NBA Opening Night: A night of celebration and a crushing injury

NBA Opening Night was supposed to be a celebration of champions, personal rivalries, new faces in new places, and new teammates teaming together. The NBA was coming off one of the most exciting offseason in reason memory. Seven All-stars switched teams during the offseason. On opening night, we were treated to Lebron vs Kyrie as opponents for the first time. The Warriors vs Rockets in a protentional WCF preview.

In the midst of all the excitement and celebration, was sorry and grief; as Celtics forward Gordon Hayward fractured his left ankle five minutes into the first game of the season. Hayward went up for an alley-oop and landed awkwardly on his left ankle. It was one of the most gruesome injuries imaginable and was reminiscent to the Paul George injury at the Olympics.  The whole NBA and basketball world mourned a devastating injury to one of the most likable players in the NBA.

The Celtics would battle back as they always do and the game came down to the wire, with Kyrie Irving missing a game tying three with Lebron guarding him. Seriously, can you script it any better? Lebron and Kyrie would dap it up after the sound of the final buzzer. Kyrie and his former teammates would also embrace after the game.

Not to be outdone, the Warriors and Rockets gave us a thrilling one point game, that saw a KD game- winning shot waived off as the ball was still in his hands as the time expired. Harden and CP3 combined for 21 assists.

Two games in and were already treated to thrilling basketball. Both games however were overshadowed by the Hayward injury. Hayward is more likely than not done for the season. He has a grueling recovery ahead, but our thoughts and prayers are with him.

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The Baby Bombers have arrived. How the Yankees shocked the world and advanced to the ALCS?

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but somebody forgot to tell the Yankees that. All season long they defied expectations and now there four wins away from the World Series. The Baby Bombers led by Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, bashed their ways to the playoffs and now World Series # 28 is a realistic possibility. Aaron Judge historic first half of the season completely changed the Yankees season and plans. They traded for Todd Frazier, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Sonny Gray at the trade deadline and secured the top wild card spot in the AL.

Come into this Series against the Cleveland Indians, the Yankees were the overwhelming underdog. The Indians won 102 games and an AL record 22 straight victories. They were coming off a game 7 World Series lost to the Cubs, and had their sights set on finishing the job this season. Once again, someone forgot to tell the Yankees they weren’t supposed to win.

The Yankees fell behind 0-2 in this series and most people declared it over. Joe Giradi was criticized and ostracized for his inexplicable decision to not challenge a hit-by-pitch call, that led to a Grand Slam by Francisco Lindor, a blown 8-3 lead, and a 9-8 loss in extra innings. The Yankees would recover and go on to win 3 straight games to advance to the ALCS. Didi Gregorious cemented his postseason legacy with two home runs off of Corey Kluber. The Yankees would tack on 3 more runs in the 9th, before Chapman closed it out.

Now the Yankees go on to Houston to face another team that won 100 games and has World Series aspirations. The Astros have never been to the World Series, but they have a young core led by Carlos Correra, Jose Altuve, and Dallas Keuchel. They also have veterans Justin Verlander and Carlos Beltran. This team hits for power and have dynamic 1-2 punch with Verlander and Keuchel. AL MVP candidates Altuve and Judge square off.

As we learned this season, never count the Yankees out. This is October baseball and the Yankees are expected to perform on the big stage.

Bribery and corruption operation the new norm in college sports

Welcome to college sports, where if you’re cheating you’re not trying. The NCAA has established a culture of corruption, sex scandals, bribery, and academic fraud that is damaging the college sports landscape. Honor, integrity and accountability is certainly missing in college sports these days. This win at all cost mentality overrules sportsmanship, fair play, and following the rules. Power house schools like UNC, Louisville, Syracuse, Baylor, and several other universities have been hit with sanitations in the past few years due to fraud, players academically ineligible to play, but still be allowed to play, sexual miscount and harassments. This culture of cheating has become the new norm in college sports.

The FBI uncovered a bribery and corruption operation that involved coaches, basketball agents, financial advisers, and shoe company executives, steering and bribing student athletes to commit to certain schools, and sign with certain advisers and managers. Managers and advisors would bribe college coaches with money, who would then put pressure on the athletes and their family to sign with that advisor or apparel company. This FBI investigation has been ongoing for the last three years.

Four assistant coaches (Lamont Evans) Oklahoma State, (Emanuel Richardson) Arizona, (Chuck Person) Auburn, and (Tony Bland) Southern California were all fired, as well as employees for Adidas and ASM. Louisville HC Rick Pitino and AD Tom Jurich were both fired after Louisville was identified as University 6 in the finding. In total 10 people were charged yesterday and this could only be the beginning. “All of those charged today contributed to a pay to play culture that has no business in college basketball.” Bill Sweeney

Although this is classified as breaking news, it really isn’t that groundbreaking when you considering what has been going in college sports the past few years. Cheating has almost become synonymous with college sports. Don’t get me wrong there are still clean college sports program, who abide by the rules, but it’s enough scandals going on that make you question everything. Just like the steroid era in baseball which set a bad precedent for every athlete playing in that era.

The NCAA is in drastic need of culture shook and until that happens this won’t be the last scandal that you here about. The NCAA has a huge mess on it hands and it time to start cleaning up.

Sources: http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/20824193/ncaa-basketball-coaches-10-charged-fraud-corruption

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/

 

 

How the NFL and the Sport World became united and unified because of number 45?

So much has been written about the NFL and player protest over the past few years. At times it seems like the NFL was split down the middle about whether it was appropriate or not.

Yesterday, a powerful movement took place in the NFL. Yesterday we saw a sign of solidarity and unity from players, coaches, and owners. They all stood together as a unit and said NO to racism and bigotry in this country. Teams like the Steelers, Seahawks and Titians stayed in the locker room during the National anthem. Players, coaches and owners locked arms, kneeled down and raised fist together. This was the first time the entire NFL stood together as one since Colin Kaepernick began his movement last season.

This movement begin with Colin Kaepernick taking a knee last season to protest police brutality and racial injustice against African Americans in this country. Kaepernick was met with criticism and praise from all corners of the world. He still remains unsigned in large part because of his protest. No criticism rung louder than Donald Trump who said “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired.” This was a direct shot at Colin Kaepernick who has criticized Trump in the past and continues to do.

Those comments were offensive and way over the line coming from “The Commander in Chief.” Remember this is the same man who called the Nazis and white supremacist in Charlottesville “very fine people.”

Although, Kaepernick still remains unsigned his voice and movement continues to live on. Even if it was only just for one day the NFL showed that it had Colin Kaepernick’s back. The ironic of Trump trying to divide America is that he is actually uniting America through a common dislike of him. In the words of the great Martin Luther King Jr, “Hate cannot drive out hate only love can do. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.”

This showing of solidarity and unity across the NFL was the first step in the right direction, but it can’t end here. We have to be consistent and continue to put pressure on those who support racism and division in this county.

Other athletes like LeBron, Curry, and the entire Golden State Warriors also spoke out of there displeasure with Trump and racist rhetoric. LeBron had the strongest comment of all calling Trump “a bum and saying going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up.”

Trump of course withdrew the White House invitation to the Warriors, after Curry said that he we vote no on going to the White House to celebrate there championship. Most of the Warriors already said they wouldn’t attend, but wanted to vote on it as a team.

This weekend, the sports world made there voices heard loud and clear. There is no place for racism in this country and we won’t tolerate it any longer. This fight is ours and our voice will be heard.

 

Why Kyrie Irving isn’t wrong for wanting to be the man?

Now that the Kyrie Irving trade to Boston is official we can begin to dissect it a little more. When news of Irving’s trade request went public there was opinions from all sides. Some people criticize his trade request, while others approved of it. Why would he want to leave LeBron and a championship contending team? Is he ready to lead a team on his own? He wants to be the man and he’s taking after Kobe.

The Kyrie Irving trade comes down to one important thing; a player’s happiness. Basketball players are humans with emotions. Sometimes that gets lost in the midst of the all money, personalities, championship and individual goals. The same way regular people aspire to be happy in life, athletes in sports do the same. Being in an environment where you’re happy is just as important as winning. Winning doesn’t always mean your happy.

As long as Kyrie remained in Cleveland he was always going to be in the shadow of LeBron James. That’s what happens when your play with a once in a generation type talent. Players like LeBron make the game easier for others, but it’s not always easy playing with them. Irving is an alpha male along the lines of Kobe, Jordan, and of course LeBron. Every level of his basketball career, he’s always been the man. To give that spotlight and attention up even for a player of LeBron James caliber is hard.

This trade isn’t as personal as the media made it out to be. I know LeBron vs Kyrie is a storyline that rights itself, but this was more so about a young player taking charge of his own future. It’s no different than a person deciding there done working for others and want to be there own boss.

Ultimately, Kyrie Irving made the best decision for his career and basketball future. Was it the right move? Was it the smart move? Only time will tell, but Irving is a Celtic for better or worse. Opening night, Cavs vs Celtics just got a whole lot better.

The Money Fight between McGregor and Mayweather was on the money

The Money Fight between McGregor and Mayweather delivered on all levels. It was a spectacle between two of the best fighters in there respective sports. It was fantasy warfare between MMA’s best vs boxing’s best.

Of course the question coming into this fight, was whether McGregor could actually hang in the ring with Mayweather. Could he take a punch and still keep fighting? For the first three rounds McGregor took the fight right to Mayweather. He was the more aggressive fighter. It took Mayweather a while to actually figure out McGregor. His awkward stance caught Mayweather off guard several times in the fight.

As the fight went on the tides eventually turned in favor of Mayweather. He wore McGregor down in rounds 5-9, and we saw something from Mayweather we hadn’t seen in a while. Him actually going for the knockout. Mayweather would win this fight in the 10th round by TKO, but not before McGregor gave Mayweather one of the most entertaining fights of his career.

He actually landed more shots in 10 rounds against Mayweather than Pacquaio did in 12 rounds. Both men proved last night why there’s so much hype surrounding them.

Mayweather retires a perfect 50-0 and gets to ride off into the sunset. McGregor gets the biggest pay day of his life and respect all across the board. Both men walked away winners last night in an entertaining fight for the ages.

Changing of the Guards. Everybody wins in the Boston/Cleveland trade.

Changing of the Guards. Everybody wins in the Boston/Cleveland trade.

Kyrie Irving has a new home. The Celtics finally have the star they have been craving. The Cavs and Celtics agreed to deal sending Kyrie to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Nets 2018 first round pick. Is this trade a win-win for both teams?

For the Cavaliers this trade is a steal. You got a quality PG in Thomas whose game is similar to Kyrie, a solid defender in Jae Crowder and the biggest piece being the Nets 2018 first round pick. This is the type of package that Cleveland was aiming for when Kyrie first announced he wanted to be traded. For rookie Cavs GM Koby Altman this was perfectly executed.

For the Celtics they finally get the star player they have been craving. The Celtics signed Gordon Hayward this offseason and are coming off an Eastern Conference Finals appearance against those Cavs and the number 1 overall seed in the East. Another win for the Celtics is that they got to keep fourth overall pick Jayson Tatum.

Very rarely in the NBA do blockbuster trades work out for both sides. Even more rare when two of the top teams in the NBA do business with each other. Ultimately both teams got what they need. The Cavs got the exact package they was looking for and the Celtics got the star play they’ve always wanted. Never doubt Danny Ainge. He always has a plan up his sleeve.

Time will tell which team got the better end of the deal. We don’t have to wait to long because the Cavs and Celtics meet on opening night of the new NBA season. It’s about to go down.

Somewhere in the basketball universe, the Golden State Warriors are unfazed about this trade.