Hedrich Files

Analyzing our pop culture footprint one jump shot at a time.

Category: Articles (Page 1 of 7)

Rotten Banana Podcast: MTV Challenge – Jemmye’s Jinx

Logan and Maria discuss the last two episodes of MTV’s The Challenge: Dirty 30. The pod starts with Logan ranting on No Quitters and the wasted potential of their platform and the pair drop an idea on taking away the players appearance fees before jumping into their love for Tori, the evolution of Cara Maria, TJ’s million dollar prize, Jemmye’s theory on Bananas lack of a finals appearance since betraying Sarah and who we want to see in the final from the purge.

25 NBA Finals Predictions for Cavs vs. Warriors: The Three-quel

The rubber match between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors begins Thursday, June 1 at 6 PST on ABC. Here are 25 predictions for what to expect from the Three-Match.

1. Klay will break out and have 2 games hitting at least 7 three’s.

2. LeBron James will, once again, be the overall stats leader for the series (PPG, MPG, RPG, APG, SPG) and average just shy of a triple double, but…

3. Stephen Curry will win Finals MVP.

4. Mike Brown will exercise his LBJ demons and be a factor in the series.

5. LeBron James will upstage Tyronn Lue more than once.

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NBA End of Season Awards Roundtable 2017

This year’s awards roundtable is here and this time it’s SUPERSIZED. With many of this seasons podcast guests joining the conversation, enjoy the end of season awards brought to you via PftK:

Contributors include:

Logan Hedrich – @LoganGiantsbane

Brian Bernstein – @Beanstein11

Ben Whiteside – @BWhiteside10

Coray Runge – @CorayRunge

Michael Swander – @MichaelSwander

Cyrus Hoda

Kurt Tademy

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Kevin Durant vs. Russell Westbrook: The Debate Rages On by Brian Bernstein

The debate continues right now, right here: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, who’s better? Who would you rather start a franchise with?

It’s tough to compare the two because both are top-10 players in the league today, and both are top-five in their respective position. Also, the question of who would you rather have is totally different than who is better. Picture yourself as a general manager and you had the option of either player to build around. It’s hard to go wrong with either, but what you have to decide is would you rather build around a point guard, a small/power forward, or would you rather just take the better player?

Ok, so lets get down to the nitty gritty. Let’s begin with Russ. He is right now doing something that only one other player in the history of the game, since stats were kept, has done. He is averaging a triple-double, 31.2 points per game, 10.2 assists, and 10.5 rebounds (he leads the NBA in ppg, third in apg, and 12th in rpg). Oscar Robinson is the other player to average a triple-double for a season in 1961-62, when the rate of play was much higher than it is today, allowing for many more possessions than take place in todays game.

He is possibly the most athletic point guard to ever play the game, and just may be the most explosive player the game has ever seen. With all do respect to LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, and even Derrick Rose (pre-knee surgery), Russ is a beast, and has another gear.

While my vote sadly won’t count for this year’s MVP candidate, if he finishes the season averaging a triple-double, I don’t care what the OKC Thunder record is, he should be the unanimous winner. He is on a team that has no consistent shooters, so the fact that he can get double digit assists per night is a feat in itself. He makes any team better and a nightmare to scheme against.

I have so much respect for Westbrooks loyalty and commitment to OKC, it’s quite commendable. For KD to turn his back on the Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors because he wanted an easier road to the Finals, I lost respect for him. He basically said I’d rather not continue to fight and beat the best; I’d rather just join the best. That’s a soft move man. Soft like a… cupcake.

But putting that aside and looking at talent alone, KD is one of the most unique players the game has ever seen. He is a small forward, or shooting guard, trapped in a 7-foot body. He can score in the post, he can shoot from anywhere on the floor, and can drive to the basket.

Russ and KD are true shooters, Russ is the better passer but KD is the better shooter, plus he’s more clutch. You can’t give Durant an inch of space because he’ll knock down any shot with the smallest window. You also can’t guard him with a smaller player because he’ll post him up or shoot over the top of him, and if you put a big man on him, you open up the driving lane.

I’m aware that I have still yet to answer the question of who is the better player, keep reading:

The biggest difference is on the other end of the floor. I have continuously stuck up for Russ and his defense. He does get lazy, a lot, but he’s anticipation and quickness allows him to be an aggressive defender, which does open him up to get beat, but when he decides to lock up, he is one of the toughest guys to beat. However, Durant takes the “cake” on this end.

Not only can he guard any position because of his quickness and length, he can block shots, play the passing lane, and is harder to get around. His defensive ceiling has increased since joining the Warriors this season, and Steve Kerr deserves all the credit. He is currently blocking more shots than he ever has per game in his career, so much for the Warriors losing a rim protector.

So again, who is the better player? Even though everything points to Russ, the answer is Kevin Durant. He is simply unguardable.

When guarding the best players in the world, you want to take away one aspect of their game, or try to, to make them beat you. With Russ, if you can keep him out of the paint you have a better chance at holding him in check. But with KD, there is no part to his game you can take away and feel good about your chances.

If you keep him out of the paint he will continue to knock down the long-range shots, if you take away the deep ball, he will kill you inside. He is just too diverse to keep in check.

I love Russ. He is one of my favorite players and he plays with more heart than anyone in the league, but Kevin Durant is simply the better player.

-Brian Bernstein

Best NBA GIFs of All Time

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Sam Cassell in a nutshell.

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Hasheem, what are you dialing up? Those some D-League teams calling?

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The audacity and disrespect of Steve Novak throwing up a championship belt…

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Distant Splash Cousin? Waiting for the Warriors to let him bust this one out.

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Download and save this GIF before Nike gets it removed from the internet.

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The trilogy of poetic movement from Iguodala.

How to Fix the Knicks: a History of Phil Jackson Aberrations

The New York Knicks have found themselves in quite the conundrum the last few weeks (months, years, decades). After giving their fans the falsest of hope in the offseason, bringing in two stars well past their prime (an all time Knicks-type move, name brand recognition without the gas left in the tank to help the team win), the roster is as unbalanced as it’s been in years, and any hope for making the playoffs would have been squandered if not for how universally atrocious the 7-13 seeds are in the East. How exactly did the Knicks get into this spot? A team president with the greatest resume in the history of the league who has continued to screw over the franchise that employs him, the worst contract in professional sports, and an aging superstar who not only impedes on the development of the only bright spot on the roster, but also maintains the highest level of leverage of any single player not named LeBron in the league. However, all hope is not futile. There are a few steps the Knicks must follow over the next few years that can bring them back to relevance, let’s take a look at how:

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-Fire Phil, Fire Dolan. Phil Jacksons tenure in the Knicks front office has left a bit to be desired. While snatching the basketball unic0rn looks like a coup in retrospect, it’s starting to look more and more like a lucky/advantageous situation created by the (continued) incompetency by the Lakers in overvaluing the flashiness of D’Angelo Russell when far better prospects were on the board (Kristaps Porzingis, Emmanuel Mudiay, Devin Booker, T.J. McConnell).

Lets take a closer look at all the major moves Jackson has made while at the helm for the Knicks:

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Its understandable to try and grab assets for the expiring contract of Tyson Chandler. Jose Calderon was serviceable and ended up being trade bait for the Derrick Rose deal, so I guess that’s sort of a positive…? This trade breaks even on the Phil Jackson incompetence scale.

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Using the previously acquired Wayne Ellington and high-end prospect/hot garbage Jeremy Tyler to grab Acy and Outlaw? Like trading a pair of Air Monarch 3’s for some Starbury’s. Everyone loses.

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This is where things get very questionable for Jackson. What purpose did this serve other than bolstering the Cavaliers bench? The Knicks turned Shumpert, and Smith into Lou Amundson, Lance Thomas, and a second round pick. This isn’t one of those deals that just looks bad in retrospect, the minute this trade when down everyone was looking at Jackson with a Swaggy P confused face. Mad suspect, Phillip.

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Not an entirely awful trade, turning a borderline retiree into a decent prospect and a few second round picks. Well it would have been a decent deal if Shved didn’t sign with a Russian team in July of 2015.

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On draft night, 2015, the Knicks were moving and shaking, hoping to wheel and deal enough to somehow land a star via trade (unbeknownst to them, their superstar was available right at #3 in the draft), and they found a move to send Hardaway Jr. away which netted them Jerian Grant, who would later be used in the Rose trade. Again, depending on your thoughts on Rose, it was either a waste of assets, or following the Rockets model of collecting assets, then cashing them out for a star.

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Another very solid move, at the time, giving away no personnel and acquiring a serviceable backup PF. O’Quinn’s Knicks career hasn’t played out like nearly anyone though it would, but on July 9th, 2015, this deal really didn’t look too bad.

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And now we arrive at the Coup de Grace. Giving away Calderon and Grant for a starter is a genius concept. Adding the underpaid and over performing Robin Lopez for one year of the shell of Derrick Rose’s former brilliance? Ludicrous, insanity, bizarre, deranged, preposterous, mental. In what realm of reality was 2016 Derrick Rose worth anything of tangible value in the NBA? No doubt, Phil was on some heavy hallucinogens when this call was made.

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Completely unironically, this has been the best move Jackson has made. Letting Stoudemire go out as a Knick was awesome and what the NBA is really about, cashing out as you retire. What could be more American?

As far as Owner James Dolan is concerned? Sign a petition, boycott his awful bands concerts, send him letters, protest outside the garden, contact your local state representative about removing him from office… In all seriousness, change for franchises often starts at the top, and winning has never been at the forefront for Dolan. Look at the Warriors, Chris Cohan played the Bay Area fanbase like a fiddle for years, taking each and every one of them to the bank for over a decade, and then within 5 years of Lacob and Guber buying the Warriors in 2010, the Bay’s team were champions, and solidified as one of the most essential markets in the league. An owners modus operandi matters.

-Trade Carmelo ASAP, if not possible, DO NOT RE-SIGN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. This one should be amended, don’t trade Melo if the haul includes old players that have multiple years left on their deals. The whole purpose of getting rid of Carmelo is two-fold, the Knicks need to free up cap space for future flexibility, and it opens up the offense for KP to take over as the de facto number one option. The Knicks should want no part of a Gilbert Arenas for Rashard Lewis type deal, simply swapping awful contracts with another team in hopes that a change of scenery transforms a player. The real insanity of this whole ordeal is that Carmelo Anthony has a no-trade clause in his contract. Not LeBron James. Not Kevin Durant. Not a top 3 player, and when he signed the deal, the Knicks were well aware he was already on the back half of his career. A player of his caliber has no right to dictate those types of clauses in their deal. Chalk this one up to another brilliant move by the genius Phil Jackson. The worst case scenario would be Carmelo sustaining a major injury next season and him opting in to his $27 million dollar option for 2018/19. Best case? The Cavaliers get swept in the Finals and are desperate for another scoring option and change their mind on the Kevin Love trade, gifting the Knicks one of the most potent front courts in the league.

All this money and trade assets given up for a single playoff series victory. 1. Seven total playoff games won in four series. Nailed it.

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-Burn Joakim Noahs contract. Pretend it never happened. The next time Noah shows up to the Garden, deny him entry and act like he never really signed his albatross of a deal. Plaster his photo all over the arena and not let security allow him in the building. Alert the NYPD of grand theft in the first degree. Larceny in its’ cruelest form. The Knicks have 3 more years of declining play, with the starting point of 5.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.8 blocks in 22.6 minutes. AND HE’S BEEN HEALTHY. Noah has played in 41 of 47 games! 4 years/$72 million. ON JULY 1ST. Noah will make $19.3 million in 2019/20 when he’ll being turning 35. I’m sure this will end well.

-Abandon the triangle. While the triangle offense has mostly already has been ditched, the offense needs to be tailored to KP’s strengths. That involves him creating for himself and his teammates from the high elbow, not the low block. The team is already pretty ‘meh’ on defense, so why not go full D’Antoni and play a run and gun style offense. The personnel isn’t there for it, but slowing shifting to a high octane offense will let the Knicks get the most of KP’s talents. Pairing him alongside a defensive minded center wouldn’t hurt. (Nerlens Noel anyone?)maxresdefault

-DO NOT RE-SIGN DERRICK ROSE. No matter the circumstances, no matter the contract stipulations. There is no scenario where Rose will be worth anywhere near what he thinks he is. His contract demands will be ludicrous and the Knicks thing to do would be get him to sign for a few million less than the max and call it a win. THERE IS NO POINT TO KEEPING ROSE. They’ve already lost out on the steal of a contract that was Robin Lopez, don’t let this snowball in more years of torture.

-Eat Crow, Draft Right. The Lakers have been doing it for the last 3 years, developing youth the right way. While the results haven’t been there for LA quite yet, the Lakers fans have had to learn the hard way that a solid roster with flexible finances is far more attractive to free agents than just a great media market and nice weather year round. The best sign for the Knicks? They own all their upcoming first round picks. Nail another one of those in the top 5/10, and maybe trade another away for a guard to play pick and roll with KP? Thats an instant playoff contender….in 2020.

-Put Porzingis’ face on every piece of merchandise. Pretty simple. Show KP that the front office has faith in him. Give him the keys to the Garden and let him know they have as much confidence in him as he does when he throws down a put back over someones head.

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Don’t ruin this kids enthusiasm, Phil.

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Check out the latest episode of the podcast and follow me on Twitter: @LoganGiantsbane

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dodging-la-podcast/id1001991847

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Ice Cube’s ‘The Big 3’ to bring back your favorite ex-NBA stars by Brian Bernstein

Do you ever find yourself pulling up old Youtube clips of your favorite retired NBA players wishing you could watch them one more time? Well, your wish is Ice Cube’s command.

Rapper/entertainer Ice Cube has formed a new league, The Big 3, which will feature ex-professional players over the age of 30 to compete 3-on-3 beginning this summer.

The league was introduced last Wednesday in New York with ex-NBA stars Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups, and Stephen Jackson headlining the press conference.

“It sucks to see your favorite players retire. There’s nothing good about it, especially when you know they still got game,” Cube said during the press conference. “My father always told me if you don’t think big, you will always be small. So, we came up with a big idea. It was to bring a style of basketball that I grew up playing, watching, and loving, which is 3-on-3 basketball.”

The Big 3 will technically begin in March with their inaugural draft to fill out each of the 8-teams 5-man roster. The season will last 10 weeks, with the final two reserved for the playoffs, the season officially tips-off June 24th. (Stay tuned for where and how to watch these dames) This is an opportunity for former players to scratch that itch, lace up their shoes, and play competitive basketball again.

Games will be played every Saturday in 10 cities around the country. Possibly the greatest aspect about the league is the fact that it’s back to the playground for these NBA stars. Contests will not be timed; instead it will be first to 60 with a seven-minute halftime when the first team reaches 30 points. There will also be a four-point shot designated by a circle several feet behind the three-point arch (shout out to MTV Rock n Jock).

As of now, the biggest name committed to the league is new Hall of Fame inductee Allen “The Answer” Iverson. The former 2001 NBA MVP couldn’t pass up the chance to get play again.

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“When I got the call it was a no-brainer, it’s Ice … you don’t turn that down,” Iverson said at a news conference in New York on Wednesday to introduce the league. “That’s success looking you right into your eyes. I just wanted to be a part of it and I hope that me being a part of it makes it a success like everything he’s been doing in his life.”

Other noteworthy players who have committed to the league worth mentioning are Rashard Lewis, Jermaine O’Neal, Jason “White Chocolate” Williams, Mike Bibby, and Bonzi Wells.

Cube, a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fans, hopes to one day have his favorite player join the league, Kobe Bryant. In an interview on ESPN’s flagship show Sportscenter, he emphasized that it would be his dream to see the Black Mamba suit up and play again.

TV deals are still looming, but this league is going to be the ultimate fan experience and help ease the pain for when players retire.

-Brian Bernstein

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J.R. Smith: Professional Clown by Brian Bernstein

I couldn’t have possibly seen that correctly, could I? Seriously, did Cleveland Cavaliers’ J.R Smith really go over to the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jason Terry to give him a handshake and hug while the game was in progress?

What the hell is wrong with him? He wins one championship and suddenly thinks his god’s gift to man and the basketball community. I’ll admit, he was funny during the parade when he refused to wear a shirt for a week straight, it was even funnier when the Cavs visited the White House and President Obama thanked his shirt for making an appearance, but this is just pushing it.

In case you missed it, The Bucks were taking the ball out on the other side of the court and Smith was guarding Tony Snell in front of the Bucks bench. Instead of worrying about the game, Smith walks off the court to literally shake Terry’s hand and surrenders a wide open dunk to Snell.

I couldn’t possibly make this stuff up. And props to the JET for playing Smith like a fiddle. To make things worse, the Bucks beat the Cavs 118-101.

I mean this isn’t the first kind of shenanigans we’ve seen from J.R. He was fined $15k by the league for untying multiple players’ shoes during free throws. Again, as funny as all this is, really dude?

Then there was the post game interview, and I don’t even know if this is the best part or the worst. So there’s Smith, sitting in front of his locker when he was asked about the incident and this is what came out of his mouth, “I didn’t even know I was in the game. My bad.”

You didn’t even know you were in the game?!?!? Bro! Were you high or something? Or are you clearly that dumb or naïve? You didn’t know you were in the game? Come on man. You absolutely knew you were in the game. You were 94-ft away from your bench. Just own up to it and admit you made a bonehead mistake.

I really hope the Cavs fine him for this. That is unacceptable!

Remember the movie Miracle? The one about the 1980 USA hockey team that defeated the Russians in the Olympics? Well, there’s a scene in the movie where the players are more focused on the women in the stands then the game itself and coach Herb Brooks, played by Kurt Russell, keeps them on the ice after the game to run wind-sprints for what seems like hours until they understand that “the name on the front of the jersey is a hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.”

I really hope Lebron James pulled the same move on J.R and made him run suicides because there is no excuse for a professional athlete to pull a stunt like that in a game.

J.R, you are a good player, a great shooter, and you have a hilarious personality, but that s#!* has got to stop. Just play ball.

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This Week in Sports: Rams Ground Jets by Brian Bernstein

Los Angeles Clippers (9-1)

Lets hear it Clippers fans. I’m ready for the “I told you so” and the “you were mistaken sir.” Lob City proved me wrong by going into Oklahoma City and beating the Thunder. However, I do get to say this… “BARELY!”

I mean, come on Clips. How do you almost lose with the Lawler Law at play? Timeout. What’s the Lawler Law? It’s a rule, or “law,” that states the first team to score 100 points will win the game, created by Clippers’ broadcaster Ralph Lawler.

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