First District Representative Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas, Jr. is now in the U.S. There for a short break to visit family and friends, the 29-year-old congressman is excited for the twin events that will happen next week.
On November 11, he’s watching the game between the Golden State Warriors and the reigning NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs. This will be at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Two nights after (Thursday next week), he’ll return to the same stadium where the Warriors will face the New Jersey Nets. I’ll get the first-hand experiences of Samsam after next week but, before that, I asked him to comment on the current NBA season.
“Overall, it is just GOOD to have high quality basketball back,” said the team manager of the University of the Visayas basketball squad.
Exciting NBA teams? Now that he’s in San Francisco, he talked about the Warriors: “New coach, new system; it showed in the first three games.” GSW is 3-0. In the Western Conference, they trail the Houston Rockets (5-0) and Memphis Grizzlies (4-0) as the only teams to sport undefeated streaks. In the East, only one team has not lost a game — and they’re playing without LeBron James. That’s the Miami Heat at 3-0.
“I like the Hornets. Bringing the name back was a great idea,” said Gullas, of this team that was previously named Bobcats. “Plus, having Michael Jordan sit on the end of the bench makes you think… Will he enter the game with 3 seconds left?”
On LeBron rejoining his former team, “It’s great to see him back home,” he said. “It’s what I thought he would do. It was the right decision.”
I next queried about the worst-performing team in the league today (0-5); a team name that is synonymous with championships and is one of the most recognizable sporting brands in the world: the Los Angeles Lakers.
“When the Lakers signed Kobe to a 2-year, $40-million plus contract, that was the beginning of the END,” said Gullas. “On the Lakers part, was it a decision to win more championships or just to get fans in Staples because of Kobe’s presence? Kobe is Kobe. Some people hate him and others praise him but he himself should have known, his contract won’t bring anyone to LA. He could have followed what Dirk did. Taking less money so they could sign Parsons.”
How about the rumor that’s circulating in the internet, of Kobe Bryant, all of 36 years very old and having stayed with the L.A. Lakers his entire career since 1996 — the gossipmongers whisper that he’ll move east to New York?
“It would be nice to shake up the East even more,” said Gullas. “Question: Will the Knicks have to trade their First Five minus Melo (Carmelo Anthony) to get Kobe? This is a rumor but I strongly believe that the Zen Master has called the Lakers about this.”
This story has inflamed excitement because of these possibilities: uniting Melo and Kobe in one doubles team plus reuniting the trio of Kobe, Derek Fisher (Knicks head coach) and Phil Jackson (Knicks president) in the Big Apple.
Gullas cites one player among the league’s hundreds. “People hate him for his aggressive style of play but I have always loved Russell Westbrook’s game. Saddened with his injury but I really thought he’d be an MVP candidate this year. By the end of the year, he’d replace Curry and Paul as the best point guard in the NBA.”
As to the top contenders, Samsam likes the Cavs/Bulls and “maybe even the Heat” for the East. As to the West, he picks Houston, Thunder, Dallas, Clippers, Memphis and, maybe he’s biased because he’s in San Francisco now and will watch their games next week, “the Warriors will be in the 2nd round or even finalists.”
The Spurs? “Always!” Final prediction: Warriors/Thunder/Spurs VS Cavs for the 2015 NBA championship.