Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Likelihood of Kevin Durant to Washington in '16

I don't know. I really don't know. But I wish I knew. I've dreamt about it. They made the Finals. It was nice.

The Wizards and Thunder clash in D.C. tonight, as they do annually, so of course we need to talk about the chances that Kevin Durant chooses Washington on his next (and hopefully last) stop in route to the Hall of Fame. 

I started legitimately thinking and talking about this possibility in 2012, after John Wall returned from an 8 week hiatus from injury and led the Wiz to an impressive second half of the season, and we began to see what Brad Beal could do. The Wiz were 4-24 at one point in '12, and with Wall in the lineup, finished just short of .500 ball for the rest of the season. The hope began here. And the possibilities officially entered the mind. Dreaming about a free agent 4 years from now is a bit weird, I know, considering I have never thought about anything ever 4 years from a given point. 

In '13, the discussions became even more realistic when the Wiz won 44 games and a playoff series. And NOW, with Wall entering the MVP discussion, we can see the light. 

But just how realistic is this possibility? I did a little research (not really), and here are three reasons why he will come to D.C. in '16, and three reasons why he won't (bastard):

Why He Will:

1. D.C. is his hometown, you guys. 

You probably knew that, yeah? KD, like Lebron, still has plenty of ties to his hometown. The move Lebron made back to Cleveland last summer had to resonate with him. It's just human nature. Lebron went back to Cleveland to be even more of a hero than he already is, by delivering the first pro basketball title to the city. However you decide to look at it, that's fucking cool. And speaking of 'Bron, what a rivalry that would become. Arguably the 2 best players in the game, both playing for their hometown. You may be able to pencil in a Cavs/Wiz conference title showdown annually. Once again, that's cool. If Durant were to come to D.C. and deliver a title, it would be the 2nd in this town, the only other being in '79. Cool again.

2. John Wall and Bradley Beal 

This appears to be appealing. John Wall is a top 5 point guard today. I won't hear arguments against because of defensive efficiency. He's tops in the association and by a wide margin. He's 24. Brad Beal proved in the '14 playoffs he can ball. He also doesn't appear to demand touches. He's 21 (and appears to be mature for his age). 

Enter Durant, who in this case, would be the man. No worries about another dude taking 30 shots a night. A pure pass first point guard, and potentially elite shooting guard, and him. And hopefully some beasts up front (Gortat appears to be a part of this shindig in '16).

3. The NBA probably wants it

Look, this isn't really informational, but the NBA is fucking sketchy. I mean, they had a referee fixing games as recent as 8 years ago (including playoff games). Cleveland got the number one pick when hometown Lebron was entering the draft. They got it again so Lebron would go back to Cleveland. I mean hey, this thing started in '85 with Ewing to the Knicks. God I love to speculate.

But the idea of Lebron and Durant going back home as title contenders has to be fucking fascinating. And at least one of the franchises is big market (Cleveland sucks). Part of me truly believes the NBA will just say fuck it and will make it happen. Why the hell not?

Why He Won't:

1. It's D.C. sports, you guys.

How epic would it be, if Durant publicly stated 2 summers from now that it was down to the Wizards and one other team. And then Jim Gray takes the reigns for him in the ridiculous process on ESPN  and sets up "The Decision: Part II". And Durant goes elsewhere, because really fucking cool things don't happen to this sports town. 

2. New TV Deal

This really is a major player. New TV deal= increased salary cap. This means that other teams that just would be able to offer a max to Durant, may be able to offer a subsequent max deal to another player. This gives KD more options, and thus makes us sad.

3. The Thunder are good

This very well could be the ultimate factor. Maybe Durant loves Westbrook. Maybe he can't envision a life without the dude. It's possible. The media could be the only reason we all think KD hates that motherfucker. He probably does love the city. And they love him. 

The Thunder missed Durant & Westbrook for significant time this season to due injury, will likely be the 7th or 8th seed, and that's a fucking joke. It's not right, really. Golden State, due to winning 60 games, you now get Durant & Westbrook in round 1. Good luck.

After careful consideration, it's probably like 93/7 that he doesn't come to D.C. Thanks for reading, you guys.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Back from the Dead: Your 2015 D.C. Sports Power Rankings (with extremely light optimism)

It's been roughly three years since we contributed to this consistently mediocre blog, but we're giving it another shot here in '15. Yeah, three. All feedback is welcomed and appreciated, even the bullshit. On we go.

Is there a better way to re enter the blogosphere than an official D.C. sports power rankings list? Don't think so, you guys. So we present to you, the official rankings of our local professional teams (and the Redskins):

6.  Washington Redskins

I've made the argument over the past few months, that at this time, the Redskins are arguably the worst franchise in the sport. I cringe when someone disagrees, to be honest. Sure, the Jaguars, Titans, Bucs, and Raiders finished with worse records in '14, the Jets are terds, and the Bills haven't made the playoffs in 15 years. But they ALL are infinitely better franchises today and moving forward.

The Redskins define dysfunction. They have since 2000, when Snyder officially put his ass wipe stamp on the franchise with a ridiculous fantasy football spending spree. Hiring and firing Marty Shottenheimer after 1 year when the culture appeared to be changing. Hiring Steve Spurrier (5-11, not too good!). Hiring Jim Zorn (side note: maybe funniest and most Redskin thing ever when Zorn's wife is heard by media on phone saying, "No, he's going to be the head coach!"). The RG3/Shanaclan utter fiasco.

I couldn't give two shits that they hired a "potentially brilliant GM". It's the Redskins. It's Dan Snyder. Talking, writing, even thinking about this franchise is nauseating.

5.     Washington Kastles
World Team Tennis. There are 7 franchises. I know one thing about the Washington Kastles: They are better than the Redskins. 

4.     D.C. United                    
Also better than the Redskins.

3. Washington Capitals
This one was tough. I was inclined to put the Capitals in the 2 spot, but just couldn't pull the trigger. The "choking dogs" Caps will be until a cup is raised. What new head coach Barry Trotz has done in his first year has been outstanding. Watching the Caps on a regular basis, there seems to actually be a complete system here. I'm not sure the Caps have really had a "complete system" in place in the Ovi era. They play offense, defense, and goal tend well. Imagine that. Trotz has been able to implement the defenseman creating offense while not getting burned defensively. Ovechkin has clearly bought in and is a plus goal differential player again. Johansson and Beagle have improved drastically. Holtby is a top 5 goalie. What's missing? Well, this is the regular season. The term "Choking dogs" doesn't get tossed around until Mid April.

2. Washington Nationals
The greatest starting rotation in history? Perhaps. Still a shaky bullpen and anemic playoff hitting? Yes! I do agree with every baseball pundit who states the Nats are a better team with the signing of Scherzer. I mean, how could they not? Assuming the rotation remains intact for '15, Gio Gonzalez would be the fifth starter. Dude won 20 games 3 years ago. There won't even be room for Tanner Roark, who won 15 games a season ago with a 2.85 ERA. That's insane. The move makes sense, really. Scherzer is the ultimate insurance for a likely Zimmermann departure. But rolling in to 2015 with Scherzer, Zimmermann, Fister, and Strasburg is downright scary.

My issues are pretty simple why the Nats are number two in D.C. And that is what I saw in the '12 and '14 playoffs. Drew Storen's utter collapse in '12, with another equally shitty performance in '14 (and he still appears to be the closer). They scored 9 runs in 45 innings against the Giants. That's almost not possible. The lineup has talent, but there are too many free swingers. I've watched enough baseball to know that is not a formula for playoff success. (Example, KC Royals offense finished '14 with fewest strikeouts, 1 game away from title). Not to mention their best reliever of the past 5 seasons, Clippard, has been shipped.

I still think they own the NL East, regardless of any subsequent transactions. They can ride with a superb staff, Rendon, Harper, Zimmerman, and Werth for the next few seasons and hopefully make some upgrades along the way.

1. Washington Wizards
The transformation of the Wizards franchise has been downright startling in a matter of 5 years. Speaking of 5 years ago, the Wizards employed Gilbert Arenas on a massive contract, who decided to go bat shit crazy and bring guns into the locker room for a fake face-off with future convicted murderer Javaris Crittenton. They also employed the "knuckleheads", (thanks Charles Barkley). Andray Blatche, Nick Young, and Javale McGee. Amazingly enough, all 3 are employed elsewhere across the association, but sure enough, they are all on shitty teams.

During those dark times, the Wiz were a joke, and GM Ernie Grunfeld seemed lost. One draft lottery win, followed by the dumping of the knuckleheads, followed by Brad Beal, followed by selective veteran acquisitions, and the Zards nearly sit atop the Eastern Conference half way through '14. Just amazing, really.

It is a weird feeling watching Wizards games today expecting victory. It still defies logic after where this franchise was 5 years ago. The Wizards are a legitimate threat to win the East. And, well, if Durant (OMG) comes calling in '16, depending on the league surroundings, the Wizards could be championship favorites. That is unfathomable.