▪ I don’t like the way the NBA structures its voting for NBA Finals MVP. Only 11 people get a vote, and four of those people are from ESPN properties. There should be far more people voting. That’s way too small of a sample size, and way too much power for ESPN.
And I thought the panel got it wrong this year, too. I would have voted LeBron James as the MVP, because without him this six-game series would have been a four-game sweep in which Golden State won every game by at least 20 points. I would have voted Stephen Curry if not for LeBron – Curry was extraordinary – and Andre Iguodala third (for he mostly benefited offensively from the fact that Curry had to be double-teamed constantly).
Instead, Iguodala got seven first-place votes, LeBron got four and Curry got zero. I doubt Curry cares much about that award, though, given he won the regular-season MVP and, most importantly, the championship.
▪ TOOTHLESS TIGER: Watching Tiger Woods play golf these days is just no fun anymore. What an afterthought he has become.
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▪ MANZIEL’S MONEY: Johnny Manziel should have dropped that juvenile “money sign” before he ever got to the NFL, but at least he said recently he will scrap it now. It doesn’t change the fact that Manziel is never going to develop into a good NFL quarterback, though. He’s too frail.
▪ WEIGHT A MINUTE: Kelvin Benjamin showing up to the minicamp about eight pounds overweight is not that big a deal – Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman is right about that. But Benjamin also has to keep himself in better shape. If he shows up to training camp overweight again and sporting some more hamstring issues, that’s going to be a problem.
▪ DOLPHINS EXTEND VISIT: I’m not a big fan of NFL teams practicing against each other in training camp, as it seems to me mostly like another chance for players to get hurt in something that doesn’t count (that’s also why I have long been in favor of reducing NFL exhibition games from four to two). With that said, though, I’m sure the Panthers’ players themselves will enjoy working out against the Miami Dolphins on Aug.19 and 20 in advance of their exhibition game Aug. 22, and it will be a nice change for the fans in Spartanburg, too.
▪ BLINDSIDED: So Michael Oher doesn’t like the notoriety “The Blind Side” has conveyed upon him? There are far worse things than being portrayed as the subject of an inspirational, Oscar-winning movie.
But I can also understand what Oher is saying. He is a quiet, thoughtful man, and the “Hollywood-ization” of his childhood has obviously given him far more publicity than he ever wanted. Offensive linemen get used to anonymity. Oher, unfortunately, is never going to receive it again.
▪ CONGRATS TO DALE JR.: It’s about time Dale Earnhardt Jr. got married, so congrats to NASCAR’s most popular driver and his longtime girlfriend Amy Reimann, who recently got engaged. Now they just have to solve Earnhardt’s very real jewelry phobia. Although he gave Reimann an engagement ring, Dale Jr. has said a number of times in past interviews he finds jewelry “creepy” and that he would never wear a wedding ring himself.