I was surprised to learn that Kyrie Irving wanted to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the reports are true, he is not happy playing in the shadow of LeBron James. So, it appears that he wants to go to a team where he will be the featured star. The situation was interesting to me because he was the star of the Cavaliers, until James returned to Cleveland. During that time, the Cavaliers had a pathetic win-loss record, which improved immediately upon the return of James.
Additionally, it seems to me that James is the most gracious of all of the current superstars. He is willing to pass up a shot for himself in order to pass the ball to one of his teammates. It appears that Irving will be replaced on the Cavaliers by Derrick Rose.
Lonzo Ball will have a year of experience under his belt and should be well on his way to becoming a superstar. So, with Ball, James, and one more star, the Lakers should be good enough to go deep into the playoffs, with an outside chance of winning the championship. He just seems to me that King James should be in Los Angeles. I suspect that Magic Johnson feels the same way.
Although Al Campanis would never have fired him, Dave Roberts is on his way to becoming one of the most successful managers in Dodger history. Winning has become a habit with his team, and he is making it look easy. He tried to make things as easy as possible for Clayton Kershaw as his star pitcher. He tried to place a reasonable limit on the number of pictures that Kershaw could make in any game. This was done in an effort to minimize the stress on his pitching arm. However, like a spoiled baby, Kershaw complained about being taken out of the game, since winning was so much fun for him.
Now, despite Roberts best efforts, Kershaw has to go on the Disabled List because of a sore back. At this point, the team is hoping that he will not require surgery, and that with a little bit of rest, the problem will go away. That is also the hope of most of the fans. If Kershaw does recover, I think that he will be a little bit more understanding if Manager Roberts wants to give them some rest.
Quarterback Robert Grifﬁn, III (RGIII) will begin workouts for the Chargers this week. He is hoping to make the team as a backup quarterback. I first saw him when he was playing quarterback for Baylor University. At that time, he was by far one of the best quarterbacks that I had ever seen, and I was absolutely certain that he would soon be a big star in the NFL. It started out that way, but he played the game with such reckless abandon that he was quickly injured. Even after that, he would charge into defenders, when he had the option of running out of bounds. So, for him, it has been injury after injury.
I suspect he still has the talent become a star in the NFL. The problem, as I see it, has been his poor judgment. At the age of 27, he still has time to become a real star, if you can manage to stay healthy. At this point, USC’s Sam Darnold is the best college quarterback that I have ever seen. He has everything: the arm, the brains, and the poise. The Trojans will be knocking on the Championship door this year.
Since the Clippers do not have enough talent to win a Championship at, I would dare to suggest to Doc Rivers that he hire a head coach for the team, and spend all of his time being president. This is a team that needs to do a better job of scouting and of personnel management. If the Clippers do not show a lot of progress this year, I fear that Doc will be in danger of losing both jobs. Additionally, it seems to me that Doc as a nearly permanent case of laryngitis. If he continues doing what he is doing, then he like Bill Sharman did, may lose his voice altogether.
The Rams have to deal with the awful possibility that Jared Goff will never be able to make it is a quarterback in the NFL. A substantial number of college stars simply cannot make that transition. You can only assume that a player can be a professional quarterback, after he has done it. So far, Goff has not been able to do that. He looks like a great prospect, but the proof is in the pudding.