Warriors coach Steve Kerr is a bit peeved that so many players have turned the new All-Star Game vote process into a “mockery,” as he put it earlier this week.
You know, guys such as Tony Allen, the Memphis Grizzlies’ goofball. He voted for himself and four Memphis Grizzlies teammates, which proved that fans and media don’t have a monopoly on dumbness.
C’mon, Stevie Wiseacre. This is 2017, remember?
There was a time when the All-Star Game was about pride and competition. Forty years ago, for instance, Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond and an underdog West team whipped the heavily favored East at the Cow Palace, whipped ’em but good. East coach Red Auerbach was so hacked off, he was socked with a technical foul.
That was then, this is now: The All-Star Game is about entertainment and personal gain. Has been for more than a few years now.
Basically, the participants are there to be visible and rub elbows with celebrities and further their brands. The Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid made no secret that he wanted on the team in order to improve his chances to date a celebrity crush, for godsakes.
As for the game itself, the players shoot 3-pointers and throw down dunks for three quarters. Then the fourth quarter rolls around, and they play for the Most Valuable Player prize.
Well, isn’t that right, Russell Westbrook?
So if the participants don’t take the All-Star Game very seriously, then why should the rest of us.
SUCH A DEAL: Great news for supporters of the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers. And those of the Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks especially.
Now that Santa Clara has put a freeze on ticket prices for next season, fans of its opponents can fill Levi’s Stadium and not pay a dime more.
Meanwhile, the Faithless still will be expected to pay among the steepest prices in the league — upward of $3,750 for a season ticket and $80,000 for a personal seat license. And for a few more bucks, CEO Jed York probably will throw in brunch at his Los Altos Hills cabana.
PAT ANSWER: As you know, Balls isn’t a big fan of Cheatin’ Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, but let’s give them a sliver of credit here.
For real. Honest. No fake news.
There are a lot of reasons why the Patriots are headed to their seventh Super Bowl in the last 16 years. More than anything, what separates them from the rest is their refusal to get sucked into the modern NFL culture while they adhere to old-school values. That starts with Belicheat at the top and trickles down from there.
Pure and simple, no NFL team is more focused and disciplined on a consistent basis. Or to put it another way, while almost everyone else is playing Chutes and Ladders, the Patriots are playing chess.
REST OF THE STORY: There’s also an overlooked reason for the Patriots’ dominance — an utter lack of competition in their own division. In the incredibly lame AFC East, the Pats are guaranteed five or six victories in the regular season and at least one home game in the playoffs.
Face it, boys and girls, the NFL product is as bad as it has been in years, maybe decades. That was never more evident than the championship round last weekend, which produced two blowouts and lots of bad football.
Now you know why eight of the 10 playoff games to date produced worse television numbers than a year ago.
TWO FOR THE SHOW: Seems that more people are interested in what happens after Super Bowl LI #NotmySuperBowl than the game itself. Because if the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons — and that’s no gimme — commissioner Roger Goodell will be forced to hand the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Brady, his mortal enemy.
How much you wanna bet that Brady and Goodell will smile and shake hands like nothing ever happened, like the whole Deflategate thing was a media concoction, before Brady mumbles a few expletives on his way off the stage …
JUST SAYIN’: Happy trails to ESPN’s Brent Musburger, still the best television voice of the NBA four decades after the fact.
No way should President Trump accept the four-letter network’s invitation to fill out NCAA Tournament brackets and waste our time …
While Prez is at it, he also can put an end to those White House visits by millionaire athletes. Better to invite people who have done real deeds instead.
NFL sponsor McDonald’s reports a decline in national sales the last few months. Bet the #boycottNFL movement is Lovin’ It!
The Sharks’ Patrick Marleau scored four goals against the Colorado Avalanche in the third period the other night. Yep, against the worst team in the league, he’s Patrick Superstar. Against an elite team in the playoffs, he’s Patty Melt.
WHERE HAVE YOU GONE … Dave (Wrecker) Hrechkosy?
Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? A compliment?! Send them to email@example.com, and who knows, you may get your name in the paper before long.