Dear Answers From Men,
Who is your favorite to win the NBA title this year? Will the Lebron’s repeat? Can the kids down in Oklahoma City lick their wounds and come back stronger? My money is actually on the Lakers. I just don’t see anyone beating Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol in a 7 game series.
William; Des Moines, Iowa
You are probably going to lose your money if you bet it on the Lakers this year. They are suddenly one of the most talented teams in the NBA, however they have a lot of potential problems on this roster, starting with egos. This team has one player with 2 MVP’s, a guy with one MVP, and a perennial MVP candidate. The MVP candidate originally passed on becoming a Laker because he did not want to play second fiddle to Kobe, the guy with one MVP. There has already been a public interview where Kobe claimed his spot as alpha dog on the team. Though he was gracious to Howard, saying that it would be the center’s team going forward in the next few years once he left, Kobe made it clear that he was option one. Well, Kobe is no longer the best scoring option on the team. Even without polished post moves, Dwight Howard is now the most unstoppable man on the court so he should demand the ball. However, Steve Nash is the best ball handler and decision maker. So, who gets the basketball in the closing minutes of a close game, the big man with no go-to moves, the aging facilitator, or the fading superstar? Once you add in a disgruntled Pau Gasol, who was shopped across the league in the offseason, the Lakers could implode just from bruised egos. Next, the overall athleticism of the team is mediocre considering that this team will face a young, powerful Grizzlies team, a big, battle-tested Spurs team, and a quick, explosive Thunder team in the Western Conference. Kobe and Nash are slowing down, and are probably outmatched physically at this point against most teams, though Kobe is still pretty quick on defense. Artest and Gasol are getting old quickly, and LA does not have much of a bench to rest the starters. And, the coaching may be the biggest obstacle for the Lakers to overcome. Mike Brown has had some great defensive teams, but this is LA where the fans expect Showtime fast breaks, and these guys are not defenders. Kobe has lost a step, Nash never was a decent defender, Artest is a few years removed from Defensive Player of the Year, and Dwight Howard (the 3-time DPOY) is not a pure shot blocker. Even if the Lakers figure out how to use their pieces on offense, they could still be porous on defense and lose games. And, I’m not sure that Mike Brown can put these athletes in the right places to be successful and/or get them to check their egos at the door. The Los Angeles Lakers are the team most likely to disappoint their fans. Oklahoma City would be my favorite if they had kept James Harden in place. They have the talent to replace him. Perry Jones could be a better player for the Thunder than Harden was for them. He is bigger, more athletic, with more explosiveness and similar skills, but it is too early to gauge if he will flourish in the NBA or hide behind Durant and Westbrook. LeBron and crew are the most likely winners of the next NBA title. They won it all last year without great size or shooters (In fact, LeBron should leave his Finals MVP trophy in the house of Shane Battier, his shooting pushed the Heat past the Thunder in the first 3 games of the Finals). Though they did not get much bigger, the additions of Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen actually address both of their deficiencies. The 6’11″, Lewis can score in the post or hit threes, and Ray Allen is one of the best 3-point shooters that ever played in the league. If Miami stays healthy, almost no team can test them.
Just way too much talent in Hollywood
Dear Answers From Men,
I’m a moderate who is leaning towards Mitt Romney this election after voting for Obama in 2004. It’s not that I like Romney, but I don’t like the financial direction the US is going in. Republicans are all about spending cuts without raising taxes. Democrats want to increase taxes without making tough choices to cut the noose around America’s neck … Medicare. I don’t think things will change financially until we do something about this, which I’m not sure Dems are ready to do. What do you think?
Melissa; Miami, Florida
You have to vote in the manner that is consistent with your core values. There are serious problems with the governmental spending, but there are also no clear solutions. If any person tells you that they are going to stick 100% by their budget plan, then do not believe them. They are lying to you. The government is responsible for public care after natural disasters, suppressing terrorist attacks, and any number of other things that can not be planned for, so budgets are almost obsolete once you win the presidency. When picking a candidate, remember that the Republicans are selling morals, and the Democrats are selling dreams. Republicans generally support the upper classes with tax breaks and budget cuts, despite all the patriotic brotherhood that they yell. Democrats over-tax the upper class to support the lower classes. You have to decide which category you fit into, and choose your candidate appropriately.
Dear Answers From Men,
All of the pundits are expecting this to be one of the closest presidential elections in history. All of the polls have the candidates tied or within the margin sampling error. It’s conventional knowledge that polls usually have higher percentage of Democrats answering the questions. This scares me because I think Mitt Romney is a twit. Do you think there’s a chance Obama wins the popular vote but loses the electoral vote like Al Gore in 2000?
Robert; Boulder, Colorado
There is absolutely a chance that Obama wins the popularity vote, but loses the election. Even though he does not have a brother in Hawaii to recount votes and give him the election, Obama has alienated some of his constituents with his unfulfilled promises of change. Though he is persecuted as the “minority” President, the people with the lowest incomes, namely African-Americans, have the highest rate of unemployment. Though Obama has a slight edge in most of the polls, the difference in votes is negligible. For all of his eloquence and charisma, President Obama has been largely ineffective in his first term of presidency. Obama has brought down the overall unemployment rate and gas prices, but now that the rich have recuperated some of their losses, they can afford to return to their elitist practices and support a candidate who has their best intentions at heart. Obama very well could be ousted by Romney in the next few weeks.
Popularity doesn’t always win you a presidency…
Dear Answers From Men,
One of Romney’s chief advisors, John Sununu, has been lambasted in the media for saying that Republican Collin Powell is probably voting for Obama just because they both are black. Frankly, I applaud his honesty. We all know there are millions of other blacks who will vote for Obama because they share the same race. In addition, quite obviously there are millions of whites who will in turn NOT vote for Obama because he is black. Big shocker, people feel comfortable around people who look like them. When will Americans wake the hell up and stop trying to be so damn pretentious?
Ed; Manchester, New Hampshire
I am a big proponent of honesty, however there is a time and a place for transparency – that time is not in the middle of a campaign that you are charged with guiding – and decorum is always necessary when campaigning for any political position, especially a presidency. John Sununu should be fired, and not for making racially tinged comments, but more so for making comments that are detrimental to Romney’s election race. Now, the American pretension that you speak of may not apply to the election, but there is an air of ostentation by the majority anytime race is mentioned publicly. Race exists and sometimes relations are strained. I think that it is acceptable to think whatever you want to think about whatever subject that want to entertain, however there are repercussions to voicing your opinions about race and any other subject matter, and obviously, White Americans stand to benefit more from the level of comfort that people have when they are around other people that look like them because White men are most likely to be in positions of power.