by John Walters


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Starting Five

Memo Random

The problem with Donald Trump (just one?) is that he doesn’t see things from the perspective of a person who has ever had to adhere to the law (which he hasn’t), but rather from the perspective of a mob boss. People aren’t either “criminals” or “law-abiding citizens,” they are “bad guys” or “good guys.” And what determines if you’re a bad guy or a good guy is if you don’t or do bend to Donald’s will. Easy, right?

This isn’t a terrible quality in a mob boss or a gang leader, but it is a dangerous trait in a man who raises his right hand, places his left on a Bible, and swears to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Different respected sources (The New York Times, NBC News) confirm that former FBI Director James Comey wrote a memo after a conversation with Trump on the day after General Michael Flynn resigned back in February in which the president said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

As he wakes up this morning, or tweets overnight, my guess is that Donald Trump, not unlike Nathan Jessup, does not even see what he did wrong. But he just leaned on the director of the FBI to halt an investigation of a man who may have worked with the Russians and on top of that may have been doing that at the direct behest of Trump or people who work for Trump.

Between this and the previous day’s bombshell from the Washington Post in which it was divulged that Trump compromised an Israeli spy embedded with ISIS by giving away a secret shared by Israel to the Russians (the day after he fired Comey last week), it is, as one tweep said, “as if the New York Times and Washington Post are engaged in a slam-dunk contest.”

2. Celtic Uprising

The Boston Celtics will host Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals tonight (because they finished with the best record in the East) and will have the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft next month. The Los Angeles Lakers will pick second. Nice to see these historically humble, small-market franchises finally get a leg up in the world.

The Celtics have had a terrific season under Brad Stevens, but I don’t believe this crew as currently constructed has the goods to win an NBA championship (they are a respectable 4-7 versus Cleveland and Golden State the past two seasons). Even with next year’s No. 1 overall pick. We’ll see.

Is Lonzo Ball the premier player in this draft? Shhhhh.

How does this shake out?, is the fun part. Does Boston select the presumptive No. 1 overall choice, 6’4″ guard Markelle Fultz out of Washington? Do they take or threaten to take Lonzo Ball (I’m not sure he isn’t the better choice) just to induce the Lakers to trade up a spot? Do they trade down a few spots to, say, Phoenix (who landed the fourth pick when they finished with the second-worst record), where Josh Jackson or De’Aaron Fox or Lauri Markkanen will still be waiting because they don’t want to take the ball out of Isaiah Thomas’ hands? Is Thomas, who is 5’9″ and 28, part of the Celtics’ future?

3. The Quick Brown Fox and Other Mock Draft Thoughts

As a Suns fan, I won’t mind if they pick the quick brown Fox over Josh Jackson at No. 4

The most intriguing mock draft I’ve seen at this early stage belongs to Reid Forgrave of CBS Sports, who has the Celtics taking Duke’s Jayson Tatum (they need a talented 4 more than a gifted guard), the Suns picking 6’4″ guard De’Aaron Fox at No. 4 (everyone’s favorite “sleeper” only in the sense that they think he could wind up being ROY) even though they don’t need a guard (much less another guard from Kentucky; this would give them FIVE), and the Pistons taking Luke Kennard at No. 12.

Why is Dillon Brooks off everyone’s radar?

Pondering: 1) I love Kennard’s game, too. He’ll never be the centerpiece of a franchise, but he’s the kind of glue guy all championship-caliber teams like to have. 2) Dillon Brooks, who was named Pac-12 POY over Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, was not on any of the four mock drafts I perused. What did he do, kneel for the national anthem? 3) Caleb Swanigan, Big Ten POY, was only on one mock draft board; hey, he’s an undersized low-post banger; it’s usually NBA fool’s gold with rare exceptions, and I like him, too. 4) De’Aaron Fox is only 6’0″, but I agree he may be the most dynamic player in this draft. I like his star potential. 5) For much of the first two months of the college season, we heard how Villanova’s Josh Hart was a leading national POY candidate. Now he’s a late first-round pick? Potential steal for someone?

4. The Most Dramatic Moment In Golden State’s 136-100 Game 2 Win Against San Antonio…


5. So You’re Not Feeling Minnesota?

Sara Groenewegen, a native of British Columbia, has a 30-2 record and a .59 ERA. She pitched a no-hitter last weekend.

The top-ranked softball team in the nation according to the NCAA Coaches Poll? Minnesota, which has an astounding 54-3 record. The Golden Gophers also went 16-3 against teams in the 64-team NCAA tournament AND, as you might imagine due to their locale, played more road games than home games and won 38 of the former (they lost 2 games at No. 8 Washington and one at Illinois). The GGs were 16-0 at home and have a 25-game win streak.

As far as RPI goes, Minnesota was ranked No. 11. The GGs have the nation’s 2nd-best team ERA and 3rd-best batting average. This team can play.

Freshman backstop Kendyl Lindaman is batting .438 and has 20 home runs, both top 10 in the nation

Why am I telling you this? Because Minnesota, the No. 1 team by coaches’ ranking with that gaudy 54-3 record, did not in the NCAA eyes merit one of 16 sites to host a 4-team regional. Hence, they’ll be on the road in Tuscaloosa this weekend. And if they get out of that, they’ll face the winner of the Gainesville regional: Florida is the NCAA’s top overall seed.

The NCAA needs a dose of Robert De Niro lecturing Sly Stallone in Cop Land: “You BLEW it!”

Music 101

Senses Working Overtime

There’s a little Talking Heads,  a little Modern English, and maybe even a touch of Thompson Twins in XTC. The band formed in 1972 but didn’t hit it big until a decade later with this tune, a top 10 hit in their native England. I never knew this: the band abruptly stopped touring in April of 1982 due to lead singer Andy Partridge‘s overwhelming stage fright. If you saw them in San Diego on April 3, 1982 (you and Bill Miller; they were “incendiary!”), you saw their last live show.

Remote Patrol

NBA Tipoff

8 p.m. TNT

Game 1: Cavs at Celtics

8:30 p.m. TNT

Lord knows they’re trying—they’re always trying—but the difference in quality between ESPN’s pregame show and TNT’s is, well, like watching the Dubs against any team without Kawhi Leonard. Anyway, I won’t be watching TV tonight and if I were, I’d be watching Apocalypto (BBC 9 p.m.), but seeing as how we’re trying to lure Susie B. as our angel investor, I’ll post this as the RP choice and even include a photo of Sweet Pea (is she the only human who refers to him as that?)

5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. When I read about Trump telling Comey to lay off Flynn because he was a “good guy,” I immediately thought of the mobster usage of that term. “Good guy” is akin to “goodfella” or “connected” or “friend of ours,” which is the fundamental mobster distinction: you’re either with me or not with me. Trump wanted Comey to back off Flynn not because of lack of evidence of wrongdoing, but because Flynn was loyal to Trump, which is really what Trump cares about.

  2. I’m just here to ask questions. Perhaps a legal expert could help me out.

    What are, if any, the repercussions of Comey concealing this information until after he was fired?

  3. About The Sociopath occupying the WH – we’re ALL being punked, every day, that’s the only explanation. DUMP TRUMP! DUMP TRUMP! DUMP TRUMP NOW! And ALL his minions.

    And yes, I possibly am the only human to call LeBron ‘Sweet Pea’ but if every regular reader of MH starts inadvertently yelling out “SWEET PEA!” whenever they watch him do something magnificent on the court (which of course would be every 2 minutes or so), then my work is done. 🙂 🙂

    And jdubs, beleeeeeve me, I would LOVE to be MH’s “angel investor”/patron but until I win meeeeellions in the lottery, all I can afford to give the hardworking ‘folks’ at MH is a free coffee maybe once a year. One. And not one of those fancy-shmancy coffees either. Of course, IF you keep posting photos of Sweet Pea, maybe I’ll up the budget. 🙂

    And for the record, I take NOTHING for granted in sports. I don’t breathe easy until my team is up by 20 with only 2 minutes to go. And even then, I keep those fingers crossed. Or over my eyes. The Cavs should beat the Celtics & move on to the Finals but you just never know. Maybe YOU & Jacob do though! 🙂

    GO CAVS!

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