Man Crush vs. Douchebag: James Harden vs. The Detroit Tigers

 

Man Crush of the Week: James Harden

To say the James Harden trade was unexpected was an understatement. As soon as I heard I texted my two biggest basketball fan friends and they both were shocked. And so I was I. While Harden wasn’t the best player on the Thunder, he was what made them so great. A lot of teams have two stars, but his presence off the bench, the willingness to defer to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and the super awesome facial hair made him one of my favorite players in the NBA.

So after the Thunder made it to the NBA Finals last year they decided they couldn’t afford to resign Harden to a max deal so they gave up on their title hopes this year and did one of those rebuilding/stay competitive moves that almost never work out. My thought is if you have the chance to win a championship (and they were only one of three teams that really did) you go for it. Especially when those other teams are the Lakers and the Heat, the two teams just about everyone would like to win a title. The Thunder was super likable. And now just a little bit less.

Harden was shipped to Houston for a solid haul to team up with Jeremy Lin to create the probably weirdest-yet-somehow-lovable backcourt duo ever. Lin and Harden are two guys basically dumped by their old teams despite being great for them. And now are on to Houston to seek revenge. I would watch that western movie a million times.

The first game as a Rocket and the same day Harden signed an $80 million extension, all he did was put up a ridiculous 37 points and 12 assists in the first game of the year. To make matters worse for the Thunder, Steve Nash injured his knee. Karma?

Douchebag of the Week: The Detroit Tigers

I was born two years after the Detroit Tigers last won the World Series. As a kid growing up in suburban Detroit I dreamed of playing for the Tigers and leading them to a World Series. Unfortunately, I threw about 20 M.P.H. too slow and they were generally a super terrible team.

Until I moved away, then they started making the playoffs for the first time in my life. Out of any team in sports, this was MY team, that one team you care more about than the others. I went to both games at Yankee Stadium when they swept the Yankees (I was the fan there) and headed back home to the Troy, Michigan house I grew up in to watch the World Series with my parents. I wanted to see the Tigers win with my family. It just would have meant so much more to me.

Unfortunately the Tigers were not only swept, but embarrassingly so. I think we can all agree that the Giants were like not a good team. Marco Scutaro, Ryan Theriot and Barry Zito are all employed by them and are pretty much their stars. Not that the Tigers were a really likable team, but at least they had a couple of legitimate superstars.

So I sat around Michigan, watching the Tigers and their coaches just hand the World Series to the Giants. They didn’t score a run in two games. I would have enjoyed it more if they just forfeit before the series started. It probably took years off of the lives of my entire family. It was a horrible way to end the baseball season for me and everyone around the Detroit area looking for any sort of positive in their generally Detroity lives. It was honestly one of the worst performances from any team in a championship series I’ve ever seen.

To top it off, I wasn’t in New York for Sandy and missed out on playing Risk by candlelight for days, which is all I really aspire to do in life.Man crush of the Week

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Follow Scott Bolohan on Twitter: @scottbolohan

Related on The Smoking Jacket:
Barry Zito vs. Lane Kiffin
Phil Coke vs. Alex Rodriguez
Raul Ibanez vs. The NHL
Jack Sock vs. Lance Armstrong

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