LeBron’s New Cleveland Commercials, Ranked

They can never be worse than that “What Should I Do” nonsense: Tonight, LeBron James finally actually returns to Cleveland as the Cavs play their first game at home this season, against the New York Knicks. Leading up to that, LeBron’s many sponsors started rolling out their newest commercials, all centered around LeBron’s return home. Here, from worst to best, are those commercials. They’re all actually pretty good:

3. Sprite Presents: LeBron James’ First Home Game

LeBron the do-gooder stars in the newest Sprite ad, centered around James’ return to his actual hometown of Akron, to the refurbished Patterson Park (refurbished of course by Sprite and the City of Akron). It’s a lot more humble and has more of a real hometown feel compared to the other ads, but it really doesn’t sell me on Sprite and it loses about a dozen points for the incredibly generic Imagine Dragons song that plays throughout it.

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Evan Mathis Continues to Excel at Social Media

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I laughed.

H/T to reader Will

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Crossing Streams (Episode 25): Sending My Manhood Into The Third Row


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NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks joins me and Jim to discuss the Eagles, what’s eating Nick Foles, if culture actually wins football and if Chip Kelly will burn players out, sports teams on Twitter, Jerry Jones’ micromanagement, the Sixers’ new arena lighting, tanking, Scott O’Neil’s balling ability, Jim’s MONSTER BLOCK on Eliot, and, of course, Jim’s hipster sweatpants.

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Show notes:

Follow Eliot on Twitter (@EliotShorrParks).

Read his work on NJ.com.

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Someone is Already Making Hype Videos for CB West’s 2015 Season

The clip above, uploaded by “Buck Pride,” has set the hype machine to overdrive, using the full audio from the Chrysler Detroit Super Bowl ad from a few years back. Because what CB West is going through is just like what happened to Detroit. It’s almost eerie how similar it is. They’ll also both be back to full strength in 2015, no issues at all.

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LARRY BROWN AND SCOTT O’NEIL ARE ATTACKING EACH OTHER ON THE RADIO AND THIS IS SO GREAT

Photo credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Brown has completely lost his marbles.

[Listen to both the Brown and O'Neil interviews.]

He called in to the Jon and Sean Show on 97.5 The Fanatic to impart his long, contradictory, back when I was in charge thoughts on why the Sixers are doing it all wrong. ALL WRONG, I tell you! He sounded drunk and sleepy, like Frank Langella’s Richard Nixon when he called David Frost late at night in Frost-Nixon– just all rambly and weird. I used to love cheeseburgers, but Dr. Lungren switched me to cottage cheese and pineapple instead. He calls it my Hawaiian burger. But they don’t taste like burgers at all, they taste like Styrofoam. You need a George Lynch. To be honest, I’m not sure what point Brown (or Nixon) was trying to make. He of course brought up Mr. Snider, Allen Iverson, Aaron McKie, George Lynch and Eric Snow, as though they are some deities against which all future NBA successes and failures should be measured. Basically, Brown hates analytics, hates how whom he perceives as non-basketball guys are running the Sixers, hates how there’s a seven-year plan, and hates that he wasn’t invited back for Iverson’s retirement ceremony.

Brown seems to think that the Sixers’ use of analytics is somehow different from his own prescribed strategies for success – high draft picks, young players, stars, teaching – when, really, it’s not. To their credit, Jon and Sean pushed back hard on Brown, who was basically talking in circles. The Sixers, at the moment, don’t have an Allen Iverson or anything even close to an Allen Iverson, and the only way to get one is to be really bad and cross your fingers that you luck into the top pick in the draft (which is what Iverson was, in case Brown forgets that part). Brown kept talking about trying to get better now and in the future. But it doesn’t work that way in the NBA. The Sixers tried that for years. It invariably leads to mediocrity. It leads to Chris Webber and shit. It leads to Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller. The only time it worked is when the Sixers had one of the top three players in the league and a patchwork of lightning-in-a-bottle defenders and glue guys. Statistically speaking, that 2001 team’s success was unlikely, and they weren’t in a conference with LeBron James.

Brown criticized trading Jrue Holiday and the ever-medicore Thaddeus Young, but failed to acknowledge how Holiday turned into Nerlens Noel and made way Michael Carter-Williams, the NBA Rookie of the Year. When Sean pointed that out to Brown, he responded by proclaiming that you get better by teaching players and lamenting that no one has a “five or six or seven or eight-year plan in the NBA.”

“You can have a plan, but that’s a plan to save your ass,” Brown said. “To give yourself time.”

He even, weirdly, took aim at the Sixers’ new planned Camden practice facility, saying that they’re a “Philly team” and that a facility in Jersey will make it tough for players to stay late at night because of the longer commute home (and, presumably, because Camden).

But here’s the crux of Brown’s beef with the current Sixers regime:

“Eric Snow and George Lynch work for me, right? [The Sixers] are retiring Allen’s jersey– you know how close Allen and I are. He’s family to me. Yeah, we’ve had differences, but nobody loves him more than me, and I think he feels the same way. And his two favorite players besides Aaron McKie are George Lynch and Eric Snow. [The Sixers] didn’t even invite us back to his retirment ceremony. How is that?”

You did a video…

“Yeah… video. Detroit’s having a reunion of the 2004 team, and I don’t know how many times they’ve called me to ask me what day I would be available to go.”

O’Neil called in to respond a short time later: Continue reading

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The Flyers Are in Tampa to Play the Lightning, Which Means Party Time for Our Favorite Beat Writers

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The Core 4 – Panaccio, Carchidi, Dave Isaac, and now, back again, Randy Miller – love a sexy locale– be it Ocean City, a writer’s house in Ottawa, The Anchorage, poolside at a chain hotel, Laguna Beach, or now,  Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, with Mario Andretti. Life on the road is tough. Wonder if they were able to expense that dinner?

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Larry Brown Has Gone Nuclear in His Sword Fight with Scott O’Neil

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!!!!!!

I love it when Larry Brown gets riled up, because his outbursts are usually followed by bouts of uncontrollable reminiscing about Allen Iverson … oh, wait, he already did that yesterday?

“Can you imagine telling Allen Iverson that this is a rebuilding season so we’re going to be bad on purpose?” Brown continued. “I love [Nerlens] Noel, I love Joel [Embiid]. But you can’t put that stuff into them. Again, it boggles my mind. I understand you have to get assets to get better. You get assets by developing young players, draft picks, and moving contracts. But how much teaching is going on?”

I’m not sure where we go from here, but something tells me it involves O’Neil texting Brown a picture of his manhood… or, you know, his actual resume, which is pretty good:

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Villanovans are just born leaders.

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Former CB West Coach and Father of the Browns’ Head Coach Called Canceling the Season due to Hazing an “Overreaction”

"And there's Marla Hooch-- what a hitter!" pic via CB West Facebook page

“And there’s Marla Hooch– what a hitter!” pic via CB West Facebook page

What the hazing scandal at CB West — which involved pseudo-waterboarding and “slap-lick-fondle” — has really been missing is some “back in my day” explaining. Sadly, we still don’t have that [Editor's note: We do.], but we do now have the opinion of former CB West coach (and father of the coach of the Cleveland Browns) Mike Pettine Sr.

According to the Inquirer, Pettine Sr. called hazing a “hot button issue” and said the school district “gave little forethought regarding the ramifications of their overzealous, knee jerk, over reaction.” Pettine asks, won’t anyone think of the band?

“The canceled East-West game not only punished West players but also the band members, cheerleaders and general student body along with their sister school counterparts. It tainted the reputation of the entire coaching staff — most of whom I have the privilege to know and are the kind of high character mentors you want coaching your kids.”

High character mentors who have no idea what is going on, but high character mentors nonetheless. Pettine Sr. also claims CB West was painted in a negative light from coast to coast because he had to turn down interviews with CBS news, the Associated Press and ESPN — though hazing is also negative and they also want to talk to you because your kid coaches the Browns. But Pettine Sr. has the perfect solution: suspend (and force to resign) anyone who made the decision to cancel the season since they caused “unnecessary widespread hurt and damage.” THAT is the real travesty here.

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