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March 04, 2014

Tue pm 3-4: Refresh button. LeBron vs. Durant MVP race is now whole new ballgame leaning Kingward; plus Tiger Woods update, DWTS & more

1) It is TUESDAY, MARCH 4. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Tiger vs. Jack poll, Kim Novak's face, Riley speaks, Marino vs. LeBron result, Brent Grimes & more. 2) Follow us on Twitter @gregcote and also on Instagram, Vine and Facebook.

Tiger first-round pairing announced: Tiger Woods is to tee-off Thursday at Doral on hole No. 1 at 12:39 in a group with Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson. The very fact he was listed on the pairings announced Tuesday is good news as he rehabbs his back spasms. It means he has not given the tournament an indication he won't play.

Gators fave for national title: Newest men's NCAA Tournament odds for title via Bovada: Florida 5-1, Arizona/Kansas both 8-1, Wichita State 9-1 and Duke/Syracuse both 10-1.

LEBRON HITS THE GREATEST 61 SINCE ROGER MARIS, TAKES LEAD IN MVP RACE: LeBron James' personal-best scoring high, 56 points, had stood almost 10 years (2005). The Heat's single-game mark, also 56, had stood almost 20 (Glen Rice, 1995). Both fell hard last night with LeBron's fabulous 61 on 22- 1aa1alebkdfor-33 shooting including 8-for-10 on 3's. "The man above gave me unbelievable abilities playing this game of basketball," James said with accurate immodesty. Players in a groove say the basket looks bigger to them. LeBron described last night as shooting "a golf ball into the ocean." James has scored 122 points in three games wearing a mask. Who knew a broken nose might be a lucky break for Miami? LeBron also in my view has overtaken Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant in the MVP race. Breaking it down:

People/perception: Granted, timing is everything in polls, and ESPN is asking in the wake of LeBron's 61. Still, on "who gets your MVP vote" is now LeBron by 57-40% (3% someone else), and on "who will win" it's now LeBron by 57-43%. Durant led in the 70s in both categroies just a few weeks ago. On "who is best player in NBA" it's LeBron by 84-14% (2% someone else). Heat also is huge pick over Thunder to go further in playoffs, by 82-18%. These numbers are significant because people are people, and a swing to LeBron in public/fan perception is a reasonable barometer of a likely similar swing by MVP voters.

Quantifiables/statistics: Player efficiency rating (PER) is now a dead-heat, with Durant's lead of 30.44 to 30.37 microscopically negligible. A comparison in traditional statistical categories: Scoring--Durant 31.6-27.5. FG%--LeBron 58.3-50.7. 3-point%--Durant 39.6-38.4. FT%--Durant 88.0-74.6. Rebounds--Durant 7.7-7.0. Assists--LeBron 6.4-5.6. Blocks--Durant 0.8-0.3. Steals--Even at 1.5. Several subcategories of analytics lean to LeBron, such as true shooting percentage (66.2-63.6), assist ratio (21.0-16.4) and rebounding rate (11.8-11.3).

Bottom line: The MVP award is something LeBron dearly covets and it is now his to lose. As the reigning MVP James will get benefit of doubt in a close race, and the fact Miami is a better bet than OKC to win it all or go deeper in the playoffs enhances James' bid. Durant went on his offensive blitzkrieg and became the perceived MVP leader in the weeks after Russell Westbrook was out injured, but that has ceased being his situational advantage. Entering the last quarter of the season, it's LeBron out front.

DANCING WITH THE STARS YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT: TV's Dancing With the Stars has a rich history of trotting out has-beens, B-listers and peripheral sports figures you care little about, and the new season is no exception. This year the four (of 12) dancers from the sports world are Olympic skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White, South Florida distance swimmer Diana Nyad, and former NHL player Sean Avery. Oh, and Erin Andrews is the new co-host, or, as John Travolta calls her, "Andy Erinew." The good news: No Kim Novak.

Poll result: Tiger won't catch Jack: We asked in last blogpost if you thought Tiger Woods (with 14) would surpass Jack Nicklaus' career mark of 18 major golf wins, and it was 70.1 percent no, 29.9% yes. By the way, Woods has canceled his scheduled 1 p.m. press conference at Doral today as he continues rehabbing his back spasms. 

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More hyperbole from Cote with the Maris comparison. His man love will never cease.


BB, I wonder what Cote loves best about Lebron. Perhaps we could have a poll where we all identify what we like best about Lebronn...

I think Greg might shed real tears if LeBron doesn't win MVP.

Big Baby,

last wek jerry west caused a ruckus by stating the NBA is at its worst ever, something of which i don't convincing. there are only two players-neither of them named ebron james- who are avging 20 points and 10 rebounds/game- kevin durant and kevin love.

try these guys stats out:



and KAJ and a few others probably; the NBA is vomitus and an incredible bore to watch until may, when the pain if watching eases up a little.

two players @ 20/10 in a vastly expanded league doesn't say much.

Big Baby,

and this fellow who caused wilt to be traded:



and this fellow who was avging 29/10 even through old age!!


basketball is based on star power, and the NBA doesn't have many real stars- LBJ, durant, love, and even an in decline dwyane wade. the best five of 1962 or 63 would run today's best five off the court. chris paul or oscar robertson? blake griffin or elvin hayes? NO CONTESTS!!!!

shadow I think the league has a problem it seems like the good players only want to play in warm weather cities or on teams that are dominant. Realistically how many teams have a legit chance to win an NBA title right now maybe 5? Talent is still there but fans watching in most cities every year are just watching their team play with no hopes of winning a championship. It has become like that in baseball too. Jabari Parker looks like the real deal but after that it doesn't look like there are a lot of dominant players anymore consistently the last few years for whatever reason. If Jerry West says it then you have to at least look at what he is saying.

Big Baby,

half of today's NBA players belong in the d-league and the teams are nuts for drafting high schoolers with one season of college. at least my favorite player, kwahi leonard, stuck around enough at san diego state to become a real solid player. and the aztecs got jobbed by the refs the year uconn won with kemba walker; that year's SDSU team was terrific and should have won against uconn except for the technical called on a player who slightly and innocentlt grazed a ref's shirt. steve fisher is a very fine coach and in the top 10 of same.

Yes this is what it has become players leaving after their freshman year in college for the NBA wonder if that trend will ever reverse itself.

Whenever I bring up these types of observations I get accused of being a bitter Laker fan whose team happens to currently suck. The fact remains that there is an absence of interest in pro BB other than in Miami and Oklahoma City.

Add to that, that when those two markets tip in as only the # 29 (OKC) and #44 (Mia) sized cities in the nation, well, you get low national interest.

Durant can keep his MVP..I rather the Heat win the C-Ship (obviously) ..

saw LeBron's game last night, very few times you see a player get into that kind of a grove, lucky to have watched it.

so, any word on who the black widow and her boyfriend are targeting next in free agency?

You can't really complain Lakers are a team players want to go to evidenced by many championship teams since 2000. Try living in Milwaukee or Sacramento. OKC may not even be the best team in West that conference has a lot of good teams but alas Miami will likely win their third in a row something that I predicted when LeBron went to the Heat.

OC I wonder what national interest is in terms of numbers seems ratings have to be down.

No love for the 6R's? That's Torrible, Torrible!

Hey! But at least our President watches while wearing his Jordan jersey...meanwhile, Putin rides around bare chested, wielding Conan the Barberian's sword all over Eastern Europe.


It is amazing how bad a once proud franchise like the 76ers have been since Iverson left. They are doing a good job of tanking right now for Jabari though.

well..we all know Obi is puttin's little bitch..what else is new.


OC's myopia never ceases to amaze. "Outside of OK City and Miami no one cares about the NBA."

He he. What a chump.

No one gives a poo, Woods

Well let's look at OC's market share analysis. First of all where do you get that the Miami "Area" is 44th in the US behind OK City. Bro, I've been to OK City at least 35 times and it makes Miami look like Tokyo.

Where in the world to you come up with this crap, OC? The Green Bay Packers are the most popular team in the NFL and they have a population of less than 100,000.

Wow, what a nerd.

If Obi had any balls, he would park the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Force smack in the middle of Istanbul and defy Pitin to pass gas, let alone petroleum.

one of my closest friends lives right smack in the middle of that cow pasture called Oklahoma City and he tells me the place is a dump..not much to do there.

says he can't wait to get the hell out..

You're making my point, FZB.

Obi stand up to Putin? child please.

Actually, except for ocean activities which obviously they don't have OK City is a great city. The people are super nice and you don't have the congestion that you have in major cities in the U.S. Even the weather is not that bad. My cousin lives there, well he used to now he lives in a ranch an hour north. But I can see how your friend can't wait to get out of Dodge if he grew up in Miami. OKC is as different from Miami as you can get.

Obama (wearing his mom jeans) was on the phone with Putin for 90 mins, which means he was on hold for 87 minutes. Lib media blaming Bush for Putins recent political aggression. None of this stems from Obama telling Russian diplomat "After I'm relected, I'll have more flexibility".

Why would he do that OC? Why is the US even involved in a dump (as Woodcock would call it) like the Ukraine? I don't understand it let Russia do what they believe is in their best interests and get out of the way. Sending one billion large to a place like the Ukraine is incredibly incredibly stupid.

I'm just pissed, FZ.

It's taken arguably the biggest communist to shatter the mystique and slobbering love affair our nation has had with the worse president since Jimmy Carter.

Wood's, yup..grew up "en la saguecera" by the Orange Bowl and he just can't get used to all that nicy-nest as he calls it.

Granny, get yer shotgun the Russians back at it again. Whew doggie, Elle Mae get your shirt on girl while you milk the milk man your a young lady.

Historically speaking; the Crimea has been part of Russia until recently. The Ukraine is divided into the east & west region with two different takes politically and socially.

Correct Jed and it looks to me like Putin is taking steps to avoid a civil war there. I see no problem with it.

easy OC...we have a couple of more yrs with that asswipe Obi and then the real fun starts with Hillary and slick Willie all over again..maybe they can even retain the laughing hyena (Biden) as secretary of defense.

smoke'em'if you got'em boys!

Radio Shack is closing OC someone tell Woodcock and FZB the Commodore 64 and Tandy products will no longer be available for purchase. Sorry guys couldn't resist.

ok now..that's not very nice.

Ukraine situation is too complex for Obama. Now if there were only some U Tube video to blame it on. Hmmm

Former head of KGB Putin knows a pussy when he sees one.

not so fast FZB. Hillary with the reset button presented to Russian diplomat. Hillary f**ng up Benghazi response "At this point, what difference does it make?". Clintons are O-L-D. Don't rule a conservative like Ben Carson running away with the next top election.


Wake up soldier!

Cote,Have you sent Lebron flowers and a Card yet??
I believe Mr. James is a Married man Cote....

1st of all, if any of you brilliant political posters think the current republican party will EVER win a presidential election again, you need your head examined.

and tom, WITHOUT INSULT, i completely think your hatred for ireland is blinding you to reality.

speilman mortaged our future, traded welker for nothing, left us without draft picks OR picks that stayed on the team.
we also had ZERO cap room after his tenure.

you can question ireland's moves all you want, but the guy that signed grimes, wake and wallace; the guy that drafted tannehill, clay, pouncey and other emerging stars is in NO WAY worse than speilman.
dude, you realy hate ireland to the point of not making sense.

You're right david I doubt we will ever have a Republican President again but it's for reasons you wouldn't ever admit to.

as for the NBA, there's nothing more sincere than laker and celtic fans bemoaning how "awful" the NBA is and how the game stinks now.
we feel so sorry for you guys.
baby, you never said lebron would win more than one.
in fact, you claimed our 1st ring with him was a one and done.
don't change your tune now.
I'M the one that called it, along with FZB and maybe tom.
you sound like republicans who voted for reagan and bush but are complaining about spending NOW, even though obama has spent less than both.
look on the bright side; it's a good thing you guys don't like the NBA anymore; coincidentally, (i'm sure), both your teams will be in their conference's toilets for the foreseeable future with no hope as long as miami keeps this team together.
maybe you can start watching soccer and huddle with shadow and mike1!

How much of that 1 billion david do you think will end up in Putins pocket or will go to support the Red Army. My guess is most of it.

david I said that to cause a stir I knew when LeBron went to Miami there wouldn't be a team that would beat them. Spurs were close last year though.

I don't hate Ireland. I just feel better when he's not around...

Yeah well I hate Ireland...

BB..thanks for posting that article on the 2011 draft, it proves my point what I have been saying which is every GM makes mistakes and it takes 3-4 years to truly evaluate a draft.

so for those saying the 2013 draft was a disaster (Tom) they need to reserve judgment for a little while longer.

now the one GM in the whole NFL that should be exempt from any criticism is my new adopted son Hickey since he's not in charge of anything...just a yes boy for the black widow and clueless Joe.

No problem I didn't know about Jimmy Wilsons legal problems who says Ireland doesn't take a chance on troubled players? It proves some of your point and david as well. He did draft some good players the problem mostly was at QB during his tenure and he is responsible for that and the results of a 5 year playoff drought.

I had heard he was a risk after he was drafted but didn't know he spent 20 months in jail quite a story.

BB..drafting players and coaching go hand in hand, if one fails or both then you have a problem, Ireland did do some good things and failed in others but according to the reports he was clearly frustrated with our coaches..

you already know how I feel about our coaches..

Dave, you have your head so far up your ass on this one a derrick couldn't pry it out.

FZB.. WE know it takes a couple of years to gauge a draft's success; but tom called last year's a failure THE NEXT DAY..
and he said ireland was worse than speilman!

How many times do I have to say the same thing? Seriously this not rocket science guys. Last year's draft is a failure because Ireland drafted the wrong guy. We needed a LT and he drafted a DL which was definitely not a position of need for Miami. That draft put us a year behind and may well have cost Miami a playoff spot. Jonathan Martin was ranked the WORST OT in the NFL in 2012 by PFF so it was clear to everyone, including Joe Philbin, that Martin could not cut it as a LT.

2011 draft grade in that article is a B-. A B ffing minus and that is success to you? Seriously that's why the Fish suck. Accepting mediocrity is no way to go thru life.

Ohmm Tom...most GM's in the NFL don't draft for need but the best player available on the board..which is the correct way to do it.

Anywho...relax, the "idiot, incompetent Ireland" is out of the picture and the back stabbing bitch and her boyfriend Joey are in charge now, we should be competing for SB's in no time.

You guys miss me yet?

Really? Tannehill was the best player on the board when Miami drafted him? Seriously? In any event Dion Jordan was not such great prospect that he was a must pick. The LT was the pick, Ireland blew it, and that is why he is now unemployed.

Jeffy was my errand boy. He's the Lane Kiffin of GMs.

there was no question we needed a QB in that draft, tom.
that's why we picked tannehill.
ireland said last year the jordan pick wasn't based on need, but on a guy they had their eye on even before when it was thought he'd come out early.
out of tackles we could've picked in the 1st round, (2 were taken before us), none really were sure fire bets and none have really stood out.
jordan was an excellent pick, and that will become more apparent to you when he gets more playing time, or, if the rumors are true, we receive something substantial back for him in a trade.
as for ireland, the reason he is out of miami isn't because of that pick.
as countless former players, coaches, GM's, journalists, journalists that COVER THE TEAM, announcers AND I have attested, had the coaching been more aligned with the talent, we'd have won at least 3 more games EASILY.
just remember the baltimore game AND the carolina game; both lost because we did not run.
that, and the late season collapse is completely on the coaches hands..

Agree David but Tommy-Son's hatred for Ireland is obvious...he won't change his mind.

I'd rather not throw around who is to blame about the current situation in Dolphin land but prepare with what is ahead. Bottom line is this, the team finished 8-8, period, lost some close ones, won some close ones. There's talent on the roster but room for improvement, room for upgrades too. The offensive line has to be top priority. Keeping the right pending free agent DT should be addressed early. If both Starks & Soliai are too expensive, another high priority is filling a starting DT spot. Odrick is the only decent DT on the roster. The coaching staff needs to develope what talent they have, not develope excuses.

david, politically speaking, I don't care for the old guard republicans (Graham, McCain, Boehner). Old school democrats (Johnson {Guam is going to capsize}, Hillary, Kerry, Pelosi {we got to pass it -ACA- to find out what's in it}, Reed) just as bad. Term limits baby. Flat tax for both business & people, cut waste-fraud & abuse of power. This govt preaches inequalities but violates its own laws at will. Common sense BS that most of the US public wants.

Ireland was with Miami for six years, Philbin the last two of those six. Miami sucked the entire six years. Coaching was not the primary issue for Miami.

This will be my last Ireland post.

FZB, if Ireland was such a great GM and supplier of NFL talent for the Miami Dolphins how is it that he doesn't have another job in the NFL?

OC I read an excerpt from Showtime this week in SI I am sure you read the book interesting reading. It described how Riley became coach after basically being the 3rd or 4th choice and the events that preceded that were outlandish.

Texas A&M Reports Obama is 5th Best President Ever
From a total of 44 US Presidents: Obama is rated as the 5th best President ever! The publicity release said,"...after only 5 years in office, Americans have rated President Obama the 5th best president ever."
The details according to TEXAS A&M:
1. Washington and Lincoln tied for first
2. 23 presidents tied for second
3. 17 other presidents tied for third
4. Jimmy Carter came in 4th
5. And, Obama came in fifth!

Dapper Dave, I'm going to get the runs if I read another sentence from you about runs.

We get the point son, you'd like Miami to hire Barry Switzer and install the wishbone.

Bg Baby,

how pat riley became coach of what team? the lakers?
jack mckinney was their head coach until he had a bicycle accident in palos verdes which was quite serious; next man up was paul westhead who was the coach in magic johnson's rookie year. at the beginning of the next season, magic had enough of paul westhead and worked to have him fired, which he was. next man up was ole riles, who was chick hearn's yes man on the radio and TV simulcasts and who took over. what is funny is that magic johnson claimed westhead's offense was too slow!! paul westhead of no defense and let the other guys score so we can get the ball back!!! this is all memory so let me know where the old recall switch has gone wrong.

Sorry Shad, but the Brownies just cut your boy Bess. But, hope springs eternal remember that there's a silver lining in every cloud, now he's available for you to hire him to mow your lawn......


It said Riley was an assistant coach for Westhead.

McKinney was the head coach in Magic's rookie year and he fell off a bicycle (If God had wanted you to ride a bike he would not have created Henry Ford) never to be heard from again (dumass should have rode in a brand new Rolls Royce drop top coupe with a chauffeur) When that happened a few games into the season Westhead who was an assistant coach took over the team. Pat Riley was Chick Hearn's (long time Lakers announcer now RIP) color commentator on the radio and TV (simulcast) and the Lakers needed an assistant coach and Chick suggested Riley (Riley sucked as a color analyst so I'm sure Chick saw an opportunity to get rid of him) the rest is kinda like Shad mentioned above and the rest is history.

Shad, have you reached out to Bess yet?

Woodcock it said McKinneys wife was using the only family car they had that day so he chose to use his sons bike to ride the mile and a half to meet and accept the job. Brakes locked up at a stop and witnesses who saw it didn't think he would live he was lucky. It also said he went on to coach a bad Pacers team. You guys are mostly right but the article implied that Jerry West could have had the head job again if he wanted it but he didn't so he assisted Riley who sort of backed into the head coaching job. It also described ho Jerry Tarkanian originally agreed to take the job for 750 k but didn't after his agent was murdered.

Nah, the article is not all together correct. McKinney already was the coach and if he only had one car then he was a bigger jack ass still. One thing you never ever ever do, BB, is ride a bike in LA. Unless you're a brain dead 'tard like OC who wishes that he could have been Evil Kanevil!

Wassup, OC, you still riding that bike in Bumfuck? Bro, throw that crap in the dumpster before a 16 wheeler makes you a manhole cover.....He he.

When I bought my first car when I was 16 I threw my bike on the street and ran over it with my car never ever to get on a bike again........


I remember arguing with one of my coworkers all the time over the "real" undoing of Westhead. Fans forget that Magic was a kind of oddity. A 6'-9" point guard. Tracing Westhead's undoing occured the moment the coach instructed the team to run the offense through the more "traditionaly-sized" PG, Norm Nixon. Needless to say, that was never going to sit well with Magic.

Jerry Buss invented Showtime and was not about to side with anyone who would keep Johnson gloomy. Btw, my recollection is that Jerry West did assist during the early Riley period in coaching the offense.

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