Mitch Perry Report for 5.9.16 — The Chosen One’s time to shine?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans, after the local NHL franchise defeated the NY Islanders yesterday afternoon and now advance to the Eastern Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

While the Lightning were thrashing New York, I was paying more attention to the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers dismantling Atlanta to sweep their series.  That’s because in my limited capacities as a sports fan, I just react more viscerally to pro basketball than hockey. The Cavs will face the winner of the Charlotte-Miami series, and who wouldn’t want to see a Cavs-Heat Eastern Final, I ask?

As many readers may note, I’m a diehard Golden State Warrior fan, and it’s been a dreamlike season to follow them this year, what with their record breaking 73-9 regular season.

But the playoffs can be a different story, and right now the  Warriors are almost in a must-win situation tonight in Portland, where the big question remains is whether or not MVP Steph Curry will play tonight.

With respect to Trailblazers fans, I do suspect that all of those who follow the NBA are lusting for a  Golden State-San Antonio Western Final, as such a series would match up the teams with the combined greatest wins-losses record in a series matchup, though it would only be to see who (probably) advances to play Cleveland.

However, I’m feeling like whoever survives that series is going to come up short to Cleveland, who of course hasn’t won a championship of any sort in over five decades. With Miami, LeBron took the Heat to four straight NBA Finals, winning two and losing two. He singlehandedly took the Warriors to six games in the finals last year with an injury depleted squad.

With Kevin Love whipping classic passes a la Wes Unseld and Kyrie Irving shaking and baking all over the court, Cleveland looks unstoppable. King James is 31, and the fact is, even though nobody believes this could happen, he could once again jolt his home community this off-season, since technically he will be a free-agent. It just seems to me that he’s determined to get a ring this year.

Don’t get me wrong — I’ll be rooting hard for the Warriors to make sure that doesn’t happen, but if it does, well, you read it here on May 9.

A Cavs victory would bring the people of Cleveland together, something that won’t be happening in all probability in July, when the Republican National Committee takes over the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for a week in that little thing called the Republican Convention.

In other news….

The report that the Federal Highway Administration is investigating FDOT’s Tampa Bay Express for possible civil rights violations has thrilled critics of the proposed express toll-lane project, but an official with the agency expresses caution about its likely conclusions.

Gwen Graham likes Lisa Montelione, as evidenced by the $1,000 contribution the possible gubernatorial candidate donated in February to the aspiring House District 63 candidate.

Joe Biden speaks at the University of Tampa on Wednesday.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.