If there’s one thing Twitter is good for, and it might not be, it’s alerting you when you might miss something. The Blazers were down 17 last night to the Pelicans with just six minutes to go. They won by one, thanks to a 25-7 run, in which Damian Lillard was involved in 18 of those points. He finished with 50 points and 10 assists, causing this statistic, which simply bends the pillars of logic and reason that are barely keeping us bound as a society:
Lillard likely won’t win a championship. He may not even win an MVP any year. And tucked away in Portland, he may struggle to even become one of the bigger names in the game. But I wonder if he won’t be this era’s basketball Husker Du or Raekwon, where those in the know know. Never the most popular, but the pure, unadulterated version of something so many love. The unkempt, distilled essence of the sport. The fan’s true love. We’ll know when he’s gone, that’s for sure.
It made a ripple yesterday when it was announced that LeBron James had upped his stake in Fenway Sports Group, which made him a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox. The image of the creatures in the right field bleachers knowing that James owns the Sawx now is one that will keep me warm on many a cold night.
But really, this isn’t a huge upgrade for James. He had already been a minority owner of Liverpool FC, FSG’s other team, for nearly a decade now. This is just him upping his stake. Though baseball would do well to squeeze every drop out of James being involved and maybe tap his brain on what it can do to make the game more interesting, as well as getting greater Black participation in the game at lower levels. These are the two things that could send baseball the way of boxing and horse racing. LeBron probably has eyes on running their NBA wing after his playing days, if FSG is able to find an NBA team to own (expansion to make up for the money lost during the pandemic?). But he can be an asset elsewhere.
The interesting nugget, at least to me (and I’m weird), is that LeBron’s greater share is part of a massive investment in FSG from Billy Beane’s former partner who runs RedBird Investments, Gerry Cardinale. Originally, Beane and Cardinale were going to join up with FSG through Redball Acquistion, but that fell through. RedBird will acquire 10%, which infuses FSG with $750 million. And FSG has its sites of expanding its empire beyond the Sox, Liverpool, and Roush Racing. What was curious is that both the NWSL and WNBA were mentioned as candidates for teams FSG would own. Boston doesn’t have either.
But FSG already has a women’s soccer team. And it doesn’t do much with it. Meg Linehan of The Athletic wraps it all up here. Liverpool have a women’s team, and they were champions of the WSL not all that long ago. And then FSG let the team fall into complete disrepair, with multiple stars leaving. They just completed and moved the first team for the men into a $50 million-upgraded training center. With no room for the women’s team to train there. Currently they have no coach, as the last one threw up her hands at the mess FSG allowed.
Before FSG goes diving into women’s leagues here, it might want to prove it can handle the women’s team it already has.
In case you were wondering, or just wanted to feel better about things in your world, the Devils won the Battle Of The Helpless between them and the Sabres last night. As a reminder, the Sabres came into it having lost 11 in a row, and the Devils had lost 11 in a row at home. If there’s a better metaphor for everything the Sabres are now than the following, I will simply weep at the sheer art of it: