Five for Friday: Thoughts on Horford, Kemba, Bruins, more
1. Foul on Horford tampering
The Celtics complained to the league about teams tampering with Al Horford. The natural reaction to that is to assume hypocrisy given that if you're a team that's signed a big-name free agent, you've probably tampered, yet I think the Celtics actually have something of a leg to stand on.
The Celtics immediately agreeing with Kemba Walker and everyone knowing beforehand suggests some funny business, but there's plausible deniability there. Kemba was going to get a max contract and most teams would have gladly given it to him. All there needed to be was reported interest from the Celtics for them to be able to move quickly on a deal once it was allowed.
Horford, on the other hand? His situation was more complicated. He wasn't going to get a max contract, so there was the question of dollars. Then there was the question of term, specifically whether he was he going to get three or four years. For him to opt out knowing exactly what was waiting for him is a lot different than a max guy going to an obvious suitor. Both are cases of tampering because all signings in the NBA can be cases of tampering; one was far more overt.
2. Atlantic Division powerhouse
NHL.com put out power rankings this week. The Bruins are ranked third, which is generous, but not outrageous. It's the rest of the top five that should scare Bruins fans. With Tampa first and Toronto fifth, three of the top five teams in the league according to this list are in the Atlantic division. That's why Bruins fans shouldn't look at last year's run and assume the Bruins will have that kind of shot at the Cup next year. Tampa isn't going to get knocked out in the first round again and Toronto got a lot better. It's just as plausible the Bruins could have a first-round exist as it is that they'll repeat this spring's run.
Photo via USA Today Sports
3. Good Kemba-istry?
I love how humble Kemba Walker appeared this week, which brings us to this: If this Celtics team can't jell with this guy, it's officially time to start looking at the kids (Brown and Tatum) and ask if they're the problem with the team's personality. Hopefully, it doesn't come to that.
4. Revs on the upswing
Forget the Red Sox, the New England Revolution are my sports darlings of the summer. Carles Gil has been a really nice addition and Gustavo Bou looked like an absolute stud in his debut this week. They're just outside the playoff picture right now but have two very winnable games coming up before this reinvigorated group's real test against LAFC.
5. The Lion King
Saw the "Lion King" remake. I knew this was going to happen going in: "Live action" was never going to work with lions. Lions don't look friendly. They're lions. Also, talk about mailing it in with the soundtrack. Oof. Billy Eichner was great, though.
Photo via AP Images