Back in the saddle, with no shortage of opinions |

Back in the saddle, with no shortage of opinions

Chris Freud

And we are back.

Three weeks in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, leads to a lot of pent-up sports thoughts — including my gratitude for altitude when it comes to the fight of a golf ball — so here we go:

• I’m pretty sure the NBA season is almost over. Seriously, people give me a hard time that baseball season is so long? The NBA spends five-and-a-half months eliminating 14 of its 30 teams during the regular season and then has two months of endless playoffs? There were just about three days between every Finals games. Game 7 was on Father’s Day? Basketball is theoretically a winter sport, people.

• Good for Cleveland and good for LeBron James. For all the hype about Cleveland teams not winning a title since the Browns of 1964, this is nice, but not the real thing. The Cavaliers winning is great for that city, but the real jubilation will come when the Browns or Indians do it. Those are the teams that are in the city’s blood.

• This title makes LeBron one of the greatest players in his generation. He finally took a team and lifted it. He turned Kyrie Irving into an All-Star. Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson became better players. This is how you make the Michael Jordan comparison more accurate. Of course, you would hope that LeBron won in Cleveland, he built this team.

• The Warriors will be back. (Despite your sports editor’s inherent bias toward all things San Francisco, I don’t care about the NBA and Golden State.) Can the Warriors pick up Kevin Durant? That would be kind of scary.

• Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks? OK, can he stay healthy? Since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, he’s missed 253 games due to injury. And what does Carmelo Anthony think of it? Will there be chemistry issues in the Garden next year?

• Dustin Johnson won the U.S. Open, despite the United States Golf Association’s best efforts. The assessed penalty on the fifth hole during the final round was garbage and the USGA’s handling of it was worse. “We think you might have done something wrong, but we’re not going tell you until your round is over.” WTF? The F stood for fudge.

D.J. earned this one, particularly after the three-putt debacle at last year’s U.S. Open up in Washington.

• By the way, anyone missing Tiger? Nope. There are a lot of great golfers out there without Woods. On to Royal Troon, and the Majors are coming quickly with the sport in the Olympics. The PGA Championship is only two weeks after the British Open.

• Russia is apparently relishing its new role as bad boy of the international sporting scene. Its track team got bounced from the Olympics and its soccer team and, more specifically, its fans showed why the country has no business hosting the 2018 World Cup.

As far as the Olympics go, the next step is to strip the medals that were won by offending Russian athletes at Sochi in 2014. The World Cup is simple … just move it to the United States. The 1994 World Cup remains the most well-attended Finals and it moves all the matches into prime time in Europe. This isn’t hard, people.

• Hey, Rockies fans, where did you go? You all were a little chirpy at the beginning of the season and seem to be less vocally enthusiastic now. You ready for Broncos camp?

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, and @cfreud.

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