EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – I set up late last night to type this piece and totally fell asleep. So I got up early this morning to write up a piece. Fresh of the presses, today’s piece will be a scatter shot of news that has occurred during the week. The topics? First Time Champions, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant.
First Time Champions: This week the Toronto Raptors and the Saint Louis Blues won their first Championship, NBA and NHL respectively, in their history. I have to say, when it is not your team that lost to a first time winner, it generally doesn’t fell bad. As a neutral, you are happy to see the fans get their “one before I die” title. Now the city of St. Louis have seen their Cardinals win several times and their Rams (when they were there) win. And the Blues have been in the league a very long time, since 1967 to be exact, so fans have been waiting just over half a century for their title. So I begrudge them nothing at all. As for the Raptors, besides having Drake as their ambassador and cheerleader, they were respected but dismissed. Although their is a great documentary on Netflix on the Vince Carter years in Toronto and how he single handedly changed the city’s image, love of basketball and public interest in the team. However, their Canadians so it’s hard to hate on them and I mean they ordered a national holiday!! How can you beat that!?!
Kawhi Leonard: When the Raptors won the #1 seed in the East last season but were swept by LeBron and the Cavs, the idea that they blow up the team was a bit shocking as it was just LeBron being LeBron and how could you really think to fire the coach and trade away one of your best players. In packaging one of their best players in a trade with the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard and changing their coach and support players, they are now NBA Champions. Kawhi Leonard is the silent assassin of basketball. He doesn’t give great interviews or sound bites nor does he pound his chest or shimey. He just balls and balls better than anyone else. With his performance for the Spurs a few years back, where he won a title and Finals MVp, elevated him to a guy who could be a key #2 to help a team get a title. With the trade to Toronto and the performance he just put in he has moved himself into #1 orbit. It feels like when people were going Magic vs Bird and then Jordan had to be considered in the conversation. Leonard now has to mentioned in the same breathe as Steph and LeBron as he is that good and that much of a difference maker. What he will now be worth in Free Agency will be interesting.
Kevin Durant: I know Knicks fans have had their say but I haven’t had my say so here it is, make him plan C for the Knicks. I say they go out and get Kyrie Irving, first. He is not my number one choice but he is a top name that is easier to get if they can convince him that Brooklyn is not a good choice. Once they have Irving as a statement of intent, they can then go and break the bank trying to get the aforementioned Kawhi Leonard. If Leoanyd says no, then you can all out and sign Durant. I don’t believe any of this will happen, but we live in hope.
Share your thoughts and come back tomorrow for the aforementioned Short Matt. You can also find us on Twitter: @JunoirBlaber, @MeetTheMatts & @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram– @MeetTheMatts – and Facebook – Meet The Matts