck. It.


Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:37 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Well, that's that then. The world is officially ending in 2012. All the signs are there. Heat are NBA Champs. City are EPL Champs. Madrid are Spanish League Champs. And, most importantly, Chelsea are Champions League winners. Do we need any more signs to pack our bags and go underground?

That final game was a complete blowout. Heat did everything right and the Thunder, everything wrong. OKC kept taking bad shot after bad shot, not doing anything worthwhile with possession, little movement, absolutely horrendous defense... Everything. Westbrook had another one of those days that he seems to have every now and then. (Solid example of this was when he tried to play hero for the final shot before half time with Durant available for the pass, summed up his performance.)

Heat played awesome, with lots of movement and drives creating open 3s for Battier and Miller. Miller just had one of those days. He was just in the zone. Every shot he threw up seemed to go in. His shooting performance was easily one of the best in these playoffs, and Heat's in general - statistically one of the best in Finals history. But they needn't have. They could've played in second gear and still come up with the victory. That is how poor OKC were on the night.

Still, it is all part of the learning curve for OKC. This finals just showed how inexperienced OKC still are on the big stage. And it starts from the coaching staff as well. As Pete said after the last game, Harden is such an easy mark for somebody of James' caliber. That is a mismatch of epic proportions. Nothing about that matchup was right. But still Brooks kept going with Harden on James right through the five games. Westbrook's inexperience proved costly last game and, in general, the finals showed that he still has a long way to go. Durant is awesome. Enough said. He's a solid ball player and has the maturity to lead this team to multiple titles in the future. The biggest challenge for OKC will be to keep this core together.

Lastly, has there been a more hated NBA Championship winning team than this Heat team. In stark contrast to Dallas last season who everybody wanted to win. And has there been a more hated potential future hall-of-famer than Lebron James. As Pete said, that show in the last game where he acted as if he was critically injured was pathetic. Sure, in press conferences, he says all the right things and makes all the right noises. Still, there's something intensely unlikable about him which is not something I would say about a lot of the recent greats. But there's no denying that he deserved this title. He led this team from the front and could've easily had triple-doubles in all of the games in the finals.

Unfortunately for me, he has got a solid team around him which could mean more titles are in order. Now, that is something I would truly hate.

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Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:53 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I personally don't think there is a single unlikeable thing about LBJ and the fact that he's the most hated athlete in the world is ridiculous. He seems like an extremely nice guy, he's never gotten in trouble with the law, he says all the right things. Why don't as many people hate Kobe? He's an asshole. Or James Harden? He celebrates after every 3 he makes.

We did this for Dirk last year so lets do it for LBJ. Where is LBJ on the all time list now?


Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:38 am
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
spencerworth34 wrote:
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I personally don't think there is a single unlikeable thing about LBJ and the fact that he's the most hated athlete in the world is ridiculous. He seems like an extremely nice guy, he's never gotten in trouble with the law, he says all the right things.


Well, stuff like this is one reason:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Image


I mean, I don't like MJ at all, but can you imagine him doing that? More than a bit lame. Lebron also fled his team after promising to bring them a ring, etc etc. I agree and we have all said that he's probably a decent guy to hang out with compared to someone like Kobe, but that also might be why he'll end up just below Kobe on the all-time list.

As far as where he ranks... I'm not sure. He should have had a ring last year and one ring doesn't vault him up hugely given how much talent he has. With Dirk, he was at the end of his career and assessing him based on a ring was different. It's wait-and-see with Lebron. He could absolutely obliterate the league the next few years and move close to #1, or falter and end up with only a couple rings. We'll see.

Additionally, while this doesn't take away from things quite yet, Rose and Howard played none of the playoffs this year. Lebron had to beat the Knicks and the Pacers to get to the beaten-down, very old and missing-their-best-defender Celtics. Not exactly a murderers row. Again, that's relevant until he gets more rings, just like it should always be noted that Peyton Manning's Super Bowl win came against Rex Friggen' Grossman.

Still, mad respect to Bron for every game since Game 5 against Boston. He plays like that for 7 years and he'll end up a top-5 all-timer.


Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:33 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I'm not going to get into how easy it is to dislike Lebron. If you can't see the reasons why so many people dislike him by now, then you're just intentionally putting on the blinders and there's no use in even talking about the topic.

As for where he ranks all-time? Shade's right in that it's tough to pin it down because he's just entering the prime of his career, and seems to have just figured everything out. Which is kind of scary considering he already has 3 MVPs and now a ring. He's likely to go on a really special run these next few years. That said, his 1-2 mark in the Finals, and history of late game choking prohibit him from cracking the top 10-12 right now. I think he's very safely within the top 20, and with his new ring I'd have to put him ahead of guys like KG, Dirk, Barkley, and Malone.

Really though, the bottom line is he needs more rings to enter the top 10 or so. I think he'll get them, and at 27 it's really hard to imagine him not getting them. I don't think he'll ever challenge Jordan, but he very well could unseat Bird as the best SF to ever play the game. He should end up as a top 5 player of all time. We'll see if he does.


Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:18 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I'm not putting on blinders.. I see no possible reason for him to be the most hated athlete in the world. He's just criticized differently than everyone else. Like if he celebrated every shot he made like James Harden does, it would be blasphemy. If he was an ass to the media or if he called out his teammates like Kobe he would get killed for it. Shade posted a video of him flopping, something everyone does. The only thing I understand people really still hating is the pre celebration where he said they'd win 7 rings or whatever. I don't get how people can still care about The Decision but not care about the Tiger Woods scandal anymore.


Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:33 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
spencerworth34 wrote:
I don't get how people can still care about The Decision but not care about the Tiger Woods scandal anymore.


Because people don't give a flying fuck about golf, golfers, or guys named after jungle cats. Tiger cheating on his wife was the only story about golf that even scratched national attention, and for good reason; Tiger's past his prime in a sport enjoyed by primarily 40+ year olds. Honestly, I'm not even angry at Tiger; Tiger suffered for his decision(s), while LeBron ripped Cleveland's heart out and won his first championship with his new team. It's simple human nature to sympathize with Cleveland's fan base; they totally lost out and LeBron flew to greater heights once he left them, while Elin gets to date a guy who isn't a golfer for the rest of her life. Sure doesn't sound fun to be the former, now does it?


Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:50 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
I generally have a problem with what people do on the field of play. Off the field, they maybe the biggest assholes (case in point, Kobe Bryant) or be genuinely nice guys (case in point, Rafael Nadal) and I couldn't care less about that. On the field is all that matters. How they play the sport is what genuinely matters. Their personal lives are of little concern to me as a sports fan. By that measure, I love Kobe Bryant and despise Rafael Nadal. The latter's time-wasting antics and generally unlikable behavior on the pitch makes him one of my most-hated sportsmen. Lebron James falls into the same category. Off the court, I think he sounds genuine and sincere, but on it, I think he is genuinely unlikable. He wouldn't be so hated if that wasn't the case. Look at Dirk, the whole world including people who didn't support the Mavs wanted him to get it. How many people apart from Heat fans do you think wanted James to get that ring though he genuinely deserved it? Therein lies the difference.

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Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:54 am
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Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Evenflow8112 wrote:
spencerworth34 wrote:
I don't get how people can still care about The Decision but not care about the Tiger Woods scandal anymore.


Because people don't give a flying fuck about golf, golfers, or guys named after jungle cats. Tiger cheating on his wife was the only story about golf that even scratched national attention, and for good reason; Tiger's past his prime in a sport enjoyed by primarily 40+ year olds. Honestly, I'm not even angry at Tiger; Tiger suffered for his decision(s), while LeBron ripped Cleveland's heart out and won his first championship with his new team. It's simple human nature to sympathize with Cleveland's fan base; they totally lost out and LeBron flew to greater heights once he left them, while Elin gets to date a guy who isn't a golfer for the rest of her life. Sure doesn't sound fun to be the former, now does it?



Um.....Tiger Woods is one of the most famous athletes in the worlds. A shit ton of people care about him and his success and failure.


Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:50 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
spencerworth34 wrote:
Evenflow8112 wrote:
spencerworth34 wrote:
I don't get how people can still care about The Decision but not care about the Tiger Woods scandal anymore.


Because people don't give a flying fuck about golf, golfers, or guys named after jungle cats. Tiger cheating on his wife was the only story about golf that even scratched national attention, and for good reason; Tiger's past his prime in a sport enjoyed by primarily 40+ year olds. Honestly, I'm not even angry at Tiger; Tiger suffered for his decision(s), while LeBron ripped Cleveland's heart out and won his first championship with his new team. It's simple human nature to sympathize with Cleveland's fan base; they totally lost out and LeBron flew to greater heights once he left them, while Elin gets to date a guy who isn't a golfer for the rest of her life. Sure doesn't sound fun to be the former, now does it?



Um.....Tiger Woods is one of the most famous athletes in the worlds. A shit ton of people care about him and his success and failure.



EDIT: MOST people don't give a flying fuck about golf. Nobody I know, of any age, watches golf or attends the vents. And if I made a thread about golf, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the most consistently conversational thread in OD...


Btw, as for your participation in this thread: You get NO credit for being a Heat fan who opportunistically decided to start posting when the Heat won their title. Grow some balls and support your convictions with actions. Hell, even Dan posted in here (albeit bitterly) after SA bit the dust. I also personally want to see proof that you were a Heat fan pre-2010, but that's not even the point. Just grow some balls and do a better job being a supportive fan and not a Skip Bayless impersonator.

P.S. - On the Rockets possibly adding Dwight Howard through draft wealth: I actually like this quite a bit. It sure beats an incredibly awkward marriage of Dwight and Mark Cuban (although that would be compulsively watchable), and who even cares about the Nets? Also, as odd as this is to say, I feel even more oddly comfortable in saying it; as long as Kobe thinks he's still the best player in the league, the Lakers will get tossed early every postseason from here on. And Dwight replacing Gasol and/or Bynum won't change the fact that Gasol and Bynum are almost never uniformly good from game to game (which is why tossing Odom - a born 4 and 5 back-up with Sixth Man consistency - was silently the death-knell of the Lakers' last playoff run) and are instead 'Swiss-cheese' players who need their backups to step up when they aren't feeling it (which is kind of laughable). So, bringing Dwight won't a.) make up for Kobe's need to shoot over 25 shots a game (and making an average of less than ten), or b.) make Gasol or Bynum any more mature/thick-skinned or consistent. I don't think anyone can explain to me why Dwight would help either situation - and both situations are fatal for the Lakers' title dreams. Adding a slightly better player to the 5 (and there's no doubt that the gap was closed this season, even if Howard is obviously still the better of the two) isn't the solution.

Actually, they should probably get an elite Superstar guard like Chris Paul to coral their collective deficiencies and give the team the leadership that Fisher once brought before he was traded (the ***dumbest*** NBA trade since the Green-Perkins debacle, by the way). Oh wait...


[Reveal] Spoiler:
Attachment:
66808472.jpg
66808472.jpg [ 89.08 KiB | Viewed 1599 times ]



Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Always brightens my day. Celtics in 13'.


Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:21 pm
Post Re: I Don't Know How Many Basketball Fans We Have Here, But...
Quote:
Btw, as for your participation in this thread: You get NO credit for being a Heat fan who opportunistically decided to start posting when the Heat won their title. Grow some balls and support your convictions with actions. Hell, even Dan posted in here (albeit bitterly) after SA bit the dust. I also personally want to see proof that you were a Heat fan pre-2010, but that's not even the point. Just grow some balls and do a better job being a supportive fan and not a Skip Bayless impersonator.


Well I don't go on this forum very often...hence me not "supporting my convictions with actions." I don't really need credit from some dude I don't know and will never meet in my life. I don't participate in this thread much any more because its gotten fucking boring. Nobody really says anything anymore.

And I'm not a Heat fan, I said a bunch of times last year I just root for Lebron.


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