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King James has nothing on Lord Stanley

King James has nothing on Lord Stanley
P.K. Subban has helped Nashville reach its first Stanley Cup Finals, where the Predators will face defending champion Pittsburgh.

 

(Sanford Myers / Getty Images)

Michael or LeBron? LeBron or Michael?

Cavaliers or Warriors? Warriors or Cavaliers?

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Those debates are dominating the sports milieu. At the risk of betraying my heritage, allow me to propose a more entertaining question:

Predators or Penguins?

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That's the Stanley Cup Finals, which begin this week. So do the NBA Finals.

Because people love to argue about sports, let us ponder which will be more enjoyable.

Frankly, I'm the last person to ask because I've watched about 14 seconds of the hockey and basketball playoffs.

The NBA held little interest because everybody knew Cleveland and Golden State were ticketed for the finals. The NHL held little interest because it's hockey.

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As a Southerner, I have a natural bias against any activity that risks hypothermia. But I must admit that when I've watched the Stanley Cup playoffs it's been pretty darned entertaining.

"The best thing in sports," is how Charles Barkley puts it.

And he's paid to talk NBA, as is 89 percent of ESPN's staff. The incessant Cavs-Warriors hype made me look for reasons to watch hockey. I was surprised how easy they were to find. To wit:

Hockey players don't take off games.

If Draymond Green kicked a hockey player in the neutral zone, he'd get a stick upside the head.

Like Cleveland's much-heralded drought last year, Nashville hasn't won a major sports title since the 1827 National Musket Shooting Finals.

No player for the Penguins or Predators is currently dating a Kardashian.

Hockey's trophy is named after a 19th-century aristocrat who used words like "milieu." Basketball's trophy is named after the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

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Alexander Ovechkin didn't leave Oklahoma City to win an easy title with Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh.

The last minute of an NHL game is heart-pounding mayhem. The last minute of an NBA game features four timeouts and nine erectile-dysfunction commercials.

No player for the Penguins or Predators spent $52 a night to house their cat.

And perhaps the most compelling reason of all — LaVar Ball's sons don't play hockey.

Feline aid

Golden State center JaVale McGee paid $26,000 to settle a lawsuit last week. He'd rented an apartment in Dallas last year and skipped out owing, among other things, $12,000 in repairs and $9,350 in "cat-related fees."

There was a no-pet policy and McGee kept one for 178 days. That worked out to $52.50 a night, not counting the bill for cigarette burns the cat left on the carpet.

He’s lovin’ it

Pro poker player Mike Noori tried to eat $1,000 worth of McDonald's food in 36 hours last week. It was part of a bet that generated more than $200,000 of action in Las Vegas.

Be glad you didn't put any money on Noori, who quit after eating about $100 worth of cuisine.

In related news, former FSU receiver Kelvin Benjamin showed up at Panthers off-season training camp and reportedly tipped the scales at 280 pounds. Somewhat alarmed, coach Ron Rivera went to Benjamin's car and found $1,000 worth of wadded-up Big Mac wrappers in the back seat.

Beware the curse

Former North Carolina star Rashad McCants told the Charlotte Observer that dating Khloe Kardashian ruined his NBA career.

He joins Lamar Odom, James Harden, Reggie Bush, Kris Humphries and Bruce Jenner as victims of the Kardashian Curse. Next up is Cavs forward Tristan Thompson, who is now dating Khloe.

In related news, LeBron James' agent sent a memo to media pointing out that Michael Jordan never had to win an NBA title while a teammate was dating a Kardashian.

Jordan responded by pointing out that during the 1996-97 title run, Dennis Rodman was dating a llama.

Next question

The fashion world was shocked last week when Bill Belichick showed up at the Preakness wearing a light-blue non-hoodie suit straight out of GQ. He then went to the barn to give horses tips on how to speak to the media, showing them video of his famed 2014 press conference after losing to Kansas City.

When reporters later asked Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming why he finished eighth, he just kept saying, "We're on to the Belmont."

Parting shots

• This just in: The Knicks have offered to trade Carmelo Anthony to Golden State for JaVale McGee's cat.

• TMZ reports that Always Dreaming has secretly been dating Kim Kardashian.

• And happy birthday to NBA logo Jerry West, who never dated a Kardashian or a llama.

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