October 29, 2013
The 2013-14 NBA season begins tonight when the Pacers host the Magic, the Bulls visit the Heat and the Lakers and Clippers battle for bragging rights in LA. Will Miami win a third straight title? Can Derrick Rose return to being Derrick Rose? How many teams will be tanking for a better spot in next summer’s draft? I’m going with NO, YES, and 7. What else might happen?
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will get the most attention…but not for their play on the court. We won’t get to celebrate Christmas without first hearing a constant barrage of trade rumors and free agency speculation surrounding them both.
Dwight Howard will feel left out and mention to reporters that he’s not sure he should have picked Houston. He goes on to say that James Harden’s beard is a distraction for the team and tells Jeremy Lin to feed him the ball more often.
Jason Collins will eventually be picked up. A Tebow style circus will follow that team for the rest of the year.
On more than one occasion, Michael Jordan will say that he’s still good enough to start for the Bobcats. After checking the standings in the Southeast division, nobody will argue with him.
With their eye on the first pick in the draft, the Philadelphia 76ers coaching staff asks everyone on the roster to do the same saying that they will be unguardable by 2015 if they make the change now.
Kobe Bryant makes his season debut on Christmas when the Lakers host LeBron James and the Miami Heat. He will help the Lakers win games, but won’t be the superstar we are used to seeing until the regular season is nearly over.
David Stern will once again fine Mark Cuban. But this time it will be for flopping after Cuban drops to the ground (on the sidelines) in disbelief of a foul call that costs his Mavericks a win.
The NBA will announce drastic changes to the All-Star Weekend. This will be the final season of the slam dunk contest.
The media will tell us that Kevin Durant and Dwayne Wade have an intense rivalry over Durant’s comments that James Harden is better than Dwayne Wade. It will never play out on the court. The same can’t be said for Miami and Brooklyn. Those games will be heated and lead to the suspensions of multiple players.
Divison winners: Atlantic-Brooklyn Nets, Central-Chicago Bulls, Southeast-Miami Heat, Pacific-Golden State Warriors, Southwest-Houston Rockets, Northwest-Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant wins his first MVP award.
Oklahoma City wins the NBA title.
July 31, 2013
We all know about the Aaron Hernandez situation, Dwight Howard taking his talents to Houston and Ryan Braun getting suspended, but that’s not all the crazy stuff that happened in July. In case you actually have a life, here are a few stories that you may have missed.
Longtime New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur actually got to draft his son Anthony Brodeur for the Devils during the NHL draft.
During last week’s RBC Canadian Open, Hunter Mahan withdrew from the tournament to attend the birth of his first child. Mahan was leading the tournament and didn’t pull out until just before he was supposed to begin his third round, leaving his playing partner John Merrick playing in the final group by himself.
Not only did the Cincinnati Reds play a game in San Francisco as the home team, but during one of the four-game series between the teams, the Giants grounds crew had a bit of trouble lining up the batter’s box. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding a photo of the screw up online.
When former Florida State offensive lineman Menelik Watson received his championship ring for the team’s win over Georgia Tech in the ACC title game, he was the only Seminoles player that got a ring that reads “2012 SEC Champions.” The rest of the team got rings with the correct conference inscribed on them.
The NCAA claimed that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo committed an NCAA violation when he tweeted “Welcome to the family” to a Class of 2015 wide receiver who recently committed to the University of Michigan.
“Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen fired one of the worst first pitches I have ever seen. Video of that won’t be hard to find either.
A linebacker at the University of Florida was arrested for sticking his head in a police car and barking at a police dog.
One Cleveland Indians fan pulled off an incredible feat, catching four foul balls in the same game…the odds of which are about one in one trillion.
Another fan in Cleveland wasn’t so lucky. When Scott Entsminger passed away earlier this month, this ended up in his obituary…”A lifelong Cleveland Browns fan and season ticket holder, he also wrote a song each year and sent it to the Cleveland Browns as well as offering other advice on how to run the team. He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time.”
A battle royal erupted between two former Thai Olympic teammates during a doubles badminton match. They started trash-talking before the match even started and things continued to escalate until they fought from one end of the arena to the other. Both players received a black card.
And in the wildest story of the month former NBA player Baron Davis (the guy with the huge beard before James Harden) said that he was abducted by aliens while on a drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles during a podcast interview. I’m not even going to go there on this one.
I can’t wait to see what happens in August as the NFL season approaches, and the baseball playoff races heat up.
July 30, 2013
Alfonso Soriano returns to Yankees: In desperate need of offense with so many injuries to key players, the New York Yankees turned to a familiar face, trading for outfielder Alfonso Soriano. Soriano began his career in New York as a second baseman before later playing for the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, and most recently, the Chicago Cubs. The outfielder is past his prime, but a recent hot streak was proof that he can still provide a surge of power. After hitting only nine home runs in the first three months of the season, Soriano has hit nearly that many already in July with eight this month heading into this past weekend.
Jeremy Maclin out for year: NFL training camps are underway and that can only mean one thing – injuries won’t be far behind. The biggest casualty thus far may be the Eagles’ young wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin, who is out for the season after tearing an ACL in a practice. With perhaps their best wideout injured, Philadelphia’s season gets off to a rocky start. The team still has DeSean Jackson at receiver, but Maclin’s loss gives rookie head coach Chip Kelly less to work with on offense – his area of expertise.
Jaromir Jagr signs with New Jersey Devils: Even at 41, Jaromir Jagr isn’t ready to hang up his skates. After playing for the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars last year, the winger has signed a one-year $2 million deal with the New Jersey Devils. Jagr isn’t the player he once was, but still has a little left in the tank after scoring 35 points (including 16 goals in 45 games this past season). Plus, with Ilya Kovalchuk leaving New Jersey to play in Russia, the team was in desperate need of scoring. Jagr ranks eighth all-time among NHL players in scoring and his 681 career goals are good for tenth overall.
Lebron > Kobe in ESPN poll: When it comes to the most popular player in the NBA, LeBron James passed up Kobe Bryant for the first time in a few years according to an ESPN poll. Bryant had beaten out James the past few seasons, but after his second consecutive title, James overtook him last week. Really, it’s just proof that time heals all wounds. Immediately after the much-scrutinized “Decision” broadcast where James announced his intention to leave Cleveland for Miami, he took a huge publicity hit and was even viewed as a villain by many. But after a few years with the Heat and winning a couple of rings, liking LeBron is once again okay.
101 Russian women set a skydiving record: Yeah, I’m not even going to try to add anything to this. Feel free to watch for yourself.
Matt Garza pickup costly for Rangers: Matt Garza may not quite be a household name, but the pitcher could be the best starter that gets dealt before baseball’s trade deadline this season. At 7-1 with a 2.87 ERA, Garza is having a career year and was heavily desired by contenders before he was traded to the Texas Rangers by the Cubs. Garza didn’t come cheap, however. He cost Texas two of their top prospects entering this season, pitcher Justin Grimm and first baseman Mike Olt. Both have struggled to a degree this season, but Grimm has seven wins with the major league team while Olt has 12 home runs in the minors. The trade also cost the Rangers C.J. Edwards, a flamethrower who has dominated Rookie League and Class A in the minors the past two seasons. Also, keep in mind that Garza could only be a rental player as he’s due to become a free agent after this year. All things considered, the Rangers need to not only make the playoffs, but maybe even reach a World Series for this trade to come out in their favor.
Tim Hudson injury hurts Braves: Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson suffered a devastating injury last week when his ankle was broken by the Mets’ Eric Young, Jr. in a collision at first base. The injury was a big one as the veteran will miss the rest of the season. That hurts Atlanta’s playoff chances at least a bit and the team is already looking around for a potential trade. The Braves hold a comfortable lead in the NL East, but should the team hold on for a playoff spot, Hudson’s veteran presence will be sorely missed in the postseason.
Matt Harvey likely to end season early: Similar to what the Washington Nationals did with prized young pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the New York Mets are planning to keep Matt Harvey on a limit for the rest of the year. Mets manager Terry Collins has said Harvey has about ten more starts left instead of the 13 or so he may reach if he continued to pitch every fifth day. While similar to Strasburg’s situation, though, it’s a bit different considering the Mets aren’t likely to be in the playoffs as the Nats were. One thing that will be interesting, though, is to see if the loss in starts costs Harvey when it comes to the Cy Young voting.
July 10, 2013
If you believe in the hype (or lack thereof) then you are probably expecting this year’s NBA Draft to just produce a list of draft losers because there are no great players in this draft. I’m thinking we should wait a couple years before deciding what really happened on draft night. Let’s go back in time and evaluate the 2010 NBA Draft.
The Wizards did what you have to do when you are picking first in the draft…add somebody that you can build around for the next decade. They did that with John Wall. When he’s healthy, Wall has been a very good point guard for the Wizards. For his career he’s putting up 17 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds a night. Now he needs some help.
Indiana’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2013 would not have happened without the players it picked up in the 2010 draft. It’s beginning to look as through the No. 10 pick, Paul George, will be the best player in this draft class. He became a star in the series against the Miami Heat (a series that Indiana would have won if it hadn’t blown a Game 1 lead) and should just get better. The Pacers also picked up Lance Stephenson with the No. 40 pick. He has enormous potential and has improved each season in Indiana.
Utah Jazz – Gordon Hayward
Boston Celtics – Avery Bradley
To be determined: Eric Bledsoe was drafted by the Thunder and traded to the Clippers and now traded to the Suns. Everyone thinks he’s a star but didn’t get much playing time behind Chris Paul. The Thunder could have used him in the playoffs when Russell Westbrook got hurt so does that mean they are a draft night loser? The Clippers picked up a couple pieces that could be vital to a deep playoff run when he was traded to Phoenix so does that mean they are a draft winner? Or maybe he doesn’t live up to the potential. I guess we’ll see.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers started off the night by firing the general manager an hour before the draft. Probably not the best timing. He hung around to work the draft and picked Elliot Williams and Armon Johnson. If you don’t know who they are, you’re not alone.
Yep. Minnesota is on the list again. Another year…another high draft pick that doesn’t make an impact in Minnesota. This time it’s Wesley Johnson at No. 4.
These teams make the list because they were in the running for LeBron James and didn’t get him. It probably wouldn’t have mattered what these teams did on draft night when you consider that Miami didn’t do much either, but the last couple years would have been much different in these cities if they were the chosen destination for James’ talents.
Charlotte Bobcats – No picks
Cleveland Cavaliers – No picks
Denver Nuggets – No picks
July 2, 2013
Another month has come and gone so as we are getting ready to celebrate Independence Day, let’s see what crazy stuff has happened in the sports world in the last month.
The No. 1 football prospect in the class of 2014 claimed that while he was being recruited, one coach promised him that he could meet Michael Jackson.
The NBA’s most prized free agent lost a free throw shooting contest to a sports writer’s daughter.
Jessica Korda fired her caddie after nine holes of a round in the Women’s U.S. Open and replaced him with her boyfriend.
Tiger Woods shot the worst nine holes of his career with a 44 during the third round at Muirfield.
Cleveland Indians shortstop Mike Aviles was ejected by the home plate umpire after the game had already ended.
Speaking of Tiger Woods, his girlfriend, Lindsay Vonn who is an Olympic skier had to take a mandatory drug test while at a fashion awards gala.
Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson was sentenced to 30 days in jail after slapping his lawyer on the butt during the court proceedings.
A Chicago Blackhawks fan decided to grow a “playoff lawn” instead of the commonly grown “playoff beard” and put up signs saying he wasn’t mowing the lawn until the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. But the city paid someone to mow his lawn before the NHL playoffs came to an end.
“College” was spelled wrong (Colllege) at the NCAA College World Series.
A girl in New Hampshire was crowned state champion in tennis after her opponent quit because of the abuse she was taking from the crowd during the championship match.
During a PGA tournament Carl Pettersson’s ball was hit by another player’s ball while he was in the middle of his swing.
Merion, the course the hosted the men’s U.S. Open used a wicker basket on top of the pins instead of a flag.
Tiger Woods shot a 293 at the U.S. Open. It was his worst 72-hole score at a major championship as a professional.
Jeff Baker of the Texas Rangers was placed on the disabled list after suffering a sprained thumb as a result of what he called “an over-exuberant high-five” from an unnamed teammate.
More to come in July I’m sure.