Don't let the Game 5 theatrics fool you. This is merely a 48-hour delay so that Beantown can celebrate its 17th NBA championship on its home court in front of its own fans. While some people may be concerned that not having Kendrick Perkins available to clog up the middle might put the Celtics at a disadvantage, fear not. Perkins is a solid youngster with a huge upside, but P.J. Brown and Leon Powe will get the job done.
No matter what happens, just the fact that this is a Celtics/Lakers Finals is a huge victory in itself, especially for those of us (myself included) who couldn't get enough of Bird/McHale/Parish/Johnson/Ainge versus Magic/Kareem/Worthy/Scott/Green.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER AND THE FUTURE OF BOXING
Talk about surprised, but not really. Floyd Mayweather's sudden official retirement from boxing leaves a hole in the welterweight division, perhaps the strongest in the sport at the time of the announcement. Assuming Floyd actually does stay retired (doubtful), it will keep his perfect 39-0 record intact but rob fight fans of several potentially intriguing bouts.
While Mayweather has beaten several great fighters in his career (Diego Corrales, Genaro Hernandez, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya) he has ducked many more who would have, even with a loss or two, still made him the greatest (Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Kostya Tsyzu, Paul Williams, Acelino Freitas and Joel Casamayor). I don't agree with Roy Jones' statement that if you're the best, others have to come to you. I believe that if you truly are the best, you fight all comers, on your turf, of course.
The greatest of his generation? Possibly. But man, put a couple of the fights I just listed on his resume and we're talking potentially greatest of all time.
THINGS I THINK I WONDER ABOUT (sorry, don't know if Peter King has his phrase copyrighted)
1. The Pittsburgh Pirates have to be one of the worst-run organizations in all of sports. I give them the nod because at least Peter Angelos is not afraid to spend money in Baltimore and the Marlins and Rays are starting to sign their young stars to long-term deals. The Pirates, on the other hand, have no real stars outside of Jason Bay and possibly Tom Gorzelanny, and no farm system to speak of.
Recommendation: Trade anyone of value outside of Bay, Gorzelanny, Ian Snell and Zach Duke. Move Bay if the right offer comes along. Sign free agents and move them in July for prospects. I know many teams already do this, but I'm sure not all PLAN to do it at the beginning. Case in point: Eric Gagne with the Rangers last year. Signs for $8 million, gets moved to Boston for a starting pitcher and two young outfielders, one of whom could be a future All-Star (David Murphy).
2. I don't consider myself a big golf fan, but whoa, How about that U.S. Open? It's still going on as I write this, and for good reason. I don't care who wins. Like the announcers said, it's one of the best in history.
3. Some team will take a chance on Cedric Benson. I get a strange feeling that we could see him here in Dallas, along with Odell Thurman and Chris Henry. Calvin Hill is sure going to have his hands full.
4. After Sergio Mora beat Vernon Forrest the other night for the WBC 154-lb title, he expressed a desire to move back to middleweight and fight Kelly Pavlik. I hope he's got his casket picked out.
4a. Went to my first live boxing match Friday night in downtown Ft. Worth (Telefutura showed it live) and saw the 4th ranked WBC middleweight (David Lopez) and a slew of other young prospects. As I watched Lopez (35-12, 24 KO) grind his way to a decision, it occurred to me that he is fourth in line for his own shot at Pavlik. I hope he's got his casket picked out.
5. If the Bulls believe that strongly in Derrick Rose, then I say trade Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas to the Miami Heat for the No.2 pick, then draft Rose and Michael Beasley. I'm sure it'll be a bit more complicated than this, but it'll sure shake up the roster.
6. I see Roy Jones and Joe Calzaghe might have a bout on for the fall. People who laugh at Jones because of his age now better watch it. It's not too far-fetched to think he could win this fight.
6a. Calzaghe said on espn.com that Kelly Pavlik might not be ready to get in the ring with him. Huh? Then I realized that was Joe's way of saying that he wanted to walk into retirement, not get beaten into it.
6b. Speaking of retirement and caskets, Paulie Malignaggi better get his ready too. Because Ricky Hatton could put him in both very quickly.If Malignaggi's power came close to matching his arrogance we might have a contest. But seeing as how he could barely get past Herman Ngoudjo and Lovemore N'Dou, I say Hatton blasts him out in about six rounds.
Until Next Time...