Thursday, February 24, 2011
Like last year, this NBA season's narrative has been where are the free agents going. Last season Lebron, this year it's Carmelo Anthony. Well the move has been made, Melo's in New York. But it hasn't stopped there, teams have begun to shuffle a list of stars. Under the radar, arguably the best point guard in basketball has just been moved to New Jersey. Deron Williams, told Utah he didn't plan on resigning with them and Utah opted to trade him now, instead of waiting for next years inevitable depature. In the beginning of the season, the powers of the east were thought to be Boston, Miami, and Orlando and exactly in that order. Then the Magic made an early season trade they felt would place them in serious conference contention. They may have solved a few problems offensively but they created major issues defensively and inconsistent low post (other than Dwight) scoring. Orlando fans are in an uproar calling for elite players around the league, but everyone is ignoring the elephant in the room. NOBODY WANTS TO PLAY WITH DWIGHT.Carmelo never mentioned it, Chris Paul wants to be in New York, and Lebron never said it was a possibility. Why wouldn't any stars want to be in Orlando with Dwight Howard? That's simple, Dwight's a dominate bi
g man who can't finish. When the Knicks went down the stretch in the playoff, they went to Patrick Ewing. The Houston Rockets went to Hakeem Olajuwon. The Lakers went to Shaq. Bigs need to finish games. Dwight Howard also can't create his own shot. The best Bigs in the league all can create their own shots. The Celtics exposed this defect in Howard's game when the defended him with one guy, even single defended by much shorter Glen Davis. Lastly, Dwight needs a signature move. Kareem had the "Sky Hook,"
Friday, February 18, 2011
The Lakers have been struggling during the past few weeks. The media and Celtics fans think that the Lake Show has been canceled this season. The Lakers are a veteran squad who has hit the coast button on their season. Is our memories as fans that short, that we forget the Celtics won just enough games last year to ensure a playoff spot, only to completely embarrass the Eastern conference by easily playing their way into the NBA Finals. Well, the Lakers are on pace to win 57 games, yes, the same as they won last year. Oh yeah, that’s right, they just happen to be back to back NBA Finals Champs. Are the Lakers in trouble? Child Please!
Cam Newton… I heard a draft analyst say, accuracy and football intelligence are the most important qualities at the QB position. Then he stated, “Blaine Gabbert’s passing percentage wasn’t that good.” He also said, “Gabbert’s a better prospect than Newton.” Also it was said that Newton has the potential to be a bust. Cam and every other 1st round draft pick have “bust” potential. My favorite excuse is that Auburn’s system doesn’t translate to the NFL. Almost every college in the NCAA is running the spread offense; very few offenses run a pro-style, easily translatable offense. Cam Newton has been the best player in football at every level he has played in, but that just isn’t enough for some in the media. Child Please! By the way, who is Blaine Gabbert?
The NFL is filing suit against the NFLPA (Players Union) because the players plan to decertify and file suit against the NFL for antitrust violations, if a March 3 new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) isn’t met. “The league's filing says the union "consistently has failed to confer in good faith" during negotiations for a new contract and the union's "conduct amounts to surface bargaining and an anticipatory refusal to bargain." Sure owners, it’s all the players fault. Child Please!
Jimmer Friddete is getting a lot of love from the college basketball world as a frontrunner for the Naismith Player of the year award. They’re calling him unstoppable because he’s the leading scorer in college basketball. Jason Conley, Rueben Douglas, Keydren Clark, Reggie Williams, Stephen Curry, and Aubry Coleman, have all led the NCAA in scoring the last seven years. Problem is, we’ve only heard of Stephen Curry, and none of the other guys were ever even mentioned to be in the Naismith race during their scoring leading season. The Naismith always goes to a candidate that has the complete body of work. So, Nolan Smith of Duke is your clear cut winner. Fridette needs to prove that he can play against better competition, having only played one ranked team the entire year. Match that against Naismith hopeful UConn’s Kemba Walker, who has played 10 ranked teams, most of them being in his own conference, the Big East. So, Jimmer Fridette for the Naismith….. Child Please!
Charlie Sheen, actor in Two in a half men, went to visit the #2 ranked UCLA men’s baseball team last week. During his visit he addressed the team with words from the heart. He said, “Stay off crack, unless you can manage it socially. If you can manage it socially, then go for it, but not a lot of people can, you know?" You think Sheen should stay off the motivational speaking circuit for while? Child Please!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Black History month should be used remind us all of the many contributions Black Americans have made in the States and abroad. In the sports arena once given a chance, many Black Americans have proven, “if you can do it, I can do it.” We all know that Jackie Robinson was the 1st black player in Major League Baseball; however that’s where most of us stop. There were many firsts in the sports world so let’s name a few.
Before there could be a Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan or Lebron James, it first had to be Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, and Nat Clifton. In 1950 these three men were the first black players to be drafted, signed and play in the NBA . All of them struggled at times because of the racism. They were spit on, and couldn’t always sleep and eat at the same hotels as their teammates. They all had successful NBA careers but Lloyd went even further by also becoming the first black Detroit Piston head coach in 1971. Bill Russell had already become the first black head coach when he was a player-coach of the 1966 Boston Celtics. Bill Russell was also consistently thought of as one of the great basketball minds in the NBA. This was shown by him having not only won 9 NBA Finals as a player but also two more as a player-coach. A feat that has never and will never be duplicated.
Fritz Pollard and Bobby Marshall were the 1st black players in the AFL (NFL). They were followed by many more black players who began to dominate the league. What quickly ensued was a NFL team imposed “Blackout.” George Preston Marshall (Boston Braves/Washington Redskins) led the blackout which was the refusal to have black players on the team. All other teams followed and blacks weren’t allowed back until after World War II in 1946.
Althea Gibson was the first black person to compete in the world tennis tour. “She was the one to break "color barrier" and so sometimes she is referred as "the Jackie Robinson" of tennis.” Gibson was also the first black person to win a title at Wimbledon and the U.S Open. Althea Gibson was honored with the highest honor for a female athlete, Associated Press Female Athlete of the year. That same year she took retirement from tennis in 1958. She was a true trailblazer and athlete and took her talents to Golf and became the first black women to play on the LPGA Tour.
Robert Johnson founder of Black Entertainment Television became the first black owner of a NBA franchise. This was very significant and shows how important being a FIRST really is. He created a legacy; he eventually sold a stake of the team to NBA great Michael Jordan who eventually bought the majority stake from Johnson last year. This created the momentum needed and now Sean Carter (Jay-Z) and Cornell Hayes (Nelly) are also minority owners of the New Jersey Nets and Charlotte Bobcats.
Consequently being the first creates a road map for all of us to follow to ensure success. The few athletes fore mentioned have given us all reasons to dream and examples of accomplishment. These trailblazers have done this to show all of us, “Yes We Can.” So during this month of Black History think of the past and allow it to fuel your future.
When helping young men become Winners isn’t good enough…..
The “U” was created because of guys like him. The “U” broke on the national scene because of guys like him. The “U” brought talents like Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Sean Taylor, Willis McGhee, Jeremy Shockey and Clinton Portis because of him. Now the “U” has turned the page on an era, a period, and a time. Randy Shannon has been fired and the effects of this will be shown at The University of Miami the next twenty years. When Randy Shannon took over as head coach of the Hurricanes, they were thought of as a bunch of thugs around college football circles. It was hard to argue that point because players were constantly having off the field issues, not graduating, and even two players were killed. "We have suffered disappointments and tragedy off and on the field," Shalala said in a statement. "We can and will do better for our student-athletes and our community. We need a new start." Randy Shannon gave the Hurricanes that new start. He cleaned up the program and made Miami an academic program to be reckoned with in the highly academically regarded Atlantic Coast Conference. His players graduated and went on to be successful young men. Shannon was a disciplinarian and his players benefitted greatly because it kept them out of trouble off the field problems. "Randy Shannon is Miami," university president Donna Shalala famously said when he was hired. Indeed he was, having grew up in Miami’s inner city amongst the drugs and violence of the Scarface period. Shannon used football as a way to stay out of the drug lifestyle that engulfed most of the people around him and his neighborhood. Through football he was able to get an education and make a living through coaching. Shannon coached at Miami and was a huge reason why Miami was able to lock down what is garnered as the most fertile area of college football recruiting. Miami’s image may have been cleaned but during the process they lost their swagger. Shannon only went 28-22 without any conference or National titles. Now that Randy Shannon has been dismissed; Miami and new coach Al Golden are bailing water in a sinking ship. Miami is ranked 49th in recruiting according to scout.com. This is blasphemous to a program that is use to being in the top ten in recruiting, or at the worst, top twenty-five. Randy Shannon was able to easily walk into the homes of parents in his old neighborhoods and high schools and immediately gain their trust. Shannon was one of those student athletes, and a success story himself. He also gave ex-Hurricanes a chance to come back and obtain their degrees. Miami has lost the ability to do this through its head coach. This can be seen through their 49th place in recruiting, which spells out the loss of the most decorated recruiting area in college football. This was the key to the “U” winning ways. Howard Schnellenberger(credited with jump starting Miami football program) built Hurricane football by recruiting the area that now belongs to Florida and Florida State. What Randy Shannon measure to the University of Miami shouldn’t have been counted through wins and losses alone, but the weight of that decision will affect them for the next twenty years unless they can get another Shannon look alike back at the head.
The Super Bowl is over, and what do I do now. Let’s be honest right from the start, you weren’t a Green Bay fan anyway, you are really a Miami fan who’s afraid to admit it until draft day. At which point you’ll be disappointed again because they didn’t get a QB. Well, basketball is in full swing so the Magic fans should be excited. Of course excitement will only last until playoff time when being a four or five seed will get them sent home in the first round by a dangerous Atlanta team. Stick with winners; join Kobe and the Lakers as they win again. Well there is Tennis going on, but the Williams sisters won’t play two tournaments in a row. Their schedules are two filled with award shows, after parties and fashion gigs. Tennis just isn’t the same without these two blessed ladies on the court. Roger Federer has lost his #1 spot to Roger Nadel, and let’s face it we all want the dominate player to lose until he does and then we realize how cool his dominance really was and wish he had never lost. Wait a minute, the PGA tour is alive and well and Tiger’s back. But, ever since he was “punked” on all those news outlets he isn’t the same. What’s that? You say all that really happened? Reportedly, his now ex-wife has gotten a divorce settlement that’s in the range of $100-$500 million. Who in their right mind can “play” anything thing after owing that much money. Sorry fans, Tiger won’t be playing well until these endorsements payoff this huge bill he owes. Baseball, America’s past time is getting ready to go into spring training. Yes, the season just ended last week and were almost in baseball season again. The sad thing is I’ll have to find a new team finally. The Yankees reign as champs has finally come to an end. Track and Field has just started it’s indoor season and this is always fun. Fans can watch the whole meet on TV start to finish in less than an hour because the long distance races are shorter indoors. It’s never fun coming back from multiple commercials still watching the same event. Also, can’t wait for the Gay-Bolt rematch. Tyson Gay beat Usain Bolt in the summer of 2010 and sparks will fly every time these two enter a track. Without boxing being any good anymore, we must all turn to the new gladiator sport, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The UFC puts fighters in the ring with different fighting styles, whoever quits (taps out) or gets knocked out first, loses. Don’t worry this is year round with no off-season. After watching all this, football should be back with mini camps and training camps and life will be normal again. Then we can all yell in unison , the thing that joins us together as football fans, “Get from in front of my TV.”