It’s that time of the week again folks and with this edition of Fringe Friday it’s all about the money. We see how money divides a family in Los Angeles; how it can’t buy PSG a win regardless of their opening leg victory; and finally, we learn that if you are good, really really good, like Dirk Nowitzki good, then you are right on the money.
Lakers go from Showtime to Soap Opera
If you ever got hooked into those late night soap operas such as Dynasty, Falcon Crest and the daddy of them all Dallas, then you just might want to follow the Los Angeles Lakers as they are smack dab in the middle of a rich family drama right now. When Dr. Buss passed away in 2013, it was pretty clear that although he divied up his ownership of the Lakers to all his children, that it was his daughter Jeanie Buss who would run the organization. Fast forward a few years and the Lakers find themselves in their 4th straight losing season, forcing Jeanie to clean house. She fired the Communications Director, the General Manager and even the Executive Vice President of Player Personnel who just happened to be her brother, Jim Buss.
On the same day however, it appears Jeanie’s other older brother Johnny Buss, had tried to set a plan in motion with his brother Jim, to get Jeanie out of the Board of Directors and therefore out of being the controlling owner. Throw in plenty of communication issues amongst the siblings, the possibility of sabotaging a relationship between Jeanie and her then boyfriend Phil Jackson and this has family drama at it’s highest stakes. I can’t wait for the 30 for 30 special on this.
It’s not always about the money
It has been a few days and yet most of us still cannot fully comprehend what has happened. Grown men were crying in Spain at the miracle that occurred while men in France have come to no other conclusion than Barcelona certainly has sold their soul to the devil. How else to explain Barca losing the first game of their home-and-home series 4-0 to come back and devastate Paris St. Germaine 6-1 in the second leg to advance. It wasn’t just that Barcelona did it, which in itself is historical, but how they did it. Yes they did manage to score 3 goals by the 50th minute but when Edinson Cavani scored for PSG in the 62nd minute I thought for sure this game was over and I wasn’t alone. But Neymar scored in the 88th minute, then stroked a penalty kick in the 90+1 minute and finally soon to be the answer to a trivia question, Sergi Roberto stuck out his foot and guided a cross into the top of the net. PSG allowed Barcelona to score 3 goals after the 88th minute. That’s stunning in any language.
This is more a case of PSG losing than it is of Barcelona winning and its impact will be reflected as such. Coaches lose their jobs for this. A player’s character and mental fortitude is questioned because of this. For Barcelona, this is “just” another great chapter in a history filled with great chapters. For PSG however, this epic failure drives a stake through the heart of Ligue1. After going on a spending spree that the French soccer league had never seen before, PSG have always seemed to be the big fish in the little pond. They have crushed their Ligue1 opponents over the past 4 years but have failed to translate that to anything more than a quarter final result in the Champions League against the very best in Europe. This loss didn’t raise questions about their ability to play against the highest teams in Europe, it cemented the fact that for whatever reason, they can’t. Harsh yes, but money doesn’t always buy wins.
Nowitzki is Money
For his entire career, which isn’t over yet I might add, Dirk Nowitzki has always been on the money. He may not look pretty doing it as his off-balanced 7 foot body and flailing arms aren’t as fundamentally sound as Steph Curry’s, but make no mistake about it, Dirk puts the ball in the hoop with alarming regularity. This week we witnessed him becoming only the sixth player in NBA history to score more than 30,000 points.
This is one of those feel good moments for a player who so richly deserves credit for not only being a fantastic basketball player and a lock down 1st ballot Hall of Famer, but for also revolutionizing the game. Some people may still believe white men can’t jump, but no one expected big men can shoot from outside either. Typically, the 4 position normally called the power forward position is for wide-shouldered bodies who can crash and bang down low and do the dirty work in the paint and around the boards. Well, Nowitzki helped change the attitude of the typical 4 position from Power Forward to a Stretch – 4 position where he spaces the floor and is more comfortable hitting 3 point shots or his classic off balance, fadeaway from the corner. Throw in a few other awards he has won such as an NBA Championship in 2011 where he was the MVP, not to mention the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for 2007, 13x an NBA All-star and oh yeah, was the 3 point shooting champion in 2006 as well. Yup, Dirk is definitely money.
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