GMIM: Starbucks, Big Ballers, and the NHL/NBA Finals

Welcome to another installment of Good mourning, it’s Monday! This weekly blog looks to cover various topics in the news, along with personal stories or encounters from the past week at home and work to help you through your first day back at work (unless you don’t work). Hopefully my seven followers like this and share this to make it eight. Enjoy…

Starbucks baristas slam executives, as the Zach Gray unicorn frappuccino curse rolls on

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[Source: Yahoo!] – Starbucks baristas say that a recent initiative to improve customer service proves how out-of-touch the company’s executives are with what’s really going on in stores. 

In interviews with more than a dozen current and former Starbucks workers, employees told Business Insider that serious adjustments need to be made if the company wants to grow sales and maintain its positive, progressive reputation. 

“The perception isn’t the reality,” one Chicago barista told Business Insider. “Most people see Starbucks as a well-run operation, but being on the inside, I’ve found many flaws and wonder how this place makes money.”

Well, well, well, if it isn’t another negative story about the almighty Starbucks. We all know by now that I’m 30+ days into my boycott of the coffee chain. It seems ever since it started, there have been mishaps and negative stories slowly building. In the middle of May, Starbucks shops across the country experienced software glitches with their registers, causing them to go offline for several hours. This resulted in thousands of closed stores, cash-only purchases, or even shops giving away free coffee.

 

This story is a collection of interviews with anonymous baristas voicing their frustrations with the high amount of labor, lack of pay and baristas needed in a shop, and the general disconnect between executives & those who don’t work in the stores and baristas.

While I do want to be sympathetic towards these folks working their asses off to make a dollar, I simply can’t do it yet. My boycott runs deep, and I will only drink the tears of every barista in this article. Most importantly, when I was denied a frappuccino, I was the only customer in the shop and may have been the first one of the morning.

So spare me your pain, Starbucks. Until you figure something out to drop my boycott, your stupid coffee shops will suffer under the wrath of my curse.

Big Baller Lavar Ball and his AAU team, The Big Ballers, lose to the Compton Magic, 109-57

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[Source: USA Today] – ORANGE, Calif. — Coach LaVar Ball took it on the chin Saturday. Ball’s AAU basketball team — the Big Ballers, which feature his son LaMelo, a high school star from Chino Hills — lost 109-57 to the Compton Magic.

As his team fell behind 19-2, he substituted liberally and used profanity almost as liberally while barking at his overmatched players.

[Ball] told one of his players, “This ain’t nothing but entertainment. You want to know what I’m going to do when I get out of here? I’m going to get a burger, lay down and take a nap.’’

Huge L hitting the Big Baller Brand hard over the weekend. Just a causal 52 point loss for the Big Ballers. It’s the least surprising fact that Lavar named his AAU team the Big Ballers. Something straight out of NBA Street.

Although Lavar has proven to be a dink, at the end of the day, he wins.

  • A 50-point loss by his AAU team? Attention goes to Lavar and his reaction.
  • Lonzo is only going to work out for the Lakers? Lavar is at it again!
  • Lavar claims he would’ve beat Jordan 1v1? Must watch, folks!

I may joke here and say the Big Baller Brand’s stock has fallen to a new low, but every blog, article, broadcast, or conversation focused on the Balls is a victory for them.

The objective for Lavar and the Balls is to have the spotlight, no matter what. Bad news is better than no news, so he might as well shoot for the stars. As he says, “this ain’t nothing but entertainment,” and everyone is a fool for eating it up as anything more or less.

As long as he or his son don’t do anything stupid, it’s just Lavar and Lonzo’s Big Baller World, and we’re just living in it.

It’s championship week for the NBA and NHL

As Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer, this week in sports also brings the end to hockey and basketball. Since the NBA stupidly schedules the Finals on June 1, let’s dive into the Stanley Cup Final that starts tonight.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Nashville Predators

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Although Washington finished the year as the President’s Trophy winners (again), they were met by Sidney Crosby and the Penguins (again) to be eliminated in the second round (again). Pittsburgh has always been that team appearing to be poised to make a run at the Cup, yet it wouldn’t be surprising if they didn’t make it either.

Nashville entered the playoffs as the heavy underdog to the Chicago Blackhawks, who were the #1 seed out west. The Preds proceeded to sweep their asses and march their way into their first ever Final appearance.

I’m most looking forward to seeing P.K. Subban finally play for the Stanley Cup. He’s been a hell of a player for some time and deserves to hold the greatest trophy in sports over his head. Aside from Subban, I’m curious to see if Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne can hold off Pittsburgh’s always threatening offense. The Penguins faced red-hot goalie Martin Jones in last year’s Final against the Sharks, yet had no problem putting away San Jose in six games.

Unless he suffers yet another concussion, Crosby should be good to play like the best player in the world, especially with his supporting cast. Nashville is playing with house money at this point, since no one expected them to even win a couple of games against the Blackhawks in the opening series. I think Pittsburgh’s experience and offense gets it done to become the firs team to win the Stanley Cup in back to back years since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

Penguins in 6

Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers, part 3

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There’s this everlasting debate in sports, particularly now with the NBA, about parity throughout the league. “Is there enough? Should we have less? Should everyone have a chance?” The debate has so many layers to it as well, such as big market teams succeeding, having all teams be competitive throughout to help ensure the league stays healthy, establishing “dynasties” vs competition, and so on. My personal opinion is it’s good to have a few dominant teams go at it for several seasons, but too much dominance can lead to disinterest in the sport.

That is what leads us to this NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet up for a third straight year, each of which has won. LeBron James makes his seventh straight Finals appearance, his third with the Cavs.

Let’s go over the list of hot-fire-flames takes to look forward to during The Finals:

  • If LeBron wins, will he pass Jordan as the greatest?
  • If Golden State wins, how will it affect Kevin Durant’s legacy?
  • Is Durant the next LeBron if Golden State wins?
  • Will Mike Brown get revenge and coach the Warriors to a victory over his former team?
  • If the Warriors sweep, what’s a more impressive accomplishment: 16-0 in the playoffs or last year’s 73-9 regular season?
  • To follow-up, who would win: the 2016 Warriors or the 2017 Warriors?
  • If the Cavs lose, is LeBron back to being a choke artist?
  • Will Draymond Green kick anyone in the nuts again?

Talking heads will have a field day with this Finals and it’s going to be glorious to soak it all in.

I would personally like to see the Warriors sweep only because no other team has gone 16-0 in the playoffs. I just like seeing things in sports that have never happened before.

But going back to the parity thing . . . this series is the pinnacle of the Cavs/Warriors championship match-ups. If we get four straight Finals of the same two teams, then what’s the point for any other fan to watch or follow? It’s fascinating to see teams in the salary cap era tank so bad and fail to keep up with the competition, and at the same time, we have two teams separating themselves so far and above the rest of the league beneath them.

It’s an important series for both teams and the league itself. I’m going with the hot-fire-flames route in the prediction:

Warriors sweep

Have any stories to share? Suggestions? Feedback? Send them to ZacharyAdamGray@gmail.com or Tweet me @ZacharyAdamGray

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