Frankly Frankel: June 14, 2014

14 Jun

Jurgen Klinsmann is a fool, there’s some nice home-cooking in Brazil, Kawhi Leonard is taking over the NBA Finals, Dwyane Wade should retire, the Kings win the Cup, and Masahiro Tanaka for MVP? This is Frankly Frankel coming to you on this June 14, 2014.

  • I was really juiced for the United States in this World Cup until Jurgen Klinsmann started talking. “For us now talking about winning a World Cup, it is just not realistic. If it is American or not, you can correct me,” he said.
  • What he’s saying is actually true. World soccer powers like Brazil, Spain (regardless of what happened yesterday), the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, among others, are all way ahead and more talented than this US team. But never in my life have I heard a coach of a team say before a major tournament that his team isn’t going to win. Klinsmann is not at analyst, he’s a coach. If he wanted to make statements like these, he should have taken a deal from ESPN and not as the coach of the United States Men’s National Team if that’s how he really feels. I am a true believer that when it comes to coaches talking to the media, less is always more. Take Bill Belichick and Darryl Sutter as an example. These two teams especially rarely ever have any distractions, and instead are able to just focus on winning which isn’t as hard when all you have to do is focus on the game. Watch and learn Klinsmann!
  • The more I hear from Klinsmann, the more I think he was just trying to make a statement by leaving Landon Donovan off the US roster. After all, if he doesn’t think the US has any chance, why bother having an older player on the roster when this would be his last World Cup anyway? Makes sense. Consider what he said a few days after he made the Donovan decision when Klinsmann ranted how American teams cater to aging stars.
  • This particular quote stood out. “Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not,” Klinsmann said. “He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?” Again, Klinsmann makes a point. Kobe Bryant isn’t the same player as he once was, but the man helped lead the Lakers to 5 championships. Clearly, Klinsmann hates how iconic American athletes get treated later in their careers, but he should just worry about his team and his job.
  • What a performance by the Dutch yesterday. The Netherlands dominated the defending World Cup Champions Spain 5-1. It was a nice “revenge” game after losing to Spain 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup Final, but the Netherlands have to be extremely careful not to get ahead of themselves. During the Hockey Olympics in Sochi, the United States defeated Russia in a heart-pounding shoot-out. Afterwards, the US was celebrating as if they had just won the gold only to leave Russia with zero hardware. The Netherlands have to re-gain focus because the main task of winning the entire Cup is still very, very far away. In terms of watching this team play, all you can say is wow. Arjen Robben is an absolute stud, as is Robin van Persie who put in a header on a pass that came from 50-yards away.
  • Brazil kicked off the 2014 World Cup with a match against Croatia and it was only right for the Brazilians to get a nice hometown call when Fred flopped in the penalty area. The referee consequently called a penalty shot, Neymar drilled it in, and Brazil walked away with the win. If I were the head of FIFA, I would make penalties in the box reviewable, and I would also fine players who flop. I understand it’s been part of the game for centuries, but to see games decided on acting jobs is a shame.
  • The NHL season is finally over after the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Rangers 3-2 early this morning in an amazing double OT thriller. The Rangers could not have had better chances to win the game. Ryan McDonagh hit the post, Chris Kreider missed a breakaway (his 2nd potential missed breakaway goal in OT this series), and Rick Nash could not put the puck into an open net. This was LA’s 3rd OT win of the series which is why instead of the Kings winning its 2nd Stanley Cup in the last 3 years, it could have very well been the Rangers. New York statistically out-played the Kings in the first 3 games, but lost all 3.
  • I thought if the Rangers were going to win this series, Henrik Lundqvist was going to have to be without question the best player on the ice. Instead, he squandered multiple 2-goal leads, and could not make the big save. You saw in this series how much more of a complete team the Kings were, and how little margin of error there was for the Rangers.
  • This Kings team is scary good. They have a top 3 goalie in the NHL in Jonathan Quick, an endless amount of leadership with Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Matt Greene, etc, scoring depth, and are so physical and resilient. The way Los Angeles got to the Cup is remarkable. The Kings should have lost to the Sharks in the first round after falling behind 3-0, and should have lost to the Blackhawks. In game 7 of the Western Conference Finals played in Chicago, the Kings fell behind 2-0 in arguably the toughest place to win a game in all of hockey and came back to win in overtime. If that doesn’t say resiliency, I don’t know what does.
  • Did anyone else catch Doc Emrick drop a Gregory Polanco reference during last night’s game? We all know Doc is the number 1 Pirates fan…
  • What an NBA Finals this has been. You had the “cramp game” in game 1, the LeBron response in game 2, and then the Heat being absolutely dominated like we’ve never seen the past 2 games. The Spurs can do no wrong. In all my years watching the NBA, I’ve never seen as cohesive an offense as the one the Spurs are running right now. Their ball movement is impeccable, they find the mismatch and expose it every time, and they shoot at an unreal percentage from the field.
  • The key though has been the emergence of Kawhi Leonard. This man has found a way to contain LeBron James, and his offensive game has evolved tremendously in South Beach. Leonard scored a career high 29 points in game 3, and then 20 points in game 4. Each time, he led San Antonio in scoring.
  • It’s so nice to have Mark Jackson back in the booth for ABC calling the Finals, and I thought Jackson delivered the line of the series when he said, “Who, what, where, and Ka-why?” Absolutely brilliant.
  • When you watch Boris Diaw play, you don’t think he does very much, but the impact he has on games is scary. The Spurs are a completely different team when he’s on the floor. There is no other player in the league who does more little things right than Diaw. He’s not going to wow you, but he’s so important. When he played in France, Diaw won the MVP of the league while averaging less than 10 points per game. That’s all you need to know about this player.
  • Dwyane Wade has had quite the career so far, but does anyone else think it wouldn’t be the worst idea for him to retire? He can’t stay on the court, and I’ve never seen a player look so finished in the NBA Finals. Is it worth it for a player of Wade’s caliber to ruin his legacy by being so diminished? If I were Wade, I would just take the high road. He’s no where close to the player he once was.
  • The New York Knicks and Phil Jackson have made their decision on a head coach, Derek Fisher. Fisher won 5 titles under Jackson as a player for the Lakers and I have no idea how this move is going to shake out. The main belief is that Fisher is just going to be Phil’s puppet, which he very well could be. It is worth nothing that Phil’s coaching tree, like Bill Belichick’s hasn’t been too impressive…
  • Word out of New York is Carmelo Anthony wants to team up with LeBron in South Beach. Obviously, Melo wants to win and who better to team up with than his good friend. If he won with LeBron, it wouldn’t be the same as winning with a team being built around him…
  • Here’s my take on Carmelo. He is super talented, gives max-effort, but his game just doesn’t translate to winning. He doesn’t trust his teammates, and more importantly, he doesn’t make anyone else better. I believe the best case scenario for the Knicks is having Melo walk, and then waiting to court Kevin Durant when he becomes available. Why do you think the Knicks really brought Fisher in? He and Durant have a great relationship.
  • I know pitchers really shouldn’t win MVP’s, but if the New York Yankees manage to make the post-season in 2014, Masahiro Tanaka has to be strongly considered. The man leads the AL in ERA and WHIP, and is tied for the most wins with 10. Without him, the Yankees would be irrelevant, plain and simple.
  • Don’t look now, but the Yankees have won 4 straight games. They swept the Mariners, and beat the American League leading A’s last night 7-0. Jacoby Ellsbury is scorching hot, Derek Jeter is hitting, Mark Teixeira is hopefully back for good, Chase Whitley gets better and better every start, and things are finally looking up.
  • Getting away from Michael Kay may have been just what the doctor ordered. During last Sunday’s game against the Royals, Brian Roberts failed to get Ichiro Suzuki over to 3rd with no outs with a pop out. Michael Kay said on the out, “Well, that accomplishes nothing”. Kay is not used to losing and he’s not handling it very well either.
  • One last thing, if there’s one thing MLB teams should know is that you don’t run Yoenis Cespedes.
  • This was one of the best throws I’ve ever seen.
  • Be sure to tune in next Saturday for another edition of “Frankly Frankel” and make sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel. Happy Father’s Day everyone.
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Posted by on 06/14/2014 in Frankly Frankel


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