First of all, can we talk about the Bulls/Celtics series for a minute? That had to be one of the most amazing playoff series in the history of basketball. I wanted the Bulls to win so bad. Derrick Rose showed amazing heart and Ben Gordon was just playing unbelievable. I cannot tell you how big of a Ben Gordon fan I am now after what he showed in that series. We all pretty much knew the Celtics were gonna take it in Game 7 because they had the home court, but the Bulls fought hard anyway. The Celtics played like it was their championship, and this year it basically is because they ain't going no further than the second round without Kevin Garnett. The Magic basically have their own KG in Dwight Howard, so it' going to be painful for Boston fans to watch and think 'what if?" But that's the way it goes. Injuries are just part of the game.
You all know I think the Cavs are making it to the Finals, but they're gonna have their hands full with the Hawks, I'm telling you. I went to a few of their games against the Heat and that team is tough. Those guys didn't back down from D-Wade, and they aren't gonna back down from LeBron. They're so young they just don't give a s--t about who you are or how big of a superstar you're supposed to be; they're gonna hit you in the mouth anyway. They play like they have nothing to lose, and that's always scary for the favorite. The Cavs have been untouchable at home, so as long as they take care of business there they gonna be alright. But I still don't think this is a great match-up for them.
I also attended a couple of Nuggets/Hornets games in the last round, so I know just how tough Denver is. At the start of the first game in Denver I looked over at the bench and thought "What? Why are some of those guys not starting?" And then I looked over on the court at the starting 5 and thought, "Wow." Because they actually got five guys who are better than those guys on the bench. They are quite possibly the deepest team in the league—not the best, but the deepest. And that's an amazing thing in the playoffs when bodies are tired and guys are banged up.
Before we move on I need to point the finger at Byron Scott for allowing my man Chris Paul to get beat up so bad. It wasn't fair. It was like a 12-round fight out there. They were knocking him down to the ground each time down the court and then they were laughing about it. Byron Scott could have put two or three big guys in there just to stop the beating but he didn't. They physically injured him, and it was a shame. Even though I love Dirk, Denver is taking this series, no problem.
And we don't even need to talk about the Lakers and the Rockets because we all know the Lakers will coast into the Finals. But let me give you an example of how crazy Kobe Bryant is. I had to change my phone number recently, and Kobe tracked down my new contact info from my manager. Well instead of texting me like a normal person and saying "What up, Wayne. Just got your number. Hope we can catch up soon" or something, I get this random text being like "I'm getting ready to kill 'em tomorrow.—KB" No "Hello, Wayne. It's been a while." No. It's "I'm getting ready to kill 'em tomorrow." So that's how crazy he is. That's why he is the best basketball player in the world.
Lil Wayne on the NFL Draft
I got a chance to hang out with Mark Sanchez a little bit at ESPN the Magazine's Super Bowl party in Tampa back a few months ago, and let me tell you something about him that people haven't really been talking about. He's a good Cali kid who loves his family. I say this because he's acting like he's excited to be going to New York, but I wonder how difficult it's going to be for him to leave his family and his life on the west coast behind. People don't talk about this kind of stuff because athletes are supposed to be supermen, but let's face it: he's just a kid. And he's a wonderful kid who probably wants to have Sunday dinners with his mom and dad. How is he going to feel not being able to do that for the first time in his life? And how is he going to feel taking serious criticism for the first time in his life? How's he gonna feel looking up into the stands when the Jets are 1-2 and seeing "You suck Mark Sanchez—and so does your Grandma!" signs up in the stands at home games? He's going to wish he were playing any place but New York. Now, the argument is "Well if he's great then he's great on the biggest stage in the world and he'll be a superstar." Sure. I think he will be successful, and shout out to him because I love the dude. But I think success will take a little while.
Matthew Stafford has a lot of hype, and he does have a gun that can put the rock in places where Sanchez simply can't. Still, how do we know how he's going to turn out? I think he's in a great position going to the Lions and coming in behind Daunte Culpepper. He can learn under him and get comfortable and not be expected to be the man right away. Also, if Culpepper fails and he steps in and only wins two games, that'll still be an improvement over last year for Detroit. Expectations aren't going to be as high for Stafford as they are for Sanchez, and that's not really fair but it is what it is.
Lil Wayne on the KC Chiefs
My man Dwayne Bowe is a very happy man right now. When he heard Matt Cassel was gonna be his QB next year he texted me with "I'm going to the Pro Bowl." He likes Cassel that much. But then after he heard they let Tony (Gonzalez) go, he was pretty upset. He was actually shocked and devastated. But then after a few days he rallied back and called me and said "Well, I guess this means I have to be really ready to go now." I think he's excited to be Cassel's number one option. I know he loves Cassel, and he thinks it's going to be a great year.
And shout out to Matt Cassel, who went from being Tom Brady's back-up to being in the running for the cover of Madden '10 in the span of like nine months. I know exactly how he feels, because that was basically how 2008 went for me.
I'd been preparing for so many years—waiting for my moment. I mean, sure I was in the game but I was overshadowed in my own group by Juvenile and I just kept plugging away. And then last year after I sold a million records in the first week my life basically went from one day I'm watching TV, to the next day I'm watching TV and I can't find a channel without me on it. That must be how Matt Cassel feels right now. He just plugged away in high school and then as a back-up in college and in the NFL and then he got his opportunity and seized the hell out of it. And how he's a rich man and with his own team in Kansas City—just like that. And since that same kind of thing happened to both of us right around the same time, I'll always pull for him.