Brilliant Idea from the NBA G League

The NBA has come up with an idea to combat the “one and done” mentality of the NCAA, using the G League, and it is solid. This is an idea that, given proper implementation with its nuances, will be beneficial for players, schools, and NBA teams.

In case you haven’t seen anything about this, yet, here is an in-depth article about the new plan for the G League, courtesy of ESPN. https://es.pn/2P9n29h

In short, for prospects determined to be elite talents that would go to school for no more than one year (John Wall, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum, etc.) the NBA developmental league, known as the G League, will offer them a one-year contract for $125k, known as the “professional path” plan. This will free them from the bonds of amateurism as outlined by the NCAA and will open them up to focus on the one thing they want to focus on: basketball.

This is a brilliant plan for the player. Think about it. You’re a blue chip, five-star recruit sitting at home. You just got done talking to John Calipari, Roy Williams, and Mike Krzyzewski about coming to play ball at their schools. You’re star-struck by who you talked to, but then it hits you: a good portion of your time will be spentin class. Not class about basketball. Not a genuine professionally experienced basketball person teaching you the ins and outs of the euro-step. No, someone teaching art history, or ethics, or, God forbid, biology. Is a mitochondria going to help you sink a three-point jumper with a hand in your face? Probably not.

So there you are, wondering about which professor is going to fail you (nobody at North Carolina, from what I hear), when you get another call. “Hey, I know basketball is in your blood. Would you like to focus your skill for a year, concentrate only on improving your draft stock and legally make $125,000.00 bucks in the process?” How can you say no?

Oh sure, the first argument out of the gate is about the exposure. Kentucky basketball is legendary and on national television, playing marquee schools like North Carolina. There are passionate fans whose lives revolve around whether their school wins or loses. You don’t want to be a part of that? I mean, if your ultimate goal is to be a top pick in the NBA draft, then this shouldn’t be a huge factor to you. What NBA general manager says “Well, John Smith wasn’t super popular amongst the fan base of State University, so he’s falling down the draft board?” None, I hope. At least no successful GM would. They’re looking for talent and if a player can fit into their scheme. None of that is derived from whether a fan from their college likes them. It comes from their personal development through practices and games.

Sure, the G League isn’t broadcast far and wide, but that may actually be a good thing. How many kids’ abilities are compromised because they did something silly in a game and that school’s rabid fan base then blows up social media with how that kid is now a joke of a player? I would think that the lesser known exposure of the G League would have a sort of charm to it for a blue chip prospect looking to make a career out of putting the ball through the net, because he can develop his game in relative peace.

Plus, the player can hire an agent, get a shoe deal, and do all that marketing stuff outside the game, because he isn’t bound by the NCAA’s silly rules regarding amateurism. That is a huge deal, in my opinion.

In my next post, I’m going to tell you why This is terrific for NBA Teams. Stay tuned, and stay classy.

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The Last Early Exit

Let me preface what I am about to write with this: I am no fan of Lebron. I respect him, and what he has accomplished, but I, admittedly, root against him. I tend toward the underdog, and Lebron has been the absolute opposite of that for most of his career.

That being said, he is the most phenomenal athlete I have witnessed since I began to comprehend sports. I mean, I watched MJ when I was a kid, but I can’t say I fully appreciated it like I can appreciate what Lebron does playoff game after playoff game.

When Lebron last missed the Finals, I was still in college and living in Kentucky. There have been a lot of posts centered around what life was like in 2010, so I won’t pile on here. I am more interested in what happened in the last elimination game that Lebron lost before the Finals.

Ok, the was rough…let’s look at May 13, 2010. The scene: TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The situation: Lebron and the Cavaliers trailed the Boston Celtics three games to two. Or, more specifically, the original super team, the Boston Big Three, were poised to head to the Eastern Conference Finals with Lebron’s back against the wall. Boston won 94 – 85.

No surprise, Lebron turned in a triple-double in an elimination game. At the time, it was the sixth playoff trip-dub of his career. He scored 27 points, nabbed 19 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists. Earning his 2nd MVP and leading Cleveland to home court advantage did not get him into the Finals…or even the Conference Finals. Remember the narrative that Lebron can’t win the big one? Yeah…that aged well.

Lebron was quoted after that game as saying, “A friend of mine told me, ‘I guess you’ve got to go through a lot of nightmares before you realize your dream.’ That’s what’s going on for me individually right now.”

Earlier this season, when Lebron passed MJ for career points scored, he made an Instagram post to child-Lebron congratulating him on what he would accomplish in his career. Maybe he should have just DMed 2010-Lebron to cheer himself up? At any rate, thats water under the bridge.

Back to May 13, 2010. Raise your hand if you remember the starting five of the Cavs back then? Yeah…me neither. Mo Williams (would have guessed), Lebron, Antwan Jamison (forgot about him), Anthony Parker (him too), and Shaq (might have, wouldn’t have, totally couldn’t have guessed him). Mo Williams was the second-leading scorer with 22 points, Shaq had 11, and no one else scored in double figures. In fact, Jamario Moon (who could forget him…), was the only Cleveland player who finished in the positive in the plus/minus stat column (+5).

An iconic piece of memorabilia from that series was a poster Celtics fans held up from the seats of Lebron. It was in the style of Barack Obama’s “Change” poster…except it was Lebron and it said “Nope.” Two straight years he led the Cavs to the number-one overall seed in the playoffs and two straight years they exited early.

As anyone will remember, though, Lebron took his talents to South Beach the following season and shook off the stigma of never making it to the big stage…because he’s been there ever since.

Tuesday Thoughts

Happy Tuesday! Got a handful of random thoughts on my mind that would take a lot of effort to make into full posts, but look great in a list!

1. Matt Harvey makes his Great American Ballpark debut. I do not have tickets (going to see Deadpool 2, again) but I will be watching. My expectations have been low since he became a Red and, so far, I’ve not been disappointed. As far as this night, in a vacuum, I want to see him get a quality start. Give the loyal Reds fans a six-inning outing with three runs allowed, maybe pepper in some strikeouts, and walk nobody. I don’t ask for much, I feel.

2. The Reds begin a home series against the Pirates. Pittsburgh has surprised the experts around the league and held their own at the top of the Central Division for the first few months in the 2018 season, but the winds are changing. The Buccos’ sails don’t have that breeze pushing them forward, right now. The Jolly Roger sits stagnant in the water as they’ve dropped three-straight games, losing a four-game series to the lowly Padres while allowing them to score 21 runs during that set. Now they sit fourth in the division. This is music to the Reds ears as they dropped three of four in Pittsburgh back in the beginning of April, leading to the worst start in franchise history. Time for Cincy to shake off the bad juju and get back on some sort of track.

3. Lebron scores his tail off, getting 44 points, and the Cavs won by only nine points. I have been verbally saying this, but now I’ll put it on the internet, I think the Celtics win in seven.

4. Every sports fan’s favorite words, “Game Seven,” seem to happen a lot in hockey. The Caps and Lightning are going to do it on Wednesday and I love the storylines for this game. Tampa is 5-2 all-time in Game Sevens while DC is 4-11. The game is on the Lightning’s home ice and I’m thinking it’s going to be classic. Plus, Doc Emrick is on the call. That dude could announce paint peeling and I’d be enthralled. Best play-by-play guy in any sport.

5. I’ll get you out of here on this – Jim Harbaugh. The man has to be in the crosshairs of Michigan’s boosters. The Wolverines have tread water throughout his short tenure in Ann Arbor, but now the Maze and Blue have something that should push them over the top: a quarterback. Dude from Ole Miss, Shea Patterson, got his waiver to transfer out of the Rebels disfunction and onto a team he can play for right away, and Jimmy H got him. Patterson was a 5-Star recruit out of high school and threw for over 3,000 yards last season in ten games. This is going to have Michigan fans buzzing, but anyone with an objective point of view toward the Wolverines will be keeping their eye on Harbaugh. He hasn’t had a notable signal caller yet. Now that he does, will Michigan be in playoff contention, as they pine for every year, or will it be another year with a busted bowl game appearance? Jim, you have the floor.

Now go get you some tacos and make Tuesday great again for the first time.

NBA Tuesday

Watching a little basketball tonight, thought I write down a few thoughts.

I cannot stand watching Lebron play. Call him the greatest, call him the king, call him whatever you want, I get so annoyed when he drives in the lane, lowers his shoulder (which is a charge) and gets a foul called on the defender as he goes up for the shot. What is the defender supposed to do? Lebron literally trucks the dude, causing him to fall back like an elephant on skates, and then the ref rewards what should be an offensive foul by giving Lebron a pair of free-throws, or an and-one. He did average a triple-double for the month of February…but whatevs. There are a lot of other players I enjoy watching more than him.

On another note, regarding the Cavs, I actually kind of like the trades they made. I know I dogged em for basically making an insane amount of deals at the deadline, but they shed the dead weight they had. Larry Nance is fun to watch and George Hill seems to fit in well. Still figuring how Jordan Clarkson fits in, but to his credit, he doesn’t look like a deer in the headlights. The moves gave them some interesting lineup mix possibilities. I’d love to see the five on the floor be Hill, Clarkson, Osman, Korver, and Lebron. Not sure if that’d be any good, but that would cause some headaches for opposing defenses trying to figure which shooter to watch. The one thing they lack, though, is an inside presence. Tristan Thompson is still in left field somewhere, and you aren’t putting Larry Nance on Andre Drummond or Al Horford and feeling good about it. That will be a key area of weakness in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

On another game’s note, what in the heck is up with Washington? The Wizards have gotten better since John Wall got hurt. I mean, seriously, John Wall is one of the top 3 best point guards in the game of basketball. No team loses his services for an extended period of time and gains momentum. Hey, somehow, Bradley Beal and company have done just that. Kelly Oubre has had plenty of time to shine, and shine he has. Otto Porter has really developed into a good scoring option, and you still got Marcin “Big Tater-Tot” Gortat cleaning up down low (Can’t even take credit for that nickname, my fiancee’s idea).

Brooklyn really came back down to Earth, huh? They began the season by turning everyone’s head, even had a winning record. That’s all out the window. At least they can say it wasn’t a wire-to-wire losing season. They are in that tank-off with the Kings, Suns, and like five other teams that nobody cares about.

On a side note, I found out if you try to play NBA 2k18 on Hall of Fame mode, you will want to destroy everything with fire…or maybe I just stink at it? Either way, I turned it back to rookie where I can enjoy the game.

Carry on.

Photo credit – Getty Images

Tweets of the Trades

The NBA trade deadline was extremely eventful…for one team. Sure, one or two teams made a deal here or there, but the Cleveland Cavaliers were wheeling and dealing like a stock broker trying to beat the closing bell on Wall Street.

The Cavs made three trades on Thursday, and all in a manner of about 30 minutes. I’ll not get into the effect of the deals, whether they make Cleveland better or worse, but rather I’m here tonight to focus on the whirlwind that was Twitter regarding these deals. Lebron James is a very polarizing player and person…and that stemmed a lot of different reactions to the Cavaliers cavalier trade deadline approach.

I’ll start you off easy:

Not necessarily a super hot take as pretty much everyone who knows the NBA is saying Lebron is out of Cleveland after this year. It does confirm a lot of other articles claiming the Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, runs the show and doesn’t have any sort of relationship with Lebron anymore. He sees the writing on the wall, so he is positioning the Cavaliers to move on…before they’re even done with the season. But I digress. Let’s dive a bit deeper into this Twitter recap.

PFT is legit. Need a laugh? Check him out. If you’re unfamiliar with Barstool Sports, the website he works for, they do sports, but with a much more humorous tone. Here lately, PFT and a few other Barstool employees have been making fun of Lebron and his wine “addiction.” Sure, you may have to look that one up…but the image is funny. Though, not as funny as the MVP of the Twitterverse, Doug Gottlieb.

Simple, but hilarious. He didn’t put a ton of words…but then aren’t pictures worth a thousand words? You can only tweet 280 characters…so 1,000 words ain’t going into a tweet. And the Dwayne Wade one was classic. The Cavs basically freed him and sent him back to home to Miami. Just check out Wade’s wife, Gabrielle Union’s thoughts on the matter:

She sure seems happy about this.

We’ll wrap up this post with a couple of tweets regarding the crazy amount of turnover that a professional sports team isn’t accustomed to. Like McDonalds employee turnover rate…

Forget the 2017 Finals team, how many Cavs remain from Wednesday night’s game? Only time will tell if this reshuffling of the Cavaliers’ deck does any good.

I’ll leave you with this tweet…