The NBA has a problem

Written by :
Published on : June 17, 2017

 

The NBA has been nibbling at its own tail for some time now and it has finally caught up to the league. During the playoffs, while entertaining at certain points, the debate began as to if the league was conceding to one team (the Golden State Warriors). Over the past several years, the NBA has implemented many measures to the CBA to ensure all the teams have a fair chance at acquiring, and more importantly, keeping superior talent. There have been teams that intentionally tanked to get the players they want. The NBA has even intervened to keep star players from forming a “Super Team” (i.e., the NBA nixed the Chris Paul to Los Angeles Laker trade).

 

By putting so much effort into spreading the wealth of talent around the league, the NBA has caused the one problem it looked to avoid. The owners of the teams are crafty. Beyond analytics and cap crunching they are also in the business of making as much money as possible. Professional sports teams are a club of the elite. There are 30 to 32 teams per league and there’s not for sale signs in front of those stadiums and arenas that often.

 

 Super Team?

 

In the case of the NBA, almost every team has a franchise player. You could say “well, every team has the best player that the team can build around!” I would counter that statement by listing the Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings, and the Denver Nuggets as a few teams that do not have a franchise player or one that projects to become one. Yet, these teams have consistently picked in the upper half of the draft and had cap room to lure a top free agent.

 

The talent is at an all-time high. Most fans think of eras chronologically. I tend to think of eras in terms of the most dominant player(s) during an extended period. So in my lifetime, I’ve been through the Magic/Bird, Jordan, Kobe/Duncan/Shaq, and now the LeBron eras. The transition from the Kobe to LeBron is when the league changed language and incentives in the CBA that helped teams keep their homegrown players. Moreover, the new TV contracts produced such an enormous cash flow that it has increased the cap significantly each year. This created a dilemma that while teams have been able to offer their players (with Bird rights) up to $75 million more over the course of a contract than other teams can offer, it also drove the market price of players up to stay above the cap floor. There’s a lot of teams acquiring players that they do not need at salaries that, under past conditions, they would not warrant.

 

So, how does the league fix this?

 

That’s harder than one would think. This past summer, players received such high salaries that in the upcoming years it will be hard to trade them and receive equal value. To actually trade player for player will be even harder. No one is trading Luol Deng straight up for Paul George. The salaries match up though and these are the kind of salary trades that would have worked in the past but this scenario is such a drop off in talent.

 

If I was in NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s ear this is what I would suggest:

 

Change the one and done rule: I would allow EXCEPTIONAL players to enter straight from high school. When I say exceptional I am talking about for sure first round selections. I would have a committee of non-partisan members (Rivals.com, NBAdraft.net, college recruiting services, etc.) that give all potential high school prospects a grade. If the grade is that they would be a first round pick then it would be passed to NBA GMs and scouting departments. They would grade the select few that passed the first process. If the player passes through the second phase then he can submit his name for the draft.

 

 Listen up Adam.

 

The team has done its due diligence and the player is almost ensured of being selected first round. However, the players that did not make the cut must do the following. A) Attend a public university or college for 2 years. Two years is important because it gives the player more time to develop and it increases the chances that the player can graduate from college. Instead of taking a year of classes, it gets the player at least closer to major level courses if he chooses to stay in school or go back when he goes pro. B) If a team really wants to sign a player out of high school, the player must be signed to a 2 year guaranteed minimum contract and the player has to spend at least 90% of contract duration with NBDL affiliate. C) International players must be 19 before they can enter NBA draft. The International players have more opportunities to play professionally than US players. So a starting age of 19 is more than fair and would put them on par to enter the league with the 2-year players previously mentioned.

 

I think the NBA has done well in growing the sport. The issue now is that the league has too much talent spread around. The league should want three or four “Super Teams.” I fully anticipate the Cleveland Cavaliers to make a move to keep them in contention for the championship. The San Antonio Spurs are rumored to have an interest in Chris Paul to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard. What about the other teams though? Could Kyle Lowry take Paul’s spot on the Los Angeles Clippers and form a super team with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan? Maybe a year from now could Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins link with the Lakers to create a team with Brandon Ingram and possibly Lonzo Ball? More super teams is the solution not no super teams!

 

 


2016-17 NBA Western Conference Preview

Written by :
Published on : October 27, 2016

 

The NBA season is underway. I’ve already given you my forecast for the Eastern Conference, so let’s head to the Western Conference and see where it stands. There are some new faces in new places that may alter the pecking order of the conference.

 

15. Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are a team without a clear leader or direction. Head coach Michael Malone has a tough task ahead of him to get some production from often injured stretch 4 Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari has been viewed as a player with the potential to be one of the best shooters in the game. He has yet to live to the hype. Kenneth Faried has been in the rumor cycle for years and has yet to be traded. This year would be the best year to start a total rebuild with second-year player Emmanuel Mudiay and rookie Jamal Murray developing chemistry in the backcourt. Nikola Jokic has shown promise and received votes for rookie of the year last year.

 

14. Los Angeles Lakers

walton coach

 

Head coach Luke Walton has several pieces with which to implement the scheme he learned from the Golden State Warriors. Brandon Ingram and D’Angelo Russell were selected number two in the past two drafts. Russell is expected to lead the team under Walton’s system. Once the team trusts in Walton and Russell they will start to vie for a playoff berth. It may take a few seasons but the team is young and athletic. Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle will help keep the team competitive. The best outcome is a year to let this current roster gel and build through the draft.

 

13. Phoenix Suns

A team with a ton of young talent at nearly every position. Also a strong Kentucky Wildcat presence with four former players on the roster. The team has NBA Champion Tyson Chandler on the team and he has always been respected as a leader in the locker room. Devin Booker was the youngest player in the league last year and his post All-Star break stats were great. If he can build on his rookie season and new coach Earl Watson can learn quickly on the job, this will be a very competitive team. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of offense Watson will implements with rookie Dragan Bender in the lineup.

 

12. Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs benefited last year from a top-heavy Western Conference. The team was not good and squeaked into the playoffs. Now with various players moving to different teams within the conference (including former Maverick, Chandler Parsons) it will be very hard for the Mavs to make it to the playoffs again this season. Dirk Nowitzki is in the final years of his Hall Of Fame career. Unfortunately, the roster is void of a star player to lessen the load on the aging Nowitzki. The team paid Harrison Barnes a max salary to become the focal point of their team. Unless he becomes the next Kawhi Leonard, that money will become another example of the Mavs wasting away the years of Nowitzki.

 

11. Sacramento Kings

demarcus cousins

 

This team is so dysfunctional that I have to be equally crazy to give them a ranking this high. The Kings could very well be the worst team in the league even with DeMarcus Cousins. The saving grace is that I believe they picked up a good coach, in Dave Joerger, that willed a depleted Memphis Grizzles team to the playoffs last year. Cousins is becoming legendary for his coach killing ability. At some point, he will be held responsible for all the bodies that were laid to rest on his watch. The team does have some good veterans as well as some intriguing young talent. It could make for another interesting year in “Boogieworld.’

 

10. New Orleans Pelicans

Aside from the horrible team name, this team should be better under second-year head coach Alvin Gentry. The main issue is the health of Anthony Davis. If he is healthy, this is a team that could contend for a playoff spot. Without him they’re looking at a top 3 draft pick. Another team with some good veterans to go with some talented young players. Will Buddy Hield become the scorer they’ve been looking for?

 

9. Utah Jazz

I had Jazz fans coming for my neck last season because I picked them to be last in the conference. I do feel head coach Quin Snyder is on the hot seat this season if he does not get this team to the playoffs. Gordon Hayward is regarded as one of the most underrated players in the league. If he can bring his level of play up this season I think this team may sneak into the playoffs.

 

8. Memphis Grizzles

mike conley

 

A veteran team that got annihilated by the injury bug last season. They went into this offseason with a new coach (David Fizdale), gave Mike Conley the richest contract in history, and acquired Chandler Parsons in free agency. This team, when healthy, is easily a contender for the Western Conference Finals. The Grizzles still have to acquire someone who can score on the perimeter and create his own shot. Having Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the frontcourt has proven successful but at some point, the style of play of their competitors will make the two big men nonfactors.

 

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

The death of Flip Saunders last year possibly derailed this team from making it to the playoffs. I’m very intrigued by this team and the hiring of new President of Operations/Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. This team will make the playoffs. A few years ago Anthony Davis was expected to become the premier big man of the league. Due to injuries Davis has since been supplanted by DeMarcus Cousins and Timberwolves center Karl Anthony-Towns. Anthony-Towns is the reigning rookie of the year and a franchise talent. Add in former rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins, Slam Dunk Champion Zach LaVine, and point guard Ricky Rubio, this team has the legs to endure the push of Thibodeau’s system.

 

6. Houston Rockets

Moving James Harden to the point guard position and adding Mike D’Antoni to coach the team will be a fun car wreck to watch. The uptempo system of D’Antoni will surely help put Harden in the MVP race. While the team will suffer defensively, they will be able to run a tempo that will rival that of the Golden State Warriors.

 

5. Oklahoma City Thunder

Russell-Westbrook-Desktop

 

Russell Westbrook or die. That sums up the roster. Head coach Billy Donovan does not seem like a good fit for the NBA but he would be wise to just let Westbrook go to work. They do have two quality big men in Steven Adams and Enes Kanter that can cause problems for opposing teams. Victor Oladipo may be the shooting guard this team has needed since the departure of James Harden. Westbrook will put up amazing stats but the team will have to monitor his health over the course of the year.

 

4. Los Angeles Clippers

This team has one more year to make a championship run or it will possibly start over. There have been trade rumors for years around Blake Griffin. This season may be the year that he and Chris Paul could be moved in order to start over. Team President and head coach Doc Rivers has yet to deliver on championship promises despite having a pretty stacked roster. It’s put up or shut up time for Mr. Rivers and Co.

 

3. Portland Trailblazers

Last year, everyone wrote the Blazers off (including myself). They were expected to be one of the worst teams in the league. They overachieved and made it to the playoffs with one of the youngest rosters. This year they’ve added some veterans and re-signed some of their own to contract extensions (Allen Crabbe and C.J. McCollum). Damian Lillard is out to prove he’s one of the best point guards in the game after being snubbed of an All-Star berth last year. They’re young and athletic. Most of all, they’re coached well by Terry Stotts. This team will shock a lot of people and possibly upset the Spurs or Warriors.

 

2. San Antonio Spurs

kawhi-leonard-1

 

Life post-Tim Duncan. No one knows how it will unfold but Kawhi Leonard looks as if he is ready to take over the franchise. He’s only 25 years old and they’ve added superior front court help in consecutive seasons (Lamarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol). The most boring yet consistent team in league history will continue to give people fits.

 

1. Golden State Warriors

Last tear this team won 73 games. It is now a league record. They lost in the NBA Finals after being ahead of the Cavaliers 3-1. They let the majority of their role players leave via free agency (including Harrison Barnes). Then they added Kevin Durant. Stephen Curry took the summer to get healthy after battling knee problems during the playoffs. Oh and they still have Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Head coach Steve Kerr will probably scale back the minutes to preserve his players for a long playoff run. This should be the first of a few championships for the new look Warriors.

 

 

There you have it everyone. That’s how the NBA Western Conference will shake out come playoff time. Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy some basketball. Drop a line in the comments and tell me where you think I’m on point and where you think I’m way off.

 

 


The integrity of Pro Basketball is worth about $100 Million a year

Written by :
Published on : April 16, 2016

 

 

Here in the United States, our team sports are pretty badass. The uniforms are, for the most part, well designed and sleek. Kids look up to our modern day gladiators and dream of donning the jersey of their favorite team in front of thousands of adoring fans. The clean style of our pro sports apparel is part of the allure. Sure, there’s the occasional Jaguars or old-time Astros uniforms, but they are the exceptions to the rule.

 

But the supremacy of American pro sports fashion on the world stage may now be in jeopardy. After threatening fans with the prospect for the past few years, the NBA owners have agreed to a deal to become the first of the four major U.S. sports to allow advertisements on jerseys. The “NASCAR-ificiation” of pro basketball begins with the 2017-2018 season, and will be the first of a three year pilot program. Teams around the NBA will be allowed to sell a single 2.5-inch-by-2.5-inch patch to companies, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said that the program should generate an extra $100 million for the league.

 

 The guilty party.

 

Is that all the aesthetic integrity of the NBA, and really American pro sports as a whole, is worth? And are we really to believe that it’s going to stop here? I think not. Once the league gets a taste of the cash that can be generated by a single small patch, what’s to stop them from turning our source of pride in our respective cities into something resembling soccer jerseys in Europe, or heaven forbid, the jumpsuits and cars that characterize NASCAR?

 

Perhaps I don’t represent the vast majority of NBA fans, or sports fans in general, but I have the sneaking suspicion that I do. Most people I’ve spoken with HATE the idea of seeing our sports heroes covered in the trademarked logos of our corporate overlords. I remember the first time I saw a European soccer jersey and thought that “Fly Emirates” was an actual team name. When I finally found out that it was just a sponsor I was dumbfounded as to why on earth the corporate funding would take precedence over the club itself. Who wants to be a fan of the McDonald’s Knicks or the Whole Foods Lakers or the GM Pistons. Sure as hell, not me.

 

 “Hey, what’s the name of that really talented pretty boy who plays for Fly Emirates?”

 

The whole prospect seems totally bush league if you ask me, and I hope that it’s not here to stay, but I’m a realist before anything, and we should probably get used to the idea. In a league where revenues are estimated to be $7 billion during the 2017-2018, it’s nice to know that they are willing to whore out their teams and go against the wishes of fans and pundits for a few extra dollars.

 

I just hope that this trend doesn’t spread to other sports, because it has a chance to disenfranchise not only the fans, but the players too. How long is the players union going to allow the teams to make money off the advertisements that the players themselves have to wear, without rightly wanting a piece for the players. And as we already know, ownership isn’t eager to give more money to the players who make the sport possible. Sounds like perfect fodder for a new players strike.

 

Let’s all just hope it doesn’t actually come to that. Instead, let’s do a rain dance or get a voodoo doll of Adam Silver or sacrifice a lamb, and pray to the gods that our pro team jerseys don’t end up looking like this.

 

 Gross

 

 

 

 

 


The Locker Room Recap with Patrick Harrell: UConn, RG3 and more…

Written by :
Published on : March 30, 2016

 

 

What’s going on ScoreBoredSports family? It seems like I’ve been away from you all for too long! I have a lot going and I’ve never been too good at multi-tasking. Even though I haven’t posted much lately I have been keeping up with the sports world. Let’s take a trip into the Locker Room and see what’s been happening.

 

 

Luigi Auriemma IS Women’s College Basketball

 

Yes, Geno’s birth name is Luigi. The Connecticut Huskies head coach has received some criticism for his team’s greatness. This past week I was at work and glanced at the television. The Huskies were beating the Mississippi State University Bulldogs by 60 points. It looked as though the team was trying to win by 100 points, as they had star player Breanna Stewart playing in the late stages of a lopsided contest.

 

As much as I can’t stand Auriemma for fielding an unbeatable team every year I must also state the obvious; there aren’t many great female basketball players. Once in about every five years, there is a player that the media brings attention to that is not a UConn player. For every Candace Parker, Brittney Griner, and Skylar Diggins that escape the recruiting grasp of Auriemma there’s a Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart, or Diana Taurasi to lead the charge. Let’s face it, there aren’t enough great female basketball players to go around. If we’re seeing, on average, one impact player enter the WNBA every five years then it’s safe to assume that the talent pool isn’t too deep. I can’t recall a time where I have seen an ESPN broadcast about where the #1 female high school player will attend college. There’s no Signing Day coverage. You may see on the sports ticker who was the #1 overall pick in the WNBA Draft. Maybe.

 

Geno has mastered the world of NCAA Women’s Basketball but seeing another team challenge the Huskies would be great.

 

 

RGIII as a Cleveland Brown

 

I’ll call it the way I see it. It’s about to be the Jacksonville Jaguars situation all over again. The Jags said before the 2014 season that they were essentially redshirting their rookie quarterback, Blake Bortles. Veteran Chad Henne started the year but before the season ended, the team put Bortles on the field and he has started every game since. I foresee the Browns using this strategy. Robert Griffin III is in a winning spot with a losing franchise. It’s actually a win-win for both parties. RGIII will get the preseason and maybe half a regular season to show other teams that when healthy, he can be a competent option at quarterback. The Browns, being the quarterback graveyard it has been for two decades, can slowly ease their rookie quarterback  into the system. Browns are expected to select North Dakota State University quarterback Carson Wentz with the second overall pick.

 

RGIII is getting the chance he’s desired. The Browns have a chance to change the fortunes of their franchise by handling this situation correctly. I think anyone with a semblance of a soul can root for the Browns to get this right.

 

 

Golden State: they are who we thought they were

 

The Warriors are simply plowing through the league this year. I thought that they would end up being the third-best team in the Western Conference. Just think about this, the San Antonio Spurs have not lost a home game this year (the Warriors haven’t either), Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has 16 triple-doubles this season, and Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James is having emotional meltdowns every week. Yet, the NBA world is watching the Warriors as they can possibly eclipse the 1996 Chicago Bulls record of 72 wins in a season. I clearly was wrong about this team and I’ll be watching the next two weeks to see if they can make history.

 

 

Mamba Out

 

Kobe Bryant has roughly two weeks left in his illustrious basketball career. He’s been celebrated at every arena and praised by every player. Kobe has improved his play since the All-Star break despite the horrible production by his teammates. He has done his part to fill arenas, put up points, and play sparingly enough to ensure the Lakers will have a chance to retain their top three protected draft pick. As a die-hard Kobe fan, I will be sad to see him go. The team looks like they will be embracing the Philadelphia 76ers ideology of how to build a team. It’s going to be a tough five years for us in Laker Land.

 

 

Quarterback Contracts

 

The Houston Texans signed former Denver Bronco Brock Osweiler to a four-year deal worth up to $72 million. The league is void of high-quality quarterbacks and it seems that if you have played a few games, you have hit the jackpot. There’s no way Osweiler is worth that much money. I call it Matt Flynn Rules. Remember him? He’s that guy that had one amazing game against the Lions and got rich from it, but even Matt Flynn said that the Osweiler’s contract was bananas. This year’s draft class of quarterbacks looks underwhelming so I can’t totally blame the Texans for reaching.

 

 

 

Well that’s my opinion on the happenings since you last saw me. Be sure to check back soon for my next article.

 

 

 


Dwight Howard Still Can’t Play Nice

Written by :
Published on : December 19, 2015

 

It seems like every year, Dwight Howard has a problem with his current situation. Whether it his teammates, coaches or the organization as a whole, the guy just can’t seem to get along with anyone. Let me start by saying that all rumors about Howard’s displeasure with the situation in Houston are, as yet, unsubstantiated. But let’s be honest, is it really all that hard to believe? For a guy who has never won a title he continually comes off as a diva who turns on his team when things don’t go his way.

 

It started in Orlando, where he had his most successful years, going as far as the 2009 NBA Finals before losing to the Lakers in 5 games. Towards the end of his tenure with the Magic he demanded trades to contenders, accused his organization of not trying hard enough to win a championship and tried to get his head coach, Stan Van Gundy, fired. I don’t care how much of a star you are, that’s never a good look.

 

 “I hate you Stan!”

 

In 2012, Dwight got his wish and was traded to the Lakers. Man, was that a disaster. The team was not very good but still managed to make the playoffs, only to be swept out of the first round. The entire thing seemed like an obvious case of “be careful what you wish for,” after Howard got his trade to one of his preferred destinations and it turned out to be a complete joke. The next year he opted for the Houston Rockets in free-agency.

 

And that bring us to the present day. Since his arrival in Houston, the Rockets have been good, but not great. They sit just under-.500 and it’s now being rumored that Dwight Howard wants out of town and is demanding a trade. Surprise, surprise.

 

I’m beginning to get the feeling that maybe, just maybe, Dwight Howard is the problem and not his team or organization du jour.  When these things repeatedly happen in different places, with different people, then that can only be the case. Even if he isn’t demanding a trade, it’s being said that The Rockets expect him to opt-out of the final year of his deal next summer, and with the way things have gone with his last three teams, I can’t wait to see the next suckers that throw cash this guy’s way.

 

 But they look like they’re having so much fun together…

 

I think Dwight Howard needs an entirely new approach. Maybe he should go the Stephon Marbury route and head overseas. I bet a star of his caliber could be the owner, GM, head coach, and entire starting 5 on a team somewhere in China. They could be the Chengdu Howards or the Guangzhou Dwights, or the Wuhan Whiny Babies. Imagine that Dwight, you could do it all!

 

Who would you be able to blame then? Nobody, that’s who. Because it surely can’t be your fault that the team is no good and not performing up to your standards. So there you have it, Dwight Howard’s plan for free-agency next year. He’s going to make his own way in the Chinese Basketball Association. You heard it here first.

 

Sadly, I’m sure this won’t happen but I really wish it would. I’m sure many of you, like me, are tired of hearing about how this guy is fed up with his current team. I’m sure his current team (whichever one it might be at this point) is tired of hearing about it too. I heard just last week he got into an argument with James Harden’s beard, and poor James just had to sit there and listen to them go at it. So I say we start a petition to send Dwight Howard to China. With the lack of top-tier basketball talent, I bet they would put up with his shit for at least 2 years.

 


Champ and Chump: Week 8

Written by :
Published on : November 7, 2015

 

As we reach the halfway point of the NFL season, and the first college football playoff rankings are revealed, we crown a true champion in this week’s Champ and Chump. The World Series is over, the dust has settled on the infields soon to be covered by snow in many parts of this nation and we bid farewell to America’s past-time for 4-5 months. This week we welcome a couple first timers to our Champ and Chump section, but also see a familiar face. Spoiler alert: My Detroit Lions are the definition of “Chump”. Alex always said in his NFL Spread picks, “Always bet on the Packers”, well you might as well always bet against the Lions. But before I go on a 6-page tangent that goes through all the feels, six beers, and a box a Kleenex, I’ll just cut to the picks for Champ and Chump this week.

Champ: Kansas City Royals

The Royals getting hype in the 9th inning of their series winning game 5 matchup with the Mets.

 

Not too much of a surprise here. Let’s face it, if you win the World Series, or any championship for that matter, you have a great shot at finishing as my Champ of the week. A year after losing Game 7 of the World Series to the San Francisco Giants, the Royals had one goal all season long, and for the most part they played pretty consistent baseball to get there. As a Tigers fan, I know all too well how good these Royals are and have been the past few years. Often described as a gnat, or pest, that just won’t go away, they battle for 9 innings, and most times end up on top. They made great moves at the trade deadline, and I declared them winners there, and a few months later, those moves paid off. A quick 5 game dismantling of the New York Mets gave the Royals their first World Series title since 1985. Hats off to them.

 

Honorable Mention:

Drew Brees- 39-50 for 505 yards with 7 touchdowns. 91.7 QBR and a passer rating of 131.7 begs the question, “Is this a video game?” Big win over the Giants and Eli, mentioned below

Eli Manning- Weird to have a loser from a game in the same “Champ” category but what else could you have asked Eli to do vs the Saints? 30-41 for 350 and 6 touchdowns with zero turnovers. QBR or 94.1 and a passer rating of 138.2, insane.

Andre Drummond- Pistons fans haven’t had much to cheer about the past six or seven years but they have an absolute star in the making at center. Through four games, Drummond is averaging 20/20 a game following a monster performance vs Indiana where he scored 25 and ripped down 29 boards.

 

 

Chump: Minnesota Golden Gophers’ late 4th quarter clock management

Because of the terrible clock management, Michigan once again holds the Little Brown Jug.

 

A little over a week ago, Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill had to resign due to health reasons. In a very sad press conference, Kill was emotional as he knew that coaching the game he loved was taken away from him far too soon. Kill was building a very successful program at Minnesota, a tough feat to achieve. From a 3 win season in his first year, to coming one win shy of a Big Ten West title last year. He led the Gophers to a 4-2 start before having to say goodbye. Tracy Claeys, an assistant under Kill, took over the job as interim head coach and figures to have a legitimate shot to become the long term replacement. After an emotional week, the Gophers and Gopher fans were ready to “win one for the gipper” as they say. They welcomed the Michigan Wolverines for a game on Saturday night. A back and forth game had Minnesota driving deep into Michigan territory, down 3 with under a minute to play. Then with 19 seconds left Minnesota thought they had it, a touchdown pass to win the game, but it was reviewed and called down. Minnesota had the ball, first and goal at the 1-yard line. Apparently, Minnesota spent no time drawing up a play just in case their touchdown was reversed because they got to the line, the ball was spotted, the clock began and they went on to waste a dozen seconds before even snapping the ball. Minnesota’s quarterback then ran around and threw the ball away leaving them 2 seconds left. They called timeout (yes they had a timeout) and ultimately opted for a quarterback sneak which came up short, and they lost. Two things really bothered me about this complete mismanagement of the clock: For one, call timeout as soon as the play is reversed and you would have four cracks at it from the 1-yard line, and secondly, you’re down 3, kick the field goal and force OT. Michigan was down to their backup quarterback due to an injury, so trust that your quarterback can outduel him in overtime. Also to quote Brian Piccolo from the famous Brian’s Song, “When you dedicate a game to somebody, you are then supposed to go out and win it, idiot. Pat O’Brien never said let’s blow one for the gipper.”

 

Dishonorable Mention:

Detroit Lions- Congratulations to the Lions as they now suck on two continents, a tough feat. Falling to 1-7 across the pond to the woeful Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 45-10 has led to the firing of their President and General Manager, a week after firing a couple coaches. Cheers Lions fans, it literally cannot get worse (we’ve already achieved 0-16), so hang your hat on that.

Los Angeles Lakers- The Lakers and NBA fans couldn’t wait for Kobe Bryant to return this season, and in what may be his final season he is far from riding off into the sunset on a high note. Sitting at 0-4 Kobe’s $25 million per year contract is easily the worst contract in sports right now… well, aside from Bobby Bonilla still getting paid in New York. The guy is shooting 32% from the field, and just 20% from 3-point land, averaging just 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game. To make matters worse, first round pick Deangelo Russell appears to be struggling compared to a lot of the other top-10 picks from this past draft.

Chelsea Football Club- In England’s Premier League, Chelsea has enjoyed much success in the 21st century and have done so while having some of the most loathsome creatures take the pitch in their all blue kits. Being a Manchester United fan, there isn’t much I enjoy more than seeing Chelsea completely crumbling right now. Currently sitting in 15th place in the table, just four points from relegation, has Chelsea frantically clawing to stay above the cut. While I am sure they will avoid relegation, it is still a bit satisfying to watch them struggle.

 

 

 


Fishing for Trouble: The Derek Fisher and Matt Barnes Drama

Written by :
Published on : October 29, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey Buddy!

 

I have enjoyed meeting your family and being allowed in your home over the years. Remember when we played ball together? That was pretty cool. We’ve have been spotted out on double dates with our wives. It’s the kind of camaraderie that brings a locker room together.

 

It’s unfortunate that you and your wife have hit a rough patch. I know filing for divorce is hard and the most difficult part is shielding your children from the controversy. It’s not like your wife is a stranger to social media or reality television so clearly this is a private matter that is in clear view of the public. Having just concluded a divorce proceeding myself, I can empathize with your trouble and as a brother, I will be here if you need someone to talk to.

 

If you need me, I’ll be at your house with Gloria. I’ll make sure that our private parties are away from your boys and that they are in their rooms during the festivities. The best way to get over a divorce is to par-tay! So I’ll make sure she’s doing right by you in your house. I got you Matt! You’re my boy Blue! Did I forget to mention she makes a bomb Margarita!?

-Big Fish


 

 

I’m sure if New York Knicks head coach, Derek Fisher, had at least written the preceding (satirical) letter to former teammate, Memphis Grizzles SF Matt Barnes, that Barnes would have been more understanding of Fisher’s relationship with his estranged wife and reality tv star, Gloria Govan. The former couple have been married since 2012. Multiple media reports state that they separated last October and that Govan and Fisher have been dating for months.

 

It all came to an abrupt halt in early October when (depending on whom you believe) Barnes drove to his home after FaceTimeing his kids and finding out the Fisher was there with his wife. His sons said their mom was with her “friend Derek”. Some reports have Barnes driving 95 miles to his home. Allegedly, Barnes entered, found the party, and physically confronted Fisher. He is also said to have spit in Govan’s face.

 

Matt-Barnes-Derek-Fisher-fight-details-sports-1008-1
The cast of the NBA’s newest soap opera.

 

Regardless of who you believe, the damage has been done. Barnes described Fisher to ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne as a “good friend”. As long as I can remember, my friends and I operated by one unbreakable rule when it comes to women; Bros before (females). In high school this was the mantra as we navigated the hallways and girlfriends parent’s homes. If I liked a girl and my friend liked the same girl, she chose her suitor and then the odd man out had to move on. If one of us would develop feelings for a girl after a friend had dated her then it was understood that you kept those feelings bottled up. It was a considered a “No Fly Zone”.

 

Even as an adult, I know there are things you don’t do and places you don’t go. If a woman considers herself separated, estranged, married, or if her significant other is in the military and deployed; under no circumstance would I allow myself to get involved with her. Maybe my upbringing is different than Fishers’.

 

There is no excuse for him to be in the home of a NBA player, let alone date the wife of one of his ex-teammates and friends. As a professional athlete and coach, Fisher could garner the attention of a totally different class of female than I’ve ever had access to. He doesn’t have to make an account on Tinder. He doesn’t have to hit the club every weekend. He doesn’t have to try speed dating.

 

Derek-Fisher-Matt-Barnes-1
You were supposed to be boys.

 

There are plenty of women that are just as beautiful Govan. Maybe there is an intellectual or spiritual attraction that Fisher and Govan share. However, when a man considers you his friend you have no business “house sitting” for him when he is going through a divorce. If anything, as a friend, I am trying to to help you move on. I’m going to try as much as I can to help you get through it. We are going to be campaigning and champagning until you find another muse.

 

Then again, I am not Derek Fisher. The way he chose to recover from his own divorce was to further complicate his friend’s ongoing divorce. There are a lot of women out there, Fisher. A lot of fish in the sea.

 

 

 

 

 


Most Annoying Fan Bases in Sports

Written by :
Published on : August 5, 2015

 

 

I’ve been all over. So this is the truth. Here is a list of the most annoying fan bases in sports:

 

Bay Area Fans

Don’t you just hate them?

 

Whether you’re a “die hard” Warriors or Giants fan or a fair whether flipper between the Raiders & 49ers, just shut up about all of it. Being a die hard fan of anything by inductive reasoning makes you extremely annoying. The Bay Area is a particularly spoiled sports region that most people don’t think of as a hardcore sports region. The term “sore winners” comes to mind. Don’t forget to recycle those empty fair trade, organic beer cans after you shotgun them while tailgating.

 

Boston

A fan holds up a ‘Free Tom Brady’ sign at a Red Sox game.

 

Another spoiled sports region. All 4 major sports franchises from here have won championships in recent years. The fan base most likely to physically fight you over a minor disagreement. Shout out to Philly fans on violence too.
A city of “die hard fans” meaning they have so little going on in their life that they pour their whole personality into devotions to a team of millionaires. Millionaires competitors who care less about winning than their loyal fans who talk like they all had strokes.

 

Chicago

Put your shirts back on!

 

Shockingly worse accents than people from Boston. The perfect storm of spoiled (Blackhawks, 90s Bulls, Black Sox from not long ago, 80s Bears) and tortured (Cubs, Derrick Rose, current Bears) to combine for an infuriating brand of in-your-face pride & loser’s lamenting. Go eat comfort food from anywhere within 5 feet of you & shut your yapper!

 

New York

Less than a year ago they wanted A-Rods head on a spike in the Bronx. Now it’s all Happy Birthdays and rainbows.

 

Ok, you do have the right to be genuine Yankee fans unlike 85% of Yankee hat wearers. Hearing New Yorkers belly aching about sports is like hearing your rich friend complain about their BMW.  You live in an overwhelming metropolis – find something better to complain about than Carmelo, Gino Smith/Eli Manning & ARod. I’m walking here!

 

Los Angeles

Lakers fans.

 

Similar to NYC fans, but worse because of general vanity & lack of self awareness; not to mention the entitled mentality all fans of big market teams are stricken with. Lakers fans are the hardest to stomach, directly followed by Trojan Fans or Dodger fans* who will beat the living shit out of you then fair-weather Kings fans. What a cross section of fair-weather & spoiled.

*non-violent Dodger fans are legit though

 

Ohio

I hope these drunks aren’t driving after the game.

 

Ohio State fans, the ones who are so enthusiastic/spirited/aggressive/loud – it makes you love U of M even if you have no rooting interest whatsoever. Cleveland fans who burned their Lebron James jerseys & welcomed him back with open arms. Bengals fans when they’re a fringe playoff team. They are the best of the worst, only because they’re consummate losers/silver medalists, but Ohio State fans are the worst braggarts about their success. These fans are those kids who get trophies despite losing.

 

Portland

Fair weather as fuck in a city with pretty fair weather. And I’ll never get behind a team that does this:

Recycle

 


Is Kobe to Blame for the Lakers’ Struggles in Free Agency?

Written by :
Published on : July 23, 2015

The walk leading up to the Staples Center in Los Angeles allows you the opportunity to walk alongside some Laker legends in Magic Johnson, Jerry West, announcer Chick Hearn and soon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as his statue is in the works. One day, no doubt there will be another statue added to this illustrious list, the statue of Kobe Bryant.

Magic_statue_-_Staples_Center

 A Lakers Legend

Since first donning the purple and gold in 1996 via a trade with the Charlotte Hornets, Kobe has dominated the sport and put himself up there with the greatest players to ever play the game, and in fact maybe even surpassed some of them. Yes, a debate could be made that Kobe Bryant is the greatest player of all time. A five time NBA Champion, twice a Finals MVP, 17 All Star Game appearances, the list goes on and on. A career full of accomplishments, a trophy case that perhaps needs its own wing in his Orange County home, but these past couple years, Laker fans have seen him in a suit more than they’ve seen him suit up.

Two consecutive season-ending injuries have limited Kobe to just 41 games over the past two years, both injuries causing Laker fans to wonder how much, if anything, Kobe has left. And of course, who takes over the reins when Kobe departs?

Trying to find a player equal to Kobe’s greatness of course will be quite a difficult feat, however you’d think the line of suitors willing to try  would run all the way down to Rodeo Drive. I mean who wouldn’t want to be a Laker? The gorgeous Los Angeles weather and landscape, the nightlife, the women, not to mention the team’s history; 16 championships, 31 conference titles, 9 retired jerseys hanging in the rafters every night. Simply put while Las Vegas is the city of sin, Los Angeles just may be the city of wins.


Kobe the teammate

Los Angeles, and the Lakers themselves have everything to offer, but wait there’s more. One more pitch to all the free agents these past few years: You get to play alongside Kobe Bryant. Here’s a pen…click…sign on the dotted line right here.

The paperwork gets slid across the table with as much confidence as Ice Cube playing Dominos in the movie Boys in the Hood…Click…No signature.

Mitch Kupchak and the Buss family let another star free agent leave LAX without a contract, but why?

At first glance, Kobe Bryant’s $24 million a year contract presents a huge hiccup in free agency, and perhaps may have been the case in recent years too. However, this current off-season, the Lakers freed up approximately $30 million and still struck out. As Laker fans watched Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Greg Monroe amongst other targets, all sign elsewhere this summer, one cannot help but wonder if players just don’t want to play with Kobe Bryant.

Now the idea that a star player may have a bit of an ego, or that they might find it somewhat difficult to share the limelight is of course nothing new. Take Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, or LeBron James, none have been too bashful to let us know where they felt they stood amongst the competition. Kobe is no different, after all, we’ve all seen him counting on one hand up to five to remind all the haters how many rings he has.

In an article in ESPN the Magazine from 2014, Henry Abbott writes that Kobe Bryant has sabotaged free agency negotiations with multiple big-name players since 2011 according to sources. Examples including Kobe wearing gym clothes to a meeting and lecturing Dwight Howard while the team tried to re-sign him, missing a team meeting with Carmelo Anthony in 2014 because he took a vacation to Europe instead, refusing to call Steve Nash to talk about playing together because he felt Nash should be the one to call him, and even Paul George saying he felt like “Bryant would police his efforts.”

In the same article, a source close to the Laker’s said, “He wants to win. But only as long as he’s the reason we’re winning, as long as the performance is not affecting his numbers. No one works harder than Kobe, and no one sabotages his own efforts more.” Jordan Hill, who played the last three seasons with Kobe in Los Angeles, was a target to be re-signed once the pitches to Aldridge, Love and Monroe fell through, he however signed elsewhere and when asked to describe playing with Kobe Bryant, he described it as “loud” recalling that all you could hear was Kobe’s mouth during both practice and games, and that many players don’t want to deal with that.


 

For Kobe Bryant, this upcoming season will more than likely be his last, and his legacy will be a tough one to beat. He is undoubtedly one of the all the time greats, and has all of the accolades to prove it. There will one day be a statue of Kobe Bryant constructed after Kobe says his goodbyes, his jersey will be lifted to the rafters, hell maybe both his #8 and #24 jerseys. All of which will be well deserved, however, it will be interesting to see after the Kobe era has ended, if the big name free agents return to the Lakers just like they always had in the past. In the meantime, the main reason Kobe Bryant isn’t counting six championships on his fingers just may be because of himself.

 

 


How I Became a Kings Fan and Fell in Love With The NHL

Written by :
Published on : July 17, 2015

My earliest memories of sports were that they were boring. As a first generation Honduran/Salvadorian American my initial exposure to sports was soccer on TV. I never understood the matches and found them to be excruciatingly long. They would enslave my biological father to the tube so my weekend afternoons had me wishing I were out somewhere having fun like the rest of the kids.

Unfortunately my father was not an adequate one, so my indifference to the sport was because I associated soccer with my negative feelings toward him. Can you say damaged? I’ve worked all that out in therapy. El futbol , soccer, or football for my Europeans out there is fine by me, but my true love in the sports world does not involve a field of grass.

The road to find my love in pro sports took 18 years. Throughout the years I dabbled in the sports world because I wanted to feel the rush, energy, love, and passion of being a fan. That hometown pride. I dabbled in the NBA by cheering for the Lakers in their 1999-2000 season when they beat Reggie Miller and the Pacers to break a 12-year championship drought. It was so exhilarating to feel a sense of dominance and accomplishment for my hometown of Los Angeles.

I remember how charismatic that roster was with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Robert Horry, Rick Fox (he was and still is so beautiful), and Derek Fisher on the team. They were truly sensational to watch; however, I did not feel an immense love for the Lakers. Not even after the three-peat Championship era that followed. I felt like I liked it but it was not love.  I followed basketball throughout junior high and high school and although it was not my true love I recognize that the game continued every single season uninterrupted.  Conversely, the disruption of another major sport lead me to my soul’s true counterpart in pro sports.

Following the 2004-05 lockout, the Staples Center gave away tickets to for an exhibition game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim before the 2005-’06 season officially started. Live games were something I was not used to, so this was not only a new sport to delve into, but a whole new experience altogether. The sight of the ice as we entered the Staples Center was electrifying, plus the cool breeze from it gave a higher sense of realness to the game. It was also a culture shock considering there isn’t much of a use for a jacket in September. But there I was September 17, 2005 seated up in the nosebleeds, letting the speed, adrenaline, and aggression of the hockey world bewilder me. I had no idea what the rules were, names of players, and even up to now that first game is blur in my mind—I only remember the important parts: the fights and that the Kings won which was perfect because by default they were my team. I was a newborn L.A. Kings fan.

I began watching Kings games on TV but also watched other NHL teams to continue absorbing hockey. My next live game was January 19, 2006, which had the Kings playing the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets) in the Staples Center. By then I knew my roster, positions, penalties, and Kings history so I walked in a more confident fan. Additionally, I knew that Luc Robitaille was the highest scoring left winger in the game.  He was just a few goals shy of breaking the record for most goals scored by a Kings player. I found myself up in the nosebleeds admiring Marcel Dionne’s retired jersey. I remember wondering if this night would have me witnessing the history of Robitaille breaking his franchise record of 550 goals. And the moment came. I was there to witness the 551st goal ever scored by our alternate captain, Luc Robitaille. Out of excitement I hugged my hockey comrade who showed up to the game with me, high fived random people in the crowd, and felt a rush of momentum and energy from the venue. Before that I thought hockey was very cool, but after witnessing this moment I was hooked.  At the end of the ’05-’06 season I did something I never did with the NBA—I kept up with post-season signings, trades, and other league news. I realized that not only do I love this team, but I love the sport. I wanted to know as much as I could about the NHL.

 


To this day I am a proud Kings fan. Six years passed before I saw the Kings hoist the greatest trophy in all of sports, Lord Stanley’s Cup. In total I have been with this organization for 10 years and have seen 3 coaches, 3 captains, and 2 Stanley Cups. I love that the first hockey team in California was set in Los Angeles and that Kings were the first to win the Stanley Cup twice in this state. We have no real winters so the fact that hockey has thrived in California with the Kings greatly speaks of the impact and lure of the sport. The Great One’s era with the team is another of the many highlights in Kings history. With all this pride for my home team it’s funny that I found sports boring once upon a time, because now it’s me who is enslaved to the tube watching a game.


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