Conor McGregor's unintentionally comical training video, and the biggest non-story story about LeBron James
You probably know by now that Conor McGregor is going to make a lot of money for the feat of getting his ass kicked by Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match later this summer. Good for him, I guess. But if you harbored any doubts about his eventual fate, just watch this training video...which I think is meant to be intimidating, and is not a parody:
Seriously, that entire video is a series of erotic dance moves, followed by McGregor almost losing a sparring match to a heavy bag. For a contrast, watch Mayweather:
Floyd might actually kill him. Is it possible for the ref to stop the fight before it even begins?
On to the rest of the superlatives!
The Best Time To Not Tell The Truth, Or Better Yet, Not Speak At All: John McEnroe
For those who missed it, John McEnroe had the following exchange with an NPR reporter about Serena Williams in a story that was published earlier this week:
Garcia-Navarro: We're talking about male players but there is of course wonderful female players. Let's talk about Serena Williams. You say she is the best female player in the world in the book.
McEnroe: Best female player ever — no question.
Garcia-Navarro: Some wouldn't qualify it, some would say she's the best player in the world. Why qualify it?
McEnroe: Oh! Uh, she's not, you mean, the best player in the world, period?
Garcia-Navarro: Yeah, the best tennis player in the world. You know, why say female player?
McEnroe: Well because if she was in, if she played the men's circuit she'd be like 700 in the world.
A lot of people threw a fit about this, and McEnroe came out looking iffy—at best. It also invoked a predictable debate on the Internet and sports talk radio, and, as these things do, opinions broke down along polarized lines. Some said it was sexist to diminish Serena and all female athletes by bringing up the comparison to men, and some said he was just being honest. Serena told him (respectfully, somehow) to shut up.
For what it's worth, I have no idea where Serena would rank if she played on the men's tour. I don't care. And I don't think McEnroe was being outwardly malicious, nor do I think he would have made the remark if he wasn't led in that direction by the interviewer. Still, I want to make a point that might be helpful to public figures in the future:
You don't have to say more than is necessary, even if you're thinking it. Talking is voluntary. You control it!
When Garcia-Navarro asked him why he would qualify his statement, he could've said something like: "In terms of achievement, there's no qualification—she's the best of all-time." Which would be true! And then, if pressed, he could just point out that there are physical differences and leave it at that. No reason to quantify it, and I do think that by placing her 700th in the world, whether it's true or not, he inadvertently belittled her achievements, and it makes total sense why it might leave certain people upset.
It never had to happen, Johnny Mac—wise up and learn some diplomacy! I know it's a lot to ask for a guy who has inspired a thousand YouTube videos with the word "tantrum" in the title, but you're almost 60, and it's time to enter the "wise elder statesman" part of your career. Plus, as you continue to lose flexibility, it will be harder and harder to put your foot in your mouth, so you might as well stop trying now.
Dumbest Non-Story of the Week: The NBA and LeBron James
Look at the headline of this story on the ESPN front page: "Source: LeBron not actively recruiting for Cavs."
The story itself is as pointless as you might imagine—per some "league source" who clearly rivals Deep Throat for journalistic impact, LeBron is just kinda chilling out on the whole recruiting circuit. Instead, he's going to a wedding, and treating the offseason like an actual offseason.
Now, this might be a significant story if "recruitment" was an actual part of James' job. It's not, so it's really dumb to act like he's somehow derelict in his duties. Also, recruitment is completely unnecessary. If you're a basketball player who is considering signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, here are the only three things you need to know
1. You will get to be teammates with the Best Player on Earth.
2. You will make it at least as far as the NBA finals from now until whenever the aforementioned Best Player on Earth decides to retire, because he's awesome and the rest of the conference is terrible (and only getting worse).
3. You have to live in Cleveland, which isn't great, but you'll have so much money that it won't be a big deal.
So if you're Zach Randolph, or someone like him, just sign with the Cavs. Trust me, it will be awesome, and you shouldn't need LeBron to play skee-ball with you at a Dave & Busters to figure that out.
Best Job of Hitting a Guy in the Butt with a Tennis Ball: Gael Monfils
There were so many nominees in this category, and narrowing them down to just one winner was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but in the end, I have to give this one to Gael Monfils:
This Week's Big Loser of the Blame Game: Miguel Montero
Cubs catcher Miguel Montero was 0-31 in throwing out runners this season, and when reports asked him about his futility, he decided to throw his pitchers under the bus:
"It really sucked, because the stolen bases go on me. But when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn't give me any time, so yeah, 'Miggy can't throw anyone out,' but my pitchers don't hold anyone on...the numbers always go to the catcher, so I'm the bad guy there," Montero said. "It really sucks. Have to take full responsibility, but on the other hand, I would like a little help."
On one hand, he's probably a little bit right. On the other, 0-31 is terrible, and what's also terrible is publicly dumping on your teammates when times are rough. Nobody appreciates that, least of all management, and it didn't take long before the Cubs brought the hammer down:
The lesson: When you point a finger at someone, there are three more pointing back at you, and one of those fingers is probably named Theo Epstein, and is about to send you to Triple-A.