Playing the Field: Kyrie Irving is a hustler, Megatron plays baseball
There’s nothing more annoying than a good advertising campaign. They sucker you in and I have to post the video because it is so damn cool. But I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Cavaliers guard and NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving partnered up with Pepsi MAX to create what has turned into a viral video sensation.
Irving dresses up as a very convincing old man and hits up a local pick-up game in his native New Jersey where he proceeds to hustle a bunch of local ballers.
The best part may actually be how well Irving sells it as the old man at the beginning. His “Uncle Drew” voice is classic. He is going to be a superstar on the court, but he might be the next great NBA pitchman as well. Get this guy in more commercials.
Meanwhile, in Miami …
There is very little more enjoyable in sports than watching a heavy favorite crumble at the hands of an underdog. The Patriots’ 18-1 season comes to mind.
Well, maybe the 2012 Miami Heat are up next. They trail 2-1 to the Pacers and Game 3 saw a slow melting down on the bench. Check out Dwyane Wade ripping into head coach Erik Spoelstra during a timeout.
Spoelstra has spent a lot of time as a punching bag for Wade and, last year, LeBron James. Then the Heat canceled practice and media availability on Friday. In other words, they let the rumors of a collapse run on unabated.
My favorite part of the whole incident — the media ran to Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen to get his take. Sure, why not? And of course Ozzie abided by providing an all-time quote. What would you do if a player chewed you out on the bench during a game, Ozzie?
“I will kick [my player's] ass,” Guillen told reporters Friday. “Well, I won’t say I’ll kick his ass. They’ll kick my ass because they’re bigger than me, and I’m older. But I will take my chances. Some people have to understand our job.”
Guillen apparently went to the Billy Martin school of managing. Not necessarily a bad thing.
Calvin Johnson is a beast … at baseball
Anybody in need of a rangy, 6-foot-5 centerfielder with some pop?
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson took batting practice this weekend with the Tigers at Comerica Park and looked every bit the part of a major leaguer.
Sometimes you see an athlete step into the box and take some hacks and they look awful. I remember watching LeBron James, maybe the best pure athlete in all of sports, take some swings when he was taking a tour of the Nike campus in Oregon very early in his NBA career. He looked horribly uncoordinated.
Apparently, Johnson played baseball at Sandy Creek High School (Tyrone, Ga.). He was being scouted, but he always planned to go to Georgia Tech to play football. You can tell just by his swing that he used to play. He was apparently a pitcher in high school too, though no word on his velocity.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. He was a second baseman in Little League and once batted .064 in a season. He was, uh, a defensive specialist.