Traina Thoughts: Ban Zaza Pachulia from the NBA after controversial play?
The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina.
1. Many people think Zaza Pachulia's defensive play on Kawhi Leonard during Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday, was dirty. Many do not. But since we live during a time where the truth doesn't matter, there is already a petition up on Change.org to have Pachulia banned from the NBA. As of this writing, the petition has more than 1,200 signatures. Obviously, this is ridiculous, but you have to admire the passion of the individual who started the petition:
FACT: Zaza Pachulia has a history of playing dirty in the NBA and has now injured a future Hall-of-Famer in a critical time leading toward the coveted championship.
When you mention the current "Greats" of the NBA, three names rise to the top: LeBron James, Stephen Curry and...Kawhi Leonard. Of course, the exact order is open to discussion but you get the idea.
Beyond just this series and the recent play in question, Mr. Pachulia's type of play sets a dangerous precedent for the future generation of basketball players. If he is not banned, it sends a mixed, if not clear, message to young players that "dirty" and sloppy play is justified and goes without punishment in the NBA. It says that a lower-level player can, by physical and illegal play, even-out the playing field with a player who is universally praised as one of the best in sports as a whole. If the Spurs go on to lose the series, there is no question that the play we witnessed, in which Kawhi Leonard was injured and removed from a critical game, will go down as one of the "dirtiest" in play-off history.
2. The Nashville Predators regular national anthem singer is very upset that the team has called on popular country singers, such as Carrie Underwood, to do the honors during the playoffs.
3. It seems the people CAN smell what he's cooking. According to a recent poll, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson currently leads Donald Trump in a prospective Presidential election matchup 42% to 37%.
4. For all you degenerates out there, the Cavaliers are -600 to win their Eastern Conference finals series against the Celtics ( 450) on 5Dimes.com. The site currently has the Warriors at -325 against the Cavaliers ( 265) in an NBA Finals matchup.
5. I don't know if this is amusing or cringeworthy, but Matthew McConaughey showed up to last night's Indians game wearing a hat that featured his signature catchphrase.
6. Rays first baseman, Logan Morrison, caught a foul pop AND a hat last night.
7. As if college football games were painfully long already, the national championship game will now get a Super Bowl-like halftime show.
8. The Ringer has a big, new feature on radio host, Mike Francesa. The most newsworthy piece of information was that Francesa responded to a recent report that he would not retire as expected on Dec. 15, calling it, "ridiculous."
9. THE DAILY ROCK: "Who is this roody poo?" Here is the first time The Rock met The Big Show.