Yeah, Durant is The Man. As far as the real NBA goes, who are some of your favorite players? I know you're a Cavs fan, so feel free to share any thoughts on the state of the team, the future of LeBron and whether or not he'll be wearing a ring at the start of next season. If not, who is going to win it all this year?
My take on the Lebron situation is that he'll stay in Cleveland. Cleveland will have the ability to offer him the one of the best packages. They've got a good team, good coach, solid owner and solid G.M. They also have a couple expiring contracts in 2010 as well, so it's very possible they'll be able to make an offer to a guy like Chris Bosh
or another solid big man, as well as keep Lebron. They'll have a lot of leverage to lure potential free agents because they have Lebron. Look at what it has done for Mo Williams
. The Knicks organization will always be cancerous because of their owner and the Nets won't have it together by then. Neither will Detroit. The Cavs might be coming off a championship at that point too. LeBron doesn't need more endorsements. He owns that world. He's like Tiger Woods. Nobody talks about where Tiger lives...Most of the talk seems to be generated by websites trying to get hits – ahem, Yahoo Sports! - and journalists who are NYC-centric.
I think that the Celtics are vulnerable. The Cavs know how to stop them, and they can more than hang with their physicality. James Posey
might have been the difference last year, and P.J. Brown
to a small extent. The Cavs still took them to seven games and totally blew Game 1. I'm not impressed with the Lakers either, even though everyone thinks they're the team to beat just because they won back-to-back games against the Cavs and Celtics on the road. The Cavs were really beat up, and Boston had an off night, and were a little beat up as well. I think the Lakers defense is still very vulnerable, especially on the interior, and I don't think Kobe is as dominant as he used to be. I think Lebron is the better player, has the edge in that match-up, and is the most dominant player in the league. His edge over Kobe is in his ability to impact on the defensive end, and the fact that his go-to move, which is a vicious penetration, is just more efficient than Kobe's jumper at this point.
I think in the NBA, usually the team with the best player and best defense wins. Right now, I think if the Cavs are healthy, they're that team. I'm trying to be objective, and not be a homer here, but maybe my vision is still clouded. But let's face it – any of those three teams could win it all.
My favorite player at this point is Chris Paul
. He is such a pimp. I love when opposing guards get frustrated and try to get physical with him. And instead of getting chippy, he just schools them and walks away from confrontation and takes the high road. There's nothing not to like about him. Dwyane Wade
is also amazing to watch on offense. I love how fearless he is going to the rack. I'm happy he's healthy and playing at a high level again. What are some of your earliest NBA, NCAA or professional sports memory? Some of mine are Doug Flutie's TD pass for BC, Fred Brown to James Worthy, Bird vs. Magic in the NCAAs, Reggie Jackson's three homers in the World Series, watching the Braves on TBS in 1980, etc.
I remember Dwight Clark's catch for the 49'ers. Most of my memories are sad ones. The Fumble, The Shot, The Drive, Red Right 88 during the Brian Sipe cardiac kids era. Did you know that Cleveland is the only three-major sport city that hasn't won a championship since the 60's? Because of that, I kind of can't be a homer, ya know? Even Milwaukee got an NBA title with my main man, Lew Alcindor. I have vivid memories of John McEnroe vs. Bjorn Bjorg. Jack Nicklaus winning the Masters at the age of 46, which was really amazing. I'll never forget Sandy Alomar hitting an opposite-field home run off of Mariano Rivera to beat the Yankees. It was so insane, because Rivera was so sick at that point, nobody could touch him, and the ball Alomar hit was a chin-high, 97 mph 2 seam fastball that was tailing away from Alomar. I swear he closed his eyes and just guessed. That was big for Cleveland. Beating NY is always a good thing. We can never beat NY, or Pittsburgh, and now Boston. I used to love World B. Free too. He used to chuck it up from waaay out. He was the king of the heat-check.What was the first record you owned? What was the first concert you attended?
First record is hard to remember, but it was either a Kiss record, Fleetwood Mac "Rumors", or The Who Live At Leeds. Although, I remember a Foreigner record too. The first concert I went to was the Dead Milkmen. I did a stage dive during Bitchin' Camaro - it was all down hill after that. I hate to sounds nostalgic, but people just don't get down like they used to. It seems like people are more concerned with taking photos and video to document the moment instead of being actively engaged in the moment. When did you join My Morning Jacket and what kind of things were you doing before you got the call?
I joined with guitarist Carl Broemel a little over five years ago. Before that I was living in LA, where I worked in documentary television for a long time and played a lot of various gigs around town. I used to play in a lot of different situations. Various jazz stuff, including a Bossa Nova band, singer songwriter stuff, rock bands, and I wrote music and played with a live hip hop band from east LA for a while. A lot of soul/R&B gigs, at a place called the Temple Bar. I went on the road a couple of times as a sideman, with an artist called Kenna and a Texas blues band. Then I worked on a project headed up by Mike Garson and a bunch of great keyboardists for Yamaha pianos for two years. Basically we made music for their Disklavier, which is a piano that plays by itself. Befriending Mike Garson was an important step for me looking back. He's a really heavy, interesting guy, and some of the talks we had really helped me find direction. For people who don't know him, he's been David Bowie's keyboardist since the Spider's From Mars era, and he's a really gifted pianist and composer. Just listen to his famous solo on Aladdan Sane, and your mind will be blown. Bowie found him in New York during a time where avant-garde jazz was really big. It was a pretty forward-thinking move for Bowie at the time I think, and Mike really added a lot to his music over the years. He was a guy I could relate to because of the fact that we both had an interest in a lot of styles of music. A conversation with Mike can be pretty heavy and spiritual. He's explored a lot of things and has an interesting perspective on life. The talks we had really helped me find my path. I don't think it was a coincidence that I found MMJ very soon after that period. I always wanted to find a situation that was creatively inspiring, with people who loved and had a similar attitude about music that I had. After a long search and struggle I finally found that, and I feel very lucky for it.