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.

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…

This and That

The day job is a little slow today, so here are a few midday thoughts that I wanted to pose. Things I couldn’t make an entire post about, but blurbs I felt deserved some writing.

Firstly, I tried a new pizza place today for lunch. Flying Pizza, in Centerville, Ohio, is pretty good. I got a medium pepperoni and mushroom pizza for $13. Nice, big, foldable slices. The crust was sort of dry, but had a good taste to it. The sauce was fantastic, and it didn’t have too much cheese. The shrooms, as always, were great, and so was the pep. There was a manageable amount of grease on it. If I were some sort of person who had a rating scale for pizza, I’d give it a 4 out of 5. Check it out!

I used this awesome app called Door Dash to get it delivered to my office building. I was lazy today because it snowed a decent amount and the roads were atrocious when I came into work this morning, so I figured I’d tip someone well to bring me food. Door Dash is phenomenal.

I also heard about this pizza place called Johnny’s over in Centerville. I’ve been told I have to try it…so I will, soon.

Another rando thought, how about this lady in New Hampshire? Wins the Lottery, $560 million, but doesn’t want to go public, so she may leave it unclaimed. Are you kidding me? What on Earth has her so spooked? I mean, sure, making it public that you are now richer than sin isn’t exactly everyone’s cup of tea, but that is a lot of money to say no to. I don’t know, maybe I am some sort of snowflake for thinking she is crazy for not taking the money (which she hasn’t confirmed that she won’t, yet) but I’d take that money in a heartbeat.

Maybe she is scared of the constant stories of people’s lives being torn apart by Lottery winnings….but then why’d she buy the ticket? I have never bought a Lottery ticket, personally, because I believe it is a waste of money. Sure, I know, you can’t win the Lottery if you don’t buy a ticket, but the odds are so astronomical that it is like burning money. That being said, had I bought a ticket, I would firmly be prepared to announce to the world my winnings. Not because I am a cocky son of a gun, but that’s because those are the rules. Get out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat…or something like that.

One last thing, a sports thought, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Man, I live in Ohio, but I don’t like em. Mainly because of one fellow. “The King,” or whatever, Lebron James. I’m glad they’re in turmoil. I’m glad they stink. Last night they blew a 20+ halftime lead to one of the worst teams in the worst conference in the NBA. Say what you will about Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, or Nikola Vucevic, the Magic just aren’t that good. They made the Cavs look like a rebuilding team. Cleveland can’t defend anyone this year, which leads me to a hot take that no one will remember: the Cavaliers will not make the Eastern Conference Finals. You heard me. I think the Eastern Conference Finals this year come down to the Wizards and the Celtics. But who am I?

Anyway, I’ll have a less random post coming later…these are just some thoughts burning in my mind. Stay warm (or if you are warm, stay classy).