1. NBA Finals-I must admit I was surprised when the Golden State Warriors rebounded (no pun intended) from an 113-107 deficit to beat defending champ Cleveland 118-113 to take a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals. Wow. I just knew the Cavs would win one at home. And I’m sure they thought that too.
  2. So what happened? Well, Kevin Durant ‘happened.’ As the member of the OKC Thunder, he couldn’t beat the Warriors last season, so he joined them and made them a Super Team, and he’s looked pretty superhuman against the Cavs, scoring 31 and hitting a game-winning 3-pointer with 45 seconds left in the game. Durant wants that ring and now he may be a win away from getting it.
  3. The Cavs-It doesn’t take Einstein to figure out that this team is truly on life support right now as they face elimination. As we know, last season they were down 3-1 before performing one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history and beating the Warriors 4-3 to win it all. Can they do it again? I like the Cavs and I’m rooting for them, but even I admit it’s hard to say. Game 4 is Friday and the Cavs better have their ‘A’ Game or it’s over.
  4. LeBron James-He’s honestly doing all he can for his team, but he’s only one person. He was criticized for passing to G Kyle Korver (59% 3-point shooter) instead of driving to the basket with the Cavs leading by 2. James defends his decision because Korver was wide-open. I know he’s not John Paxton or Steve Kerr, but Korver has been proven to make that basket, but if I was LeBron, I would’ve driven to the basket.
  5. Series Prediction-Well, I don’t think there’s a need for one. Teams who are usually up 3-0 in the NBA Finals are usually 12-0 when it comes to closing it out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors made it 13-0, but the Cavs played them pretty tight in Game 3, which they should’ve won. So I’m pretty even. It could go either way. The Cavs could win Game 4 as well.
  6. The Issue with ‘Super Teams’-Folks continues to complain about great teams who add superstars. First, it was LeBron when he and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami in 2010, and now it was Durant joining the Warriors. I honestly don’t see an issue here. Players can go wherever they want as Free Agents and teams can sign whomever they want. I have no issue with LeBron joining Miami (and then returning to Cleveland) and I have no issue with Durant joining the Warriors. My 2 cents on he matter.
  7. Lonzo Ball-Is it just me? Or has the Lonzo Ball talk gotten quiet? I say yes because his father Lavar Ball has stopped talking. Maybe he’s busy watching the NBA Finals, in which case I hope it goes the full 7 games (chuckle)but seriously, Lonzo continues to make news as the NBA Draft gets closer. He has recently worked out with the LA Lakers and according to ESPN, he wants to lead the team. I hope he ends up in a Lakers uniform. I’m curious to see what this kid can do.
  8. NBA MVP-I have not changed my pick: OKC’s Russell Westbrook. NBA Finals MVP? If the Warriors close it out, it’ll be Durant. If the Cavs pull off of another miracle? LeBron, of course.
  9. Steelers Alajandro Villenueva wants new contract-I agree that he deserves one, but why all the talk to the media? You know they love this stuff. The young offensive tackle and Armed Forces veteran has refused to sign his $615,000 exclusive-rights tender and may sit out Mini-Camp which begins in a few weeks, or at least it sounds like it. Memo to Villenueva: Don’t mess with the Rooneys. Their not fazed by this.
  10. Steelers Salary Cap-The Steelers are certainly in position to give Villenueva a long-term deal as they’re still $18 million under the salary cap, the most space they’ve had in years. The young tackle just needs to be patient. I can see him getting a new deal, along with DE Stepheon Tuitt and RB Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers are trying to take that extra step to the Super Bowl in 2017 and was one win short last year.
  11. Steelers Mini-Camp-This Mandatory Mini-Camp will take place June 13th-15th. And since it’s mandatory, I’m sure Bell and Villnueva will be there, right? Well we shall see.
  12. Odell Beckham Jr’s holdout-I hear this cat is holding out for a new deal too. Yeah, he can act like the Second Coming of Chad Johnson at times, but after seeing that he’s due to make only (in football terms) $1.8 million this season, I don’t blame him. He’s the 3rd best WR (behind the Steelers Antonio Brown & the Falcons Julio Jones) in the NFL and he’s averaged 1,300 yards in 3 seasons. The kid deserves it.
  13. Patriots ink WR Edelman to a new extension-The Champion New England Patriots signed a WR of their own, agreeing to a 4-year deal with WR Julian Edelman. He scored the winning TD in the Pats incredible comeback Super Bowl win vs. the Falcons. His 356 receptions are 5th best in the NFL from 2013 to 2016. He deserves it.
  14. Body of former Bills WR Found-Sad news. The body of former Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy Thursday. He was 31 years old. Hardy was drafted by the Bills in 2008, appeared in 16 games (three starts) in his NFL career, catching 10 passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Prayers and condolences to his family.
  15. Pittsburgh Pirates-In a season that’s pretty much lost in my opinion, it just got worse for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they lost 2 extra-inning games to the Baltimore Orioles after huge leads. On Tuesday, they led 5-2 before losing to 6-5 to the Orioles and Wednesday, they led 6-1 before falling 9-6. Pathetic.
  16. What’s the Pirates problem? Other than an owner with no vision? Pitching or in this case, relief pitching. Ever since they traded All-Star closer Mark Melancon last season I disagreed that Tony Watson should’ve been the new closer and now he’s proving me right. Watson has 5 blown saves including 2 in those losses to the Orioles. Yet manager Clint Hurdle continues to keep him as his closer. Sounds like the definition of insanity to me.
  17. Pirates vs. Marlins-Now the Pirates face the Marlins and 3 former Pirates pitchers. Thursday they face Edison Volquez who is fresh off a no-hitter, Friday they face Vance Worley and Sunday they face (drum roll please?) Jeff Locke. Should be interesting.
  18. Aaron Judge-Obviously this is my new favorite MLB Player. The NY Yankees young slugger continues to tear up MLB pitching as he leads his team in batting average (.321), Hrs (18) and RBI (41) He’s a definite all-star, but with the Yankees leading the AL East, Judge may be an early AL MVP candidate.
  19. Cameron Johnson-Now that he’s officially joined North Carolina, former Pitt basketball player Cam Johnson is now released by Pitt to play next season as a grad-transfer. It’ll certainly be interesting seeing him play at the Petersen Events Center in a different uniform.
  20. NHL Finals-As we come into the final stretch of this 7-game series, my question for the Penguins is: How Bad Do You Want It? I guess we’ll see this time next week.

  

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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