Lebron James is getting ready for his 7th straight NBA Finals and his third in a row since returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. James is already thinking about his post-playing career. Along with his friends Maverick Carter and Randy Mims, plus his agent Rich Paul have built a successful media company, Spring Hill Entertainment. Their media company has developed shows such Survivor Remorse on Starz in which James is the executive producer. The show is about success and pitfalls of a young NBA phenom. James has even guest starred on the show. He is also the executive producer on the CNBC show Cleveland Hustles, it is about giving an entrepreneur a chance to open their own business as well as revitalizing their neighborhoods He is also the executive producer of the new NBC game show The Wall. He has also developed the unscripted series Becoming that profiles sports stars that are seen on Disney XD. He also produced two films I AM GIANT about wide receiver Victor Cruz and More Than A Game about his high school team at St Vincent-St Mary in Akron Ohio. He has developed a digital network called Uninterrupted in which podcasts and other digital shows are done. Uninterrupted give athletes a chance to host and talked about things outside of sports.
Lebron is a part owner of the English Premier League soccer team Liverpool. However, he wants to own an NBA team when he retires. First, he wants to win his 4th NBA title and second in a row with the Cavaliers. I hope that current owner, Dan Gilbert gives him a part of the Cavs. I would be shocked when Lebron retires that he buys the team from Gilbert.
Early Monday morning, Tiger Woods getting arrested for DUI outside of his home in Jupiter, Florida was not a surprise to me. He lived a lie of being a family man when his personal life was unraveling in 2009. Woods through a statement said that alcohol was not the reason for his arrest. It turned out he was taking prescription drugs and he had a bad reaction. Tiger Woods body and golf game are going downhill, and how his life is going the same way. He made himself famous by living a lie and now his past is catching up to him.
Game one was several games in one. Most of the first period was dominated by the Predators, but Matt Murray made several key saves. Then the Predators took two penalties on the same play and Evgeni Malkin scored on the power play to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. A minute and five seconds later Connor Sheary increased the lead to 2-0. Then with 17 seconds left in the first period, Nick Bonino scored to give the Penguins 3-0. The Predators made some defensive adjustments and held the Penguins without a shot for the entire second period. Dan Ellis scored on the power play to cut the deficit to 3 to 1 going into the third period. Midway through the third period Colton Sissons scored on the power play to cut the Penguins lead to 3-2. Frederic Gaudreau tied the game at 3 and gave the Predators all of the momentum. Then on their first shot of the third period, Jake Guentzel scored to give the Penguins a 4-3 lead. Bonino would score an empty net goal to give the Penguins a 5-3 victory and a 1 game to none series lead. The Penguins were held to 12 shots for the game and had several defensive lapses during the game. They overcame all of their mistakes to win game one. However, they have to play better in game two. Game two is Wednesday night at the PPG Paints Arena with face-off time at 800 P.M.
For the third straight year, it will be the Golden State Warriors taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA title. The one big change for the Warriors is the signing of Kevin Durant. Durant has elevated his play and has given them 4 all-stars on the court. The pressure is on the Warriors to atone for them blowing a 3-1 lead to the Cavs. Durant has to prove that he is the equal of LeBron James in the finals. If he or the Warriors don’t succeed they will be remembered as a disappointment.
The Cavaliers have no pressure because they are the defending champions, but the Warriors have the most pressure because if they don’t win the title their season will be a disappointment. LeBron James has elevated his play to a high level despite not being named a finalist for the regular season MVP. Kevin Love has become a better shooter and Kylie Irving has become a closer by getting 42 in-game four of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. The Cavs have a deeper bench and have outside shooters like Kyle Korver and J.R Smith. Even with the Warriors having home court advantage I see this series going the full seven games with the Cavaliers winning.
Now that the Stanley Cup Finals are set. Here is what is going to happen and why. The Nashville Predators are the surprise team being the second wild card team that beat Chicago, Edmonton, and Anaheim to reach the finals. They have an outstanding goalie in Pekka Rinne who leads the playoffs with a 1.91 goals against average and .925 save percentage. P.K Subban is an outstanding defenseman and a great personality for the NHL in a non-traditional market. They are missing Ryan Johansen who out for the remainder of the playoffs. Mike Fisher who is their captain might come back for game one.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are the defending Stanley Cup Champions are trying to be the first team to repeat since the Detroit Red Wings did in 1998. Head Coach Mike Sullivan made a change during the Ottawa series by putting Matt Murray in-goal replacing Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury had an outstanding playoff filling in for an injury Murray until Fleury was bombed for 4 goals in-game four. The Penguins defense had been solid during the playoffs when Kris Letang was gone for the playoffs with the herniated disk in his neck. Evgeni Malkin leads the playoffs in scoring with 24 points. Sidney Crosby despite missing one game due to a concussion has 7 goals and 20 points. Phil Kessel leads the playoffs with 5 power play goals. Rookie Jake Guentzel had been a pleasant surprise with 9 goals. This team has tested with injuries, goalie changes, and two straight seven games series. They may come out flat in game one, but it will not happen. I see the Penguins winning this series in six games.
Game seven pushed both teams to limit and beyond. After a scoreless first period in which both goalies were outstanding. Chris Kunitz gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead, but 20 seconds later Mark Stone tied the game at 1 after two periods. Midway through the third period, Justin Schultz scored on the power play to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead. Under 3 minutes later Ryan Dzingel scored on Erik Karlsson shot that bounced off the boards to tied the game at 2. Both teams had several changed to get the go-ahead goal but both goalies made key saves as both teams went into overtime. In the first overtime period, the Penguins had great opportunities but Craig Anderson made some sparkling saves. Matt Murray made some great saves as both teams battled on into the second overtime. The 5:09 into the second overtime Kunitz took a pass from Sidney Crosby and blasted a shot past Anderson to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 win and the series 4 games to 3. The Ottawa Senators gave the Penguins everything they had and then some. The Penguins will take on the Nashville Predators in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. Game one will be on Monday night at the PPG Paints Arena with the face-off set for 8:00 P.M.
The Penguins were one game away from going back to the Stanley Cup Finals. However, the Ottawa Senators had other ideas. Both goalies were able to make big saves as the first period ended scoreless. Trevor Daley thought he gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead early in the second period. Ottawa challenged the goal and it was overturned, but after seeing the replay that was a bad call against the Penguins. They were not deterred as Evgeni Malkin made a great individual play to give them a 1-0 lead. Another bad call on a questionable penalty against Ron Hainsey, plus an Ian Cole high-sticking gave Ottawa a 5-3 advantage. Bobby Ryan blistered a one-timer by Matt Murray to tie the game at 1 after two periods. Mike Huffman scored on a slap shot early into the third period to give the Senators a 2-1. Craig Anderson made some outstanding saves as the Penguins threw everything at him. Ottawa’s 2-1 win tied the series at 3 games apiece and forcing a game seven Thursday night at PPG Paints Arena with the face-off time at 8:00 P.M.
I had a chance to hear the Nashville Predators win the Western Conference Finals and go to their first Stanley Cup Finals. However, it was not the only story of the day. An explosion in Manchester, England near the end of an Ariana Grande concert that killed 19 people and injured 50 others. This is why I want to cover sports because this is an escape from the real world problems. It is hard to get excited after a big win when you hear about a story like that. I will blog about game 6 and regardless of who wins, it will be an escape from reality.
Game five was totally team effort for the Penguins. All four lines made contributions on the score sheet. It all started in the first period with Olli Maatta scoring to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Sidney Crosby scored to increase the Pens lead to 2-0. Under 4 minutes later Bryan Rust would score on a deflection to increase the lead to 3-0. Then Senators goalie Craig Anderson would be replaced by Mike Condon but under two minutes later Anderson would return. Scott Wilson would score to make it 4-0 Penguins after the end of the first period. Condon would come back in the nets to start the second period. Matt Cullen would score the only goal of the period to make it 5-0. Then 50 seconds into the third period, Phil Kessel would score on the power play to give the Pens a 6-0 lead. Trevor Daley would score on the power play to make the final score 7-0 Penguins. Goalie Matt Murray would earn the game 3rd star by stopping all 25 shots. The Penguins have a 3-2 series lead and can go back to the Stanley Cup finals with a win. Game 6 is on Tuesday night at the Canadian Tire Center with the face off at 8:00 P.M.
While I watching the Stanley Cup and NBA playoffs there was a story that broke this past week. ESPN announced that Beth Mowins will be calling the second Monday Night Football game on September 11th between the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers. She will be working with former Buffalo Bills and New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan. I have believed that a woman can call an NFL game, and it will be the first one since Gayle Sierens called a game between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs in December of 1987. That game was a regional game, but this game will be shown nationwide. This is a great achievement, and the if the broadcast is outstanding this could be the start of something big.