Tonight’s NBA Draft and Dan D’Antoni on Basketball Analytics

With the NBA draft coming tonight, this rant by Dan D’Antoni from late 2016 seems fitting. This is why a player like Jahlil Okafor has close to zero value in today’s NBA.

I’ll dedicate another post to the Sixers upcoming season but here are my quick thoughts on the draft & off season

  • I think LA will and should take Lonzo.
  • If LA gets Paul George I’ll be upset because their pick will probably convey to the Sixers next year as a late lottery pick.
  • De’Aaron Fox will be a disappointment.
  • The Knicks won’t trade Kristaps Porzingis.
  • If the Celtics add Gordon Hayward and whoever they take at #3, they’ll still only be the second best team in the East next year.
  • I’m pumped the Sixers moved up for Fultz (and at such a low price).

Upper Dublin Bagel Squad vs. The World

Today was an example of why the home-grown stores like Upper Dublin Bagel Squad struggle to keep up with the Wawa’s and Dunkin Donuts’ of the world.

The Bacon, Egg, & Cheese on an Everything Bagel: A+

10/10. I love Sizzlis, but they don’t compare. If there’s any reason to go to a non-chain, it’s for stuff like this.

Price: D

A breakfast sandwich and medium coffee is $7.50. A Wawa Sizzli and medium coffee is $4.50. That’s a dramatic difference.

This is the single biggest reason I won’t go here more than once in a blue moon.

Box of Coffee: F

It took over 10 minutes for me to get a box of coffee this morning.

When I get a box from Dunkin, it’s rapid fire. This place isn’t equipped to handle box-of-coffee orders and is another scenario where I’d choose Dunkin over them.

It’s not a matter of emotion and wanting to keep the locally owned stores in biz. It’s a matter of efficiency. More people want cheap / efficient compared to an A+ sandwich over a B sandwich.

I’ll stop in once a month when I want a treat, but for now, I’m still loyal to Wawa & Dunkin.

Reflections on Losing $18,000 in 15 Minutes

I wrote my last post 7 hours after going from $18,000 to $0 at Sugar House (for the record, only $1,500 of it was mine when I walked in, the other $16,500 was profit).

I was hungover and having a very difficult time wrapping my head around what just happened. Now that I’ve had a few days to soak it in, my thoughts have changed slightly:

I thought about not sharing this with anyone.

Having $18,000 in chips and not have the discipline to save even one dollar of it could be seen as a fault in my character. It’s judge-worthy. But what’s the point of having a personal blog if you’re NOT going to write about that?

It didn’t feel like real life when I woke up.

I felt like losing it all was a dream and that I would check my pocket and find the money. It was a very hard / depressing reality to accept.

The reason I didn’t walk away when I was up, more than anything, was because I was drunk. 

Plain and simple. This didn’t fully occur to me that morning because it was so soon after. The magnitude of how much I was up was lost on me because I was drunk. That’s why I didn’t put any of it aside or have any goal in mind.

The reason I got up to $18,000 in the first place is because I was drunk.

I bet $4,000 when I had $10,000 and DOUBLED it to $8,000 (and won). Betting 40% of your stack, then doubling it, is not a sober-person move.

I don’t think I need to evaluate my life.

I felt like I had sinned the next morning, like this was a deeply troubling issue that I had to face up to. A few days later, I don’t feel that way, and I’m not swearing off gambling.

I’ve already ‘moved on’.

I’ve told a dozen people in person and the reaction has been the same from everyone. It’s a great story and a bone-head move and I’m taking it at that.

…But if I DID walk away up $16,000…

What the actual fuck would I have done? Left with 160 $100 bills? Left with all of my chips instead? Gotten mugged somehow out of the casino? Do I report it as earned income? I’m just curious for the next time this happens.

Gambling Problem

I debated whether I should write this post or not, but ultimately decided I should.

About what I could’ve left with.

I went to Sugar House Casino last night and took out $2,000 to gamble with.

I played for 30-45 minutes and worked my $2,000 up to about $6,000.

Then I went to the high limit room. I was betting ~$2,000 – $6,000 a hand. 10 minutes later my stack was $18,000.

10 minutes after that my stack was $0.

When I was at the first table, I was sitting with a middle aged guy who was betting $25 – $50 a hand. He was telling me it was his son’s graduation this weekend and he was so proud. I threw him a few $100 chips to bet on hands and ultimately he ended up like $1500. He was so pumped.

Gambling is a mindset. When you start betting $500 on a hand, there’s no “thrill” to $50 bets. At the moment, I’ve pushed the “thrill” limit too far.

It’s very easy in hindsight to say I wish I took a minute, took a deep breath, thought about where I was at, and walked away. Even put $10,000 aside and just gamble the other $8,000, it sounds so easy now. But you don’t win $16,000 if that’s your mindset from the start.

The funny thing is the flow of the game is exactly the same whether it’s a $25 hand or a $2,500 hand, I’m just betting 100x more than I normally would.

Additionally, the thought of going back to the casino and winning back the $2,000 I lost seems so realistic. It’s just a few hands. It can happen so quickly. Obviously the opposite can (and more often does) happen too.

Gambling is a dangerous thing. I’m not addicted to gambling. It doesn’t consume me throughout the days, weeks, or months. But when I gamble, I have a problem, and you can bet all of the “I lost everything gambling” stories start like this. If I wasn’t walking away up $16,000, would I have walked away at 20? 30? 50? I genuinely don’t know.

$2,000 is a lot of money, but it doesn’t change my life. I’m still alive. Sure it stings for the short term and I have to look myself in the eye and tell myself that I screwed up, but this will just be a great story to tell down the road (assuming I’m not broke by then).

I feel for kids these days

Here’s a video that was posted back in April where a ~11 year old kid goes HAM on the Mets. You get the point after about 10 seconds.

Kids these days are cursed with the ability to film themselves at all times. 10 – 20 year olds shouldn’t be able to film themselves out of respect for their future selves.

As a 25 year old, technology like this was just becoming accessible when I was growing up. Alex and I once recorded a voiced over Linkin Park song to include the word “Jew” like 20 times in it just to piss Ben off. I’m pretty thankful that file isn’t still available.

When the ~13 year olds of today grow up, a large percentage of them are going to have videos like this Mets kid to look back on and cringe. Whether it’s choreographed dances, singing your favorite song, rants, whatever. In 15 years he’ll probably sigh every time someone brings it up.

Some may say it’s a good thing. I for one have no interest in looking back at myself in the most awkward years of my life. I remember them well enough and would gladly choose to not relive them.

Sam & Drew Race Again – Place Your Bets

Drew and I have raced open events against each other twice (I think (there may have been some 800s in there but I don’t count those)).

The first was a 1500m at West Chester my senior year. Drew out kicked me by a c*nt-hair to win 4:15.09 to 4:15.57 (note Wacker’s 4:30 and Jamie’s 4:41 too!).

The second was the Alumni mile this year where Drew took 6 months to get out of shape so I had a chance to win. We both under-performed and I won 4:46 to 4:49.

Now that we’re both in shape, it wouldn’t be fair to race a 1500 / mile. I’d need at least a 20 second head start based off of Drew’s 3:56 from Swat.

Instead, we’re going to race at the 5000m at Ursinus tonight so it’s a little more even. Unknowingly we both projected ourselves for ~15:40.

My plan is to run 5:00 miles for 3200m then go from there (15:37 pace). Drew could be anywhere from 15:00 to 16:45, but I’m hoping we run together for at least a mile (or two (or all 5000m)).

I’d say I have the slight edge since I’ve run the 5000m a lot more but Drew is a wild card and clearly in good shape.

These odds were thrown together in two minutes so good gamblers should be able to exploit them.

Sam -5.00 (even)

Drew +5.00 (even)

Sam Moneyline (-125) 

Drew Moneyline (+125)

Either under 15:30 (+350)

Either under 15:40 (+150)

Either over 16:00 (+150)

Either DNF (+500)

Place your bets!

Bowling Beat Down

I wish we were the ones giving the beating, but we received it instead.

Game 1

Tom bowled a ~240 and was the only reason we had a chance. Weens was 185 (above average) and Wevs and I floundered with ~140 each.

They didn’t bowl great but they had a clutch 9th and 10th and we didn’t.

Game 2

Even if we were bowling well, we weren’t winning this game. They went hammer time bowling a ~900 game which we’ve never done.

The snakes after last night.

Season Take Away

My ball was significantly more chipped when we started game 1. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get in my head regardless of whether it actually affected the ball (it didn’t seem to be moving as much but who knows).

I feel weird because I want to use that as an excuse (I am?) but it doesn’t make a difference either way. We lost.

When put in perspective, we had a great season. 2nd out of 14 with some great individual averages and high games.

Summer season starts up soon, but first, I’m going to get a new ball.

Bowling Finals TONIGHT – Come Watch

The Snakes have made our way to the end of our bowling league playoffs. The winner is to be determined at 6:30 tonight at South Bowl in a thrilling best of three match up. All are invited!

We advanced in rounds 1 and 2 due to two well-timed games (290 and 269) by Tom and myself respectively and some consistent bowling by Evan. Jordan has struggled in the past couple of weeks but we know the 300-man is in there somewhere, and we’re sure as hell hoping to see him tonight.

The team we bowl tonight is the best team in the league as far as average goes, all four bowlers being around 190-200, so we need to bowl like champs tonight.

We went for a practice session on Saturday and Tom and I finished three games within a pin of each other, 613 to 614 (score one for the Owl!) which is an encouraging result, however this is what my ball currently looks like.

Needless to say this will be the final night of bowling with this ball. I brought it to a pro shop on Saturday and they assured me it wouldn’t be an issue, but that I should get a new ball once these finals are done. I’ve had a good run with it and it would be a fitting end if I bowl three 300s tonight to go out on top.

I’ll be sure to update with the results. We encourage anyone to attend. We’ll tell you our pre-determined team chants that you can do anytime one of us gets a strike.

Well Done, Kevin Durant

“Kevin Durant is a wimp for joining the Warriors. He was up 3-1 against them last year and lost, then joined them just to chase a ring. He should’ve been loyal and stayed in OKC! He had to go to another team with better players to win because he just couldn’t get it done being the guy.”

Kevin Durant is the second best player on the planet, and he wants to win an NBA championship. He has the following options:

Option A) Stay with the team you’ve been on for NINE years, which has only made the finals once and they lost convincingly, that shows no sign that anything major will change to get over the hump.
Option B) Go to a better team with better players and win a championship.

Why do people fault Durant so much for leaving?

It’s an emotional response, not a logical response.

“He’s not the star anymore.” He shot 54% from the field this year, the best of his career, and averaged 25 points. He’s getting better shots and playing with a better team.

Why would any sane person stay in OKC? He gave that city almost a decade of amazing basketball. He did everything he could to bring them a Championship, but sometimes you need to recognize when enough is enough.

He was an absolutely stud in game 1 last night, one of the most exciting players to watch in the league.

For Kevin Durant, basketball is about winning. At 28, he’s probably got 5 great years left. He went 0/9 in OKC. I blame him 0% for going to the Warriors, and I’ll be happy to see him finally win one.