Do so many NBA teams play the AAU one-on-one style because players won't listen to coaches, or because the one-on-one style is what audiences want? Certainly there are paying customers who would rather see dunks and long, crazy trey attempts than backdoors off a secondary screen. And the NBA has so many teams that are awful and likely to stay that way -- bound for the Milwaukee Bucks, Jabari Parker will never be heard from again -- that players might as well try for dunks to entertain those brave souls who venture out for games.
But the Spurs' dominance using team basketball, occurring at the same time James and Carmelo Anthony have struggled in the postseason using the AAU style, answers the "Big Question" about basketball. Melo's NBA teams are 23-43 in the playoffs, including 2-8 versus the Spurs; his style wilts when the pressure is on. James is now 2-3 in Finals appearances, with an overall 11-16 record. Tim Duncan is 5-1 in the Finals, with an overall 23-11 record. When a LeBron James AAU-style everybody-look-at-me club faces a San Antonio let's-help-each-other club in the Finals, team basketball is 11-5. There may be a legitimate question about which style the crowd prefers. As to which style is superior, the question is settled.
Where U.S. Political Tactics Failed, U.S. Commercial Tactics Succeed: A McDonald's opened in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, joining Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, KFC and Starbucks, already there. The Ho Chi Minh City Starbucks features the Asian Dulce Latte. As part of the store-opening celebration, Starbucks officials visited a primary school, which brought the students "immense joy and laughter."
Should Have Been Recycled Into a Gigantic Kate Upton: In China, a gigantic statue of Marilyn Monroe was tossed into a garbage dump.
Spotted a 50-to-1 Lead, Eric Cantor Found a Way to Lose: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spent $5.4 million on a primary run and won 28,898 votes -- $187 per vote. Challenger David Brat spent $122,000 and drew 36,110 votes -- $3 per vote. Can you guess which one is the economics professor and which one is the Washington insider with no sense of money discipline? Politico reported Cantor's staff spent more on high-end steakhouse dinners than Brat spent on his entire campaign. After the stunning upset, the same professional pundits who had no clue it was coming confidently made sweeping predictions about the impact.
Brat said his victory was a "miracle from God." Some use figures of speech such as this because they want to sound humble. But the statement came across as vainglorious -- suggesting God does nothing as thousands die in pointless wars, yet intervened on Earth to boost David Brat's career. The alternative is that it was not a figure of speech and Brat actually believes he was chosen via divine intervention. Politicians who believe they were chosen by God have caused many of the disasters of human history.
Best Line of the Offseason: Writing in The Washington Monthly, Michelle Cottle supposed that Chelsea Clinton should name her baby President.