Are We So Different???

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In 2014 Susan Adams of Forbes wrote an article, featuring a report done by a New York research group called the Conference Board, that over 50% of Americans were unhappy at their place of employment (http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/06/20/most-americans-are-unhappy-at-work/#43385c585862). The reasons related to unhappiness vary and I would imagine they also have different levels of intensity from one individual to another. Let’s be honest. Have you ever been sitting at work, trying to look productive, all while finding yourself constantly clock gazing, praying for 5pm? Or maybe you are working in an industry that you love, but can’t shake the notion that you hate the city that you live in? Or rather, you might be the person who has been extremely successful in what you do, still have passion for what you do, but you see a gigantic glass ceiling above you that you just can’t seem to shatter to and move into another level of growth and success?

If you have ever felt any of these things, or if you have your own reasons why a new employment venture would be perfect for you, then you should have some empathy for Kevin Durant. Wait! Wait one second. Before you start throwing out dollar figures, the fact that is a playing a child’s game as a career,  or *insert your “Kevin Durant is weak because”reason here*, let us not forget the foundation of understanding that we just established. Is it possible that Kevin Durant just needed a change? Kevin Durant has spent his entire career with the organization that drafted him (keeping in mind the teams relocation from Seattle to Oklahoma City). He has won Rookie of the Year award, multiple scoring titles, has been named to multiple all-star and all NBA first teams and he has even won the Most Valuable Player award. Durant has been an instrumental part of a team that, since 2010-2011 season, has appeared in 4 conference series and one NBA finals appearance. However, despite all of these accolades, they continue to fall short. Whether it be due to injury or just inefficient play at the absolute worse time,  his teams have epitomized the adage, “Always the Bridesmaid and never the Bride.”

I like Kevin Durant as a player, but we have to be honest about who he really is on the court. In his announcement yesterday Durant said, “The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction (http://www.theplayerstribune.com/kevin-durant-nba-free-agency-announcement/).”  Kevin has been in the league almost 10 years…how much more growth as a player are we really going to see? He is the most skilled perimeter scorer that the league has ever seen. He doesn’t play great individual defense. He doesn’t score very much from the low post and his passing ability doesn’t jump off the page. He is however, Carmelo Anthony 2.0.  His jumper is like Niagara Falls and he is an absolute terror in transition. He is a great player and a great piece to a puzzle; he’s just not the middle piece that you can build your puzzle around. Stephen Jackson summed it up best on his Facebook account

Kevin Durant just wants to win. At the end of the day I believe he recognizes that fact that the greats are measured not simply by their individual accomplishments, but often times, regardless of right or wrong, they are judged with more scrutiny if they are not able to win championships. The glass ceiling was there in OKC and all the possibilities loomed over his head. He just needed to break through and embrace a career change. He took a better job with a better opportunity to win the championship that currently does not exist on his resume. Congrats KD and good look!

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Lamar…U Mad?

Let me preface the following by saying that I am a basketball fan, lean more towards the pro game but a fan nonetheless. I am also a Laker fan; no i didn’t grow up in LA, or anything like that, but that is the team that i grew up supporting (i know many a person who cheers for the team in their hometown, but only when that team is doing good…#FairWeatherFan) and have done so during the high and low points. With that being said, I need everyone to know that I have and will always be objective and will take shots and tell the truth at and about my favorite team and the players that put on the uniform.

Which brings me to today’s post. Lamar Odom! I am not going to deny Odom’s skill set; not going to pretend that Odom did not have a major contribution in helping the Lakers win the championships…but let’s be real Lamar….you were a jump off and you feel, in love with a married man. The Lakers were in a love triangle with Kobe and Shaq. They went back and fort h, and we’re even allowed to favor one over the other at times. But when it came to making a commitment, and the Lakers had to choose between the two.Notice in all that discourse, not once did I mention Lamar Odom. When the Lakers chose Kobe, they were committed to bringing in guys who would add to his success and theirs…it was never about wanting Pau to succeed; it was never about Odom’s success.it has always been about Kobe.

Lamar you have always been an extremely skilled player, but not superstar material. The Clippers let you go for peanuts. When you went to the Heat you were still just a skilled player who had never reached your potential. In your mind, you may have thought that you should have been treated like a star, but in reality your were one of the many NBA jump offs; The only reason you got to LA was because of the broken love triangle and you made the biggest mistake you could have made. You got with a winning franchise and you fell in love with an organization that did more and offered you more and showed you more attention than you ever got in Miami and in the basement of the Lakers shadow when you were with the Clippers.

It’s a business bro….and when you ain’t the centerpiece of a team, you are subject to be cast away. The Lakers will save 8 milli in salary and 8 milli against the luxury tax with you out of town; and that’s the bottom line. Enjoy your new life in Dallas… I mean it is Texas and your money will go farther out here, but it’s a wrap in LA bro. Maybe you can show the Lakers what they were missing when you see them this year..that is if you end up overtaking Shawn Marion and cracking the starting lineup…..

Caesar

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Can’t Spell Elite W/O ELI!

Yeah I said it…doesn’t mean i mean it the way it was written though. Let’s be honest, when you think of Eli Manning the above picture is probably not what you expect to see. This picture suggests that he is passionate, fiery if you will. It suggests that he is excited about the position he plays, the team he plays for, the game of football itself. It would suggest that he probably has the kind of demeanor that translates into obvious leadership and of course stamps him as an ELITE quarterback….right? Well he thinks so, but when you ask that question to the average football fan…they will quickly sing a completely different tune. However, I wonder just how far off Eli’s assessment of himself as an elite QB really is. I mean if he’s not elite, who is?

The following is an attempt to show where exactly Eli falls within the pantheon of today’s elite QB. We will examine his numbers and overall performance since his first full season as a starter (2005) to last year. We will compare Overall Record, Completion %, Yards, and TD: INT Ratio over the 6 year period and take notice of his playoff appearances and yes…RINGS. These numbers will be compared to the consensus Elite QBs who typically surface at the top of most lists. Let’s get to it.

The Following are most people’s short list of Elite QBs in no specific order (keep in mind this list is of active players and does not include this year’s numbers or any production prior to 2005): Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers. For our purposes we will not include Aaron Rodgers because he doesn’t have enough years as a starter to compare to the others. I must also mention that Tom Brady, because of an injury season in 2008, and Phillip Rivers, who didn’t become a full time starter until 2006, only have 80 games to compare to the near 96 games played of the Manning Brothers and Brees (Brees only has 95…fyi). So here is the chart:

QB Games Record Numbers (C%, Yards, TD: Int Ratio Playoff Appearances Superbowls
E. Manning

96

59-37

59%/21K, 25:17

4

1

P. Manning

96

75-21

67%/25K/31:19

6

1

T. Brady

80

62-18

65%/21K/34:11

5

0

D. Brees

95

58-38

67%/26K/36:19

3

1

P. Rivers

80

55-25

64%/19K/27:11

4

0

As you can clearly see, Eli’s numbers are comparable to those we might consider elite. He isn’t head and shoulders ahead of any of our other elite QBs but he isn’t a complete waste of space either. In fact, when we look at the final two columns, which so might consider more important, he has been to his fair share of playoffs and has the same number of rings as his older brother and Brees and more than Mr. Brady (but I mean this is only factoring in 2005 and beyond). So I mean, Eli may not be the world’s best, but if He’s not elite then we may have to excuse some other people from this list. And even if you still believe that he is not as good as the others mentioned here, how many quarterbacks are you really willing to put ahead of him? I think I would prefer him over Romo….#justsayin.

What do you think? Eli elite or not?

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