What life is teaching me right now

My life has become a hug roller coaster within the last couple of months.  No, this isn’t going to be have pity on me story.  Its just best for me to write out my thoughts so that I can help other people who are most likely going through the same thing and realize that they are not alone.  Plus it helps me with writing when I can as well so that is always a plus.

Back in October, I was working with autistic kids and I thought I had finally found my idea in life for what I wanted to become.  I was working on getting my BCBA through ASU online and I remember thinking “Yes, things are looking up and in a couple of years, I will be making it in life.”  Then the universe has a way to bring us back to reality.  Within a few short days starting in October, I was let go from my job, and I also realized that I was going to get kicked out of ASU online cause I wasn’t doing well in school.  ( I have never been a school person so the fact that I was going for a masters was a huge step for me in life.  Learned a lot about a Masters program, will most likely never do that again.)

If that wasn’t bad enough, I then learned that my Grandpa’s cancer treatments were not working and that he would most likely dead within a year.  Life has a funny way of getting us to remember what is important in life and start on a new path in life.  It has taught me the importance of focusing on things that matter.

Family

I have learned the last couple of months that family is still everything.  Growing up in a church that taught about family has always been a concept that I knew and understood.  However, this was put even more in perspective when Grandpa was diagnosed with cancer and sadly, he did pass away in January of this year.  It was a hard pill to swallow at the time but I am grateful for the fact that I was able to spend time with him for the last couple of months before his passing.  See I learned during this time that friends are like the shores of beach.  They come and go based of how far the tide goes up.  However, family is like the peirs that we see when we are at the beach.  Strong and steady. always being there for us.  Being with family will always be a treasured moments in my life cause they will always be there for us, even when we are at our lowest points in life.

Job Search

Losing a job is hard, finding another job is even harder.  I thought that it would become easy to find a job because people would want to hire someone who did finish his bachelors degree from a great university.  However, I have now learned that job searching is a pain in the butt.  Companies are so picky when it comes to finding people.  I remember back in December that I had this job all lined up.  I finished with my third interview and they said that they would call me for a fourth interview.  I even thought the green light was there  because they were doing a background check and I got a call from there third party asking to confirm some of my references.

However, reality kicked in when I received that email that said “We have decided to close your application for employment and will not be continuing the process any further.  Then their HR department called me to say that they had another position open but they wouldn’t know about it till after the holidays.  My hopes were dashed again when they said that they closed that position and that I should look at their website again in the future for potential employment.  Needless to say that I will most likely never trust that company again.

Figured out later that the company decided to hire some lady in there thirty’s for the position.  I feel like there might have been a bias because I will say that I am a millennial and that we tend to get a bad rap all over the media.  News flash media, not all millennials are the same!  I know shocker right but hey, you don’t make money based off happy news.  No, you get your viewership up based off bad news.  Panic is always the best seller because people like to feel emotional when it comes to news.

Well, I was able to land a job.  Its in retail of course.  Sad to think that I worked on a degree just to work in retail but its always better to get back on your feet and work whenever you can.  Hopefully the lessons I learn from that failed interview will lead to a better job in the future.

This is what I have figured out what life has taught me in the last couple of months.  Time will really tell what I was suppose to learn, but its a start.  Like all journeys, we don’t see the destination in life till we look back but this is a start of my journey.

Book Review “Rich Dad Poor Dad”

I have to say, that there are a lot of things that interest me in life.  One of those is reading a book of interest and writing a quick review on it.  I have to say, that if you are someone who is looking to become rich, or an entrepreneur, then this is a really good book to start with.

The book is a really easy read (I could have finished it in two days but decided to finish it in three cause I wanted to take away the message that Robert was teaching), and you spend the first couple of pages learning about Robert Kiyosaki and what his life was like in Hawaii growing up.  As a nine year old kid, he grew up with two dads.  As Robert puts it, he had one dad who had a PhD and the other dad didn’t even finish the eighth grade.

Now when looking at this, we can all assume that by today’s standards, that the rich dad was the one who had the PhD.  However, as you read along, you will learn and see that the dad who didn’t even finish eight grade ended up becoming one of the richest men in Hawaii, while the other dad would end up dying and leaving debt for his children to have.  How can a man, who didn’t even finish the eight grade, be one of the richest men in Hawaii?  Put simply, its what they did with their thoughts, time, and money.

Robert teaches the importance of studying financial education.  Sadly, schools will not teach this to students these days because they teach the importance of getting a good job, with benefits and a stable career.  If you want to become financial free, you need to start studying money and how it works.  Let me give you an example to understand.

Robert says that there are three difference between the poor, middle class, and the rich.  Poor will buy stuff with their money, the middle class will buy things that they considered to be assets but in reality, they are liabilities, while the rich buy assets that produce cash flow.  It makes perfect sense when you think about it.  Rich people will study how to make more money when they are out of school.  They will figure out what the best options are for their money and put their money in those places.  Which will produce more cash flow for them.

Why don’t people do this?  Well it is based off what you study.  As Buddha once said “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”  So, if you think about sports all the time, then you will know ever single stat for the sports team or teams that you follow.  If you study the body to become a doctor, then  you will know everything that there is to know about the body.  Likewise, if you study financial education, and figure out how to make more money, then you will make more money.

Robert has a chart in their that says income statement with two boxes that says income and expenses.  Then there is a second chart that says balance sheet which has assets and liabilities.  When you read the book, it will give you an idea of where you are putting your money.  This book can teach you how to start the path of becoming financial free.  It won’t be easy, but I think I would rather become financial free, then become a slave for the rest of my life.

How can we become financial free?  Well the obvious ones are stocks, bonds, real estate, and owning business.  There is a sector for all class of people based off their financial situation.  What other ones can you think of when you start to think about your financial education.

Remember cash flow is king and that is how the rich keep getting richer.  I would highly recommend that if you want to become rich, then you need to start studying financial education and how to create more cash flow.  However, reading this book will start the path for financial freedom.

(Note: I am not a financial adviser of any kind.  This is a matter of opinion on what is needed to become rich through studying of my own choosing.  Each person is in a different financial situation and shouldn’t base buying things based off what I say.  Please do your homework before investing in anything so that you can put yourself ahead in life.  My financial education is always going to be learning cause I will most likely make mistakes along the way.   This is purely a book review on what we need to be learning.)

Clippers, a much Improved team

The Clippers could possible be the new team in LA.  The Lakers could make some noise in LA but it all depends on the young players that they drafted and how well Luke Walton does as a coach.  However, we need to take a look at the Clippers to see what makes this team so much better then in years past.

Griffin and Paul

This combination must remind a lot of Utah Jazz fans of the good old days of Karl Malone and John Stockton.  However, the one difference though between what Utah had and what the Clippers have has to do deal with health.  Last year Griffin only started in 35 games last year.  It was a combination of injuries and suspensions.  However, I believe that Griffin has a lot to prove this year because of what happened to him last year.  Griffin’s image is in jeopardy and I believe that he understands that.  He also understands that the door for the Clippers to be a contender is closing due to the age of Chris Paul.

The Clippers will most likely continue to contend in the West as long as Griffin can stay healthy.  Paul though might be able to give the Clippers three more years of decent enough play before father time kicks in.  Paul most likely understands this as well and he must be getting tired of hearing about how good Russell Westbrook, Seth Curry and Kyrie Irving are.  No offense to anyone who love those players but Paul has been in the shadow of these point guards for a while.  Paul in my opinion has been the most consistent player in the league the last couple of years.  His consistency though usually comes when Griffin is able to stay health.  If these two can stay health all year, the starting line up for the Clippers will be a threat to any team at any given night.

DeAndre Jordan or Marresse Speights

DeAndre Jordan needs to really consider what is important for this team at this point in his career.  Is it more important to shoot the free throw like a shooter in this league, or make free throws like Rick Barry and go for the granny-shot.  Right now the Houston Rockets have a player named Chinanu Onuaku who shoots granny-style.  The difference this season between Onuaku and Jordan will be that Onuaku will actually make his shots vs Jordan who will miss a lot of his shots.  Here is another item to point out to Jordan that he needs to think about.  Jordan will continue to get the hack a shaq treatment because the league really didn’t change the rule that much.  Jordan’s playing time will drop if he can’t make free throws.  Who will take his spot?  Bring in Marreese Speights.

I can tell already that the Clippers are getting ready for the fact that Jordan will not be playing down the stretch when it is a close game.  Here is what is interesting is that both Speights and Jordan came into the league at the same time.  Speights free throw percentage for his career is .790 while Jordan’s is .420.  That is a .370 percent difference when it comes to shooting the free throw.  I believe that if Jordan goes granny-style, that his percentage will sky rocket.  It will also make the Clippers more of a threat should crunch time come in close games because Jordan is a threat on the boards and blocking shots.  While Speights is better at rebounding the ball if given more playing time.  Jordan, if you want to help your team, please go granny style soon or I can see your playing time getting cut in close games.  Good thing though the Clippers signed Speights to make up the difference in close games.  Excellent signing by the Clippers during the off season.

Bench

The bench for the Clippers will be huge this year.  In years past, the bench was only Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers.  Which at any given night, they would sometimes just disappear.  This season with the addition of Speights, this team will be much improved.  Here is why.

Crawford for how great he is, tends to turn the ball over a lot.  In his career, he is averaging two turn overs a game.  I think this year those numbers will go down since he should be able to spread the floor more and not rely on the one on one game.  In fact, he might be able to improve Austin Rivers as a shooter because of the pick up of Speights.  Austin I believe will be able to either do off ball screens or on ball screens with Speights.  Team defenses might be focused on Crawford whether he has the ball or not and Rivers might be able to score more driving to the basket or being able to shoot the three.  If not him, then you can either have Speigths or Crawford do that as well if he passes the ball.  The Clippers have a big three on the starting squad.  Four if you added  J.J. Redick to the picture as well.  Now with Speights, they will have three more scores on the floor when they need to rest their starters at any given stretch of the game.

There needs to be more games played this season to fully see the potential of the team, but they will be in the top four this season when playoffs come.  There best shot at making the Western Conference Finals will most likely be if they face Golden State in the second round of the playoffs.  Which means they need to get the number four seed, or the number three seed depending on how the battle that goes between the Spurs, Warriors and Thunder.  Since the Warriors lack experience and rebounding in their Center positions, Jordan, Griffin, and Speights should have a field day on the boards since Golden State plays small ball.  I have no doubt that the Clippers can compete with their small ball team, so it would all depend on the big men of the series.  Which I give to the Clippers since they are bigger, stronger and able to crash the boards.  Time will tell what happens to this Clippers team but the number one issue that needs to be focused on his health if this team wants to go far.

Do Durant. No Problem

People were taking about during the off season that the Thunder were going to struggle this  year without Durant.  Those were at least the circles that I was in.  I have to say though, I think that the Thunder are going to be fine this season.  Here are a few take aways from last nights game for the Thunder.

Westbrook

First thing that needs to mention is that this player should be in talks all season for MVP.  I think that we could be witnessing a very strong case for him because if you look at what he did without Durant last season it was like he was preparing for this to happen.  He was averaging close to a triple-double when Durant was not there.  He might be the first player since Oscar Robertson who could average a triple double this season.

Let me repeat that if you didn’t understand what I just said.  The last player to average a triple-double during the season was Oscar Robertson during the 1961-62 season. That season he averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game.  Westbrook last night had 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists.  All Westbrook has to do is raise his assists per night and we could be seeing hands down the MVP of this league.  Health will play a key role in this as well but we might be witnessing history this year if Westbrook can keep this up all season without being hurt.

The Big Men

For those of you who read this blog, I love the big men positions in the game of basketball.  I think that they are starting to become underrated due to the fact that teams are going small ball to win games.  However, the big men on the Thunder are most likely going to have a monster season this year.  Without Durant being there, someone has to pick up the load and I think Enes Canter and Steven Adams are going to be the ones to do it.  Lets start with Canter

Enes Canter

People have forgotten this, but Canter was originally drafted by the Utah Jazz back in and was the third over all pick during the 2011 draft.  Here is what is interesting for Kanter.  During the first three and a half years he was in Utah, his averages for points and rebounds was on a steady climb up.  This average points he was averaging when he was traded from Utah was 13.8.  When he was traded to the Thunder he started to average 18.7 points.  His points went down the next couple of season due to the fact that he was coming off the bench and Durant and Westbrook were scoring most of the time.  I see know that Canter is going to be the X factor for this team.  I can see him averaging 20 points a game this season or more depending if Westbrook sees him being a factor.  Which I do think that Westbrook does see him as the catalyst that is needed for the team to succeed.

Steven Adams

I expect him to have a break out year since he is in his fourth year in the league.  His stats for scoring have been going up slowly the last three years.  Now that Kevin Durant is out of the Thunder line up, I expect that he will be more involved in the offense for the starting line up.  Since Canter will be coming off the bench for Adams, it will give Adams more chances to score while Westbrook is out on the floor with him.  Adams is going to be key for the starters while Canter will be the key for the bench.  The powerful one two punch at the Center position for this team will be super effective.  If Adams doesn’t have a break out season with the Thunder, don’t expect the Thunder to go far this year.

Victor Oladipo

Don’t expect much from Victor this season.  His game is a little to similar like Westbrook but not as aggressive.  I believe that Oladipo will be better if he was coming off the bench with Canter.  It would provide the Thunder with two consistent scores on the floor at all times.  If Victor doesn’t come off the bench, I don’t see him being involved that much in the offense.  He might get close to 20 points a night, but I don’t see him being the super star of the team.  If he were to come off the bench with Canter, he would get closer to scoring 20 points a night.  Oladipo is like Westbrook in the fact that he needs the ball in his hands to score.  Right now at shooting guard he will not be that affected for the Thunder.

I expect the Thunder to make the playoffs, and possible go to the Western Conference Finals.  It all depends on what happens between the Spurs, Warriors and Thunder.  If the Spurs get the number one seed, then the Thunder will have a chance to make the Western Conference Finals.  It will be a battle with the Warriors but I think if they face the Spurs that they won’t make the Western Conference Finals.  The other thing to think about is if the Thunder get the number one seed, that you can expect them to make the Western Conference Finals for sure.  However, we will have to see how this season goes because health will be an issue for any team all season.

 

Spurs will be underrated all year

While the league will be talking about Lebron James and the Cavaliers or the Super team Warriors, the Spurs will be doing like they always have been doing.  Playing Spurs basketball.  I honestly believe that this Spurs team is better then last years team and has the biggest chance right now to win the NBA championship.  But before everyone goes crazy and wants to burn me to the post let me explain.

Bench

The Spurs have one of the deepest benches this year.  We always talk about the starters and how important they are but lets look at the starters for the Spurs.  The starters for the Spurs last night were Tony Parker, Kyle Anderson, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Pau Gasol.  Ok now look at the bench Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Jonathon Simmons, and David Lee.  Other players on the Spurs I don’t really know as players but that is without Danny Green who is currently out with an injury.  If Danny Green hadn’t been out you can see that the Spurs bench could have started the game last night.

This is huge because if you have a bench that could start any game, its like you really never lose your starters all game.  That is what made the Warriors so deadly the last two years was that their bench could have been starters if they needed it to be.  Its almost like the Spurs are trying to set up their team so that they can on top in the NBA again.

No Duncan?  Ok Gasol!

It was heart breaking for the Spurs to lose Tim Duncan.  A legend in that city but its ok, they picked up Pau Gasol.  I get that Paul is old and that he isn’t better at defense like Duncan was, but Gasol might be better then people realize.  Here is why.

Gasol is going to be able to spread the floor more unlike Duncan was at his age.  Gasol’s ability to see the floor is amazing.  It is what made the Lakers so good back in 2008-2010 was because of Gasol being able to pass the ball to Lamar Odom or Kobe Bryant when the floor was spread out.  His defense might be shaky…oh wait he is averaging 1.7 blocks for his career.  Tim Duncans career blocks were 2.2 for his career but lets break it down even farther.  Tim Duncan blocks the last three years were 139, 151, 78.  Paul Gasols blocks the last three years?  92, 147, and 146 for the last three seasons!  Gasols time in Chicago might have helped him with working on his defense.  So in the end, Gasol does have defense but people don’t look at that for him.  Plus if he didn’t have defense, I don’t think the Spurs would have signed him.  Either that or Pop will make sure that he does have defense.

Kawhi Lenoard

The most underrated player in the league right now.  Remember, he was a finals MVP during the 2014 finals and was the third youngest player to receive this award.  The other two players who were younger?  They were both Magic Johnson.  The other thing to remember too is that he is 25 years old and he is going to have a season because he is now in the prime of his career.  He is a two time defensive player of the year and he is only going to get better.  His ability to play defense is only going to get better as the season goes on and as the saying goes.  Offense wins games, defense wins championship.

Rising Star on the team?  Bring in Jonathon Simmons

Ok this is my prediction for the team now but I believe that Jonathon Simmons is the key to this teams success.  He had a career high last night of 20 points but I don’t think this is the end with him.  I believe that he could be the new Ginobili for this team.  If he can bring these types of numbers every night, he will be the new big three or four for the Spurs.  Think about this, Patty Mills,  Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Jonathon Simmons.  That could be a deadly line up that no one is taking about.  I am currious to see what the numbers will be when those four are out on the floor.  This might be the most kept secret of the Spurs and no one to my knowledge is talking about it.

If you are a Spurs fan, this is going to be a good season for you guys.  This could result in a banner in that building come next year.  Time will tell but I believe that this team can win it all.

Numbers tell a story for the Warriors

Last nights game for the Warriors is telling a story that needs to be discussed.  Hardly anyone will talk about, because it will be around the fact that Kevin Durant is still trying to learn the offense and that Warriors will still be the best team in basketball before the end of the year.  However, there are a couple of numbers that people are over looking because we look at the flashy stats of points and we go crazy over the highlights that ESPN gives us on a nightly bases.  The category I am talking about is the need for a big man who can rebound the ball for this team.

If you look at the individual stats of the team last night on rebounding, you will see as a Warriors fan that Draymond Green was able to lead the team in rebounds with 12 and Durant was the second in rebounds with 10.  As good as that is, I believe that these two rebounding will cause the down fall of the Warriors as the season continues.  Here why.

When looking at the stats of rebounding they were able to keep up on the defensive end of rebounding the ball, but on the offensive end, it was a different story.  The Spurs had 21 offensive rebounds to the Warriors 8 (9 if you count the team rebound).  The last offensive rebound for the Warriors was at the 10:26 mark of the fourth quarter.  It was a team offensive rebound, the next closes one was at the 4:05 mark during the third quarter and that was done by David West.  If you break down all the offensive rebounds from these rebounds of the fourth quarter, it looks like this.

Andre Iguodala offensive rebound at mark 2:55 of the second quarter.  Draymond Green offensive rebounds 3rd quarter at marks 11:15, 8:34, 8:33, 5:05, and 4:56.   Zaza Pachulia offensive rebound at the 8:30 mark of the third quarter.  These numbers are scary for Warrior fans who actually look at the entire picture.  Yes they spread the floor, and they are one of the greatest small ball teams in the league.  But what will happen when they run into the Cavaliers who will most likely be crashing the boards all night with Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love?

Warriors need to get a big man, who’s soul purpose is to rebound, rebound, rebound.  The Warriors can make it all season with their starting line up and score lights out when they are on.  They still need a big man who can just rebound.  If they can get that man, the Warriors will win the NBA finals hands down.  Warriors might want to consider trading to get Tyson Chandler who can make Draymond Green’s job easier.  If Draymond isn’t having to use his energy to rebound on every possession of the game, he will be able to be more effective on the offensive end of the ball.  It will also help Kevin Durant with being able to focus more on scoring while at the same time, being the third option with rebounding.

Tyson Chandler can help the Warriors get over the top.  His toughness of crashing the boards becomes addicting.  He would feed off of Draymond  when it comes to playing the game and since he is able to rebound the ball, he would make the Warriors that much more of a threat in the West.  However, to make that trade will be a problem because of the salary cap that they have.  So the Warriors need to either find a Tyson like player or find someway to get that man on that team.  Doing so, will result in the Warriors winning it all this year.

NBA game Predictions tonight

Tonight is opening night of the NBA. Here is what I am predicting will happen with the teams that will face off tonight.

New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers

This will be the preview we have been waiting to see since the Knicks have made all these moves during the off season to make themselves a title contender since they would either have to beat the Cavaliers or the Warriors if they were to make it to the finals. Today the Knicks will have to beat a very emotional Lebron and Cavaliers team for bringing home the first ever championship banner for this organization. I expect the Cavaliers to win but if the Knicks want to be able to stop the party in Cleveland, they will need to do the following.

Knicks Bench

The Knicks bench will have to come out to play. In fact, if you look at their back up point guard and shooting guard, they use to be former stars in this league. Most people don’t remember much from Brandon Jennings back when he played with the Bucks that he did have a superstar stamp on his forehead before he disappeared from the NBA superstar radar. If Brandon Jennings can come out to play, then the Knick shouldn’t have a problem with being able to compete with the Cavaliers. At the same time, Sasha Vujacic already knows the triangle offense that the Knicks are going to be using because that is what Phil Jackson knows and loves. If these two can work together when coming off the bench, the Knicks should be able to stop the party in Cleveland.

Cleveland will win in a landslide unless the Knicks understand how the Triangle offense works

Utah Jazz vs Portland Trailblazers

This game I don’t think will be a good one. I believe that Utah is still in a rebuilding mode and still hasn’t been able to find their superstar yet. I understand that they do have Joe Johnson but he is old. They did pick up Boris Diaw but he does better these days when he is able to pass the ball instead of carrying the load for the team.

Portland’s one two punch

I know for a fact that Damian Lillard is one huge piece for this team, and continue to perfrom very game that he is able to. I do believe that their chances can go up for being a threat in the West if Mason Plumlee. I believe that this year if he is involved in more pick and rolls with Lillard that he could be a double double player this season. The key for Plumlee will be that he needs to be able to make the mid range shot in order for the pick and roll offense to work well. I believe that this will make the Trail Blazers and winning team this season.

Expect Portland to win this game tonight.

Golden State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs

This was the match up that everyone was expecting to see last year in the West Conference finals. However, that didn’t happen and now we have a post Tim Duncan era for the Spurs. This match up is really even all across the board. So I will break this one down on how either of these teams could walk away with a victory.

Spurs

The Spurs bench will have to be on tonight. I think that the Spurs have the advantage when it comes to the bench, but Golden State makes it up with their starters. I also believe that the Spurs will have to take advantage of the fact that they most likely have the better team when it comes to rebounding the ball. However, that will determine based off if the Spurs won’t be tired out by all the running that they will most likely have to do with the Warriors. Spurs also will have to be playing defense the entire night which means that they will even have to be guarding the three point line all the way to half court with Curry and Durant when they are on the floor. The Spurs will also have to be able to make three pointers when they have the chance to shoot. Turn overs will have to be controlled as well since that is what caused them to lose to the Warriors last year.

Warriors

As was discussed with the Spurs is that the Warriors will have to move the ball a lot. If they move the ball a lot I don’t think teams have a chance at beating them. Warriors will have great spacing out on the floor. Rebounding might be an issue but that will only be a problem if they are not making their shoots from three point land and if they are not having ball movement on and off the ball. I also think that a zone might be needed in order to stop the big man plays from the Spurs since the Spurs do have big men that can pass and shoot the ball. Since the Spurs don’t usually take that many shoots at three point land, it would be best for the Warriors to do a zone to control the big men on the Spurs. If they do start making three’s, the the Warriors will have to do man to man switches so that the Warriors can control the pace of the game.

Verdict for this game I think the Warriors will win by one point and it will be a close game the entire time.