Haven't done this in a while.
So, without further ado: Together!
LeBron Feels the Heat:
I'll be honest about this even though I'm a Knick fan (or used to be before the NBA changed into no fun):
I'm really not surprised, and I really don't care.
Look, this is a great thing for the NBA. It's making people (yup, even me) talk about it. Now, you have a super team that people are either going to REALLY cheer hard for...or REALLY hate. This will generate buzz for a league that is in serious denial about the trouble it's facing. It also shows a couple of interesting things.
1. Months ago, a sports pundit (can't remember who) mentioned that these three guys might meet to discuss what to do. They were all drafted in the same year (2003) and all three talked about how much they wanted to play together (which they did during the Beijing Olympics).
So here's your conspiracy theory. All three of these guys used this time brilliantly to build publicity to create a super team that will be talked about. The media, needing a story for the 24/7 news cycle ate it all up. Hell, ESPN aired a one hour special that will make LeBron a ton of money (it's his advertisements) and ESPN will get the ratings.
2. This proves that the players, not the owners, dictate the league. These players are getting tons of money and the owners can't tell them no, or they will lose their fan base and then lose money. Years ago people were outraged that Alex Rodriguez was given a contract to pay him close to 25 million dollars a season, but no one bats an eye (no pun intended) at an NBA player getting 20 million a year? As long as your team wins, who cares? Now pay your $60 for the upper level ticket, your $9 for a beer, and shut up... of course the owners are fine for now because....
3. The NBA is in trouble. The collective bargaining agreement is almost up and the owners are being crushed by the amount of money they have to pay, so the league will probably be locked out. The economic troubles of the times are going to mean trouble for the owners, so things will need to change. Lowering the salary cap and such, will do that.
4. And poor Cleveland. You go back to being a city of nothing. You have a terrible football, terrible baseball, and, now again, a terrible basketball team. This is going to hurt for awhile. And LeBron's leaving is also going to really hurt the economy of Ohio.
In the end the story will die now. LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh will go on and dominate the Eastern Conference (with a team of 5 guys, because that's all they can afford), and that's fine. They will have fun and enjoy the ride...until they lose to Kobe and the Lakers....
Thom Pham on the Lam:
Ok, so Azia is closing, and he's opening a new restaurant in downtown. (See here) Why are people surprised by this? Azia is fine, but it's now in a bad location. If he opens a restaurant that can bring in even an 1/8 of the Twins fans during every game, he's going to make a good amount of money.
I used to work with a guy who became a restaurateur. I told him I was heading to the Heart Walk at the Twins stadium and he started talking to me about how he wished he had enough money to open a restaurant.
"Why?" I asked.
"Can you imagine the money?" He replied. "You get a ton of people in during the season and that can last until September. You also get people in who can't get into the games. Then, if you've done the job right and make good food...they keep coming back during the offseason."
"Ok," I said, "but what if you're food is bad? What if you don't get them in?"
"That's the risk you take."
So Pham is taking that risk. Maybe it is because he has money issues. Or maybe it's because he recognizes that he can get more people right there in a more central area. Either way, you should be surprised.
I've talked about this before, and I'll say it again: There are no really cool shirts for young girls out there.
Here's a girl's shirt. Ok, it's ponies, which girls like (apparently), but has a twist that seems almost insulting.
Same store, but here's a boy's shirt.
Why can't girls have shirts that are cool but don't have to deal with ponies and shoes and shopping?
I just don't understand. Here I was at Target the other day looking for a t-shirt for my daughter. I look over at the boys and there's a Beatles shirt, a Grateful Dead shirt, and a Paul Frank Monkey shirt. Glancing to my left, I see the girls' shirts. There's a super glittery shirt that reads, "It's all about ME," with the "ME" in big pink glittery letters. Next to that was a shirt with an ice cream cone. Why can't my daughter have a Grateful Dead shirt without me having to buy her a boy's shirt? It's frustrating.
Look, I get that boys are supposed to have the Star Wars and Batman shirts, but do girls really only get Wonder Woman on a rainbow? And the problem is if I buy her a Junk Food t-shirt (which are the cool shirts that aren't super girly), I'm paying about $30 for a shirt that will last only a few months.
It may make her be considered a nerd (and that's not necessarily a bad thing), but I bought my daughter a Boba Fett shirt. Yes I did. She'll be able to wear it soon, and I'm excited.
Of course what do I know? My daughter wears a sundress when her mother dresses her, and she wears Batman when I do.... I could be wrong.