LeBron’s last stand
Just when it looked like the Eastern Conference might finally be freed from its seven-year subjugation under the LeBron James dictatorship, the Cleveland Cavaliers made a series of monumental roster moves at the trade deadline to reestablish themselves as favorites to make the finals. In the span of 12 hours they changed nearly the entire composition of their roster, shipping out Dwyane Wade, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye and my adopted son Isaiah Thomas for Rodney Hood, George Hill, Larry Nance, Jr. and Jordan Clarkson. That is a massive shakeup for this late in the season, and I expect chemistry to be an issue, at least in the early going. None of the players they got back are good enough to put the Cavs over the top to challenge the Warriors, but hey, it’s not exactly a failing to be not-quite-as-good as the greatest team ever. I expect this group of high-energy defenders and skilled shooters to really perk things up for the Cavs on both ends of the floor. When Kevin Love comes back and LeBron hits playoff mode, they’ll be better than anyone else in the East, even my beloved Celtics. Speaking of which, you’ve got to feel sorry for Isaiah Thomas. In less than a year, he has gone from an MVP candidate to a veritable waste-of-a-roster spot and is now coming off the bench for a young crappy Lakers team. The Little Guy is still working his way back from his offseason hip injury, and I’ll never root for LA, but damn it do I want to see him land on his feet.
“Show me the money!”
Was I quoting Tom Cruise or J.D. Martinez? The world may never know. Martinez might be the best remaining player in free agency after Yu Darvish signed with the Cubs. He’s a terrific hitter, mashing .303/.376/.690 with 45 homers and just 53 strikeouts last year, and has been a 49 percent better than league-average hitter over the last four years according to his OPS+. But come on, the dude’s got to get a better grasp of his own value. Last week, he turned his nose up to a five-year-$125-million contract from the Boston Red Sox because he reportedly wanted seven and 210. Is he kidding? A slugger on the wrong side of 30 who refuses to DH and doubles as perhaps the worst defender in the league thinks he should be the highest paid position player ever (by yearly value)? L-O-freaking-L.
I’m not crying, you’re crying
Let’s not talk about that Super Bowl. I actually don’t know what’s sadder, the fact that the Patriots lost or that nobody called me out for that swing-and-a-miss in last week’s “Bleacher Creature.” Oh well, I guess nobody reads this thing anyway. I’m going to test that hypothesis this week. I’ve got a quiz on Tuesday that we’re supposed to cheat on, so I’m going to take advantage using my vast influence over the print media. Without further ado, psychographics is “what make a person tick.” USP is a unique selling proposition. Strategic advertising includes identifying your USP, target market and product position. The “Sweet Spot” is the intersection of consumer and brand insight. You should never try to be clever at the expense of clarity. The brand value circle is Communication, Expectation, Experience, Repeat Purchase, Loyal Customer. The six most basic human wants and needs are financial, maternal, survival, sex, ego and guilt. Attitude is the only A more important than the one from Pretty Little Liars. Billboards slogans should be limited to seven words or less. Finally, you’ll know you’re right when something makes sense, it feels right, someone else loves it and it will inspire you to do better work.