Kristaps Porzingis – Is he a franchise player?

il Jackson and the New York Knickerbockers have been in the news because Jackson has identified Carmelo Anthony has the problem with the struggling franchise, and wants to give Anthony away, so he can build around Porzingis.  New York is called the ‘Mecca of Basketball’, so it’s understandable why historically their teams have been overrated.  There is no dispute that Porzingis is a good player, and that he has potential, but is he really a building block, or just a talented piece?

It’s important to remember that Porzingis was booed by the fans on draft night because it reminds that expectations were low. So, with the low expectations, him exceeding expectations is overrated.  He went from thought of as a wasted pick to franchise savior in a matter of months.  The truth is somewhere in between.

It is tough to gauge potential improvement in big men because  it hasn’t happened lately. Dwight Howard never developed an offensive game. Anthony Davis hasn’t ‘grew’ into his body.  Karl Anthony Towns isn’t living up to expectations, although it is just his second season.  Nothing is guaranteed to anyone.

Porzingis has rare size at 7’3”, but so did Shawn Bradley. He doesn’t really have a world class skill. He is a jack of all trades, master of none, at this point in his career. He has a decent jump shot, but he’s not a knock-down shooter. He has good footwork, but he’s not strong enough to dominate the post. It’s not a knock, but Porzingis is very similar to Bradley, even if no one wants to acknowledge it.

Porzingis has put up decent numbers, but they are as a secondary option. Despite the grief that Carmelo receives, he is still a dominant offensive force that demands a double team, and Porzingis benefits from the attention that he receives.  If you take that away, it’s going to be even uglier than it is.

What Phil Jackson is doing is unfair to Porzingis. If Carmelo Anthony is traded, it’s hard to fathom Porzingis having a long NBA career.  Losing can wear on a player (see Michael Carter Williams)  The consensus is that he is the future for the  Knicks, but if that is the case then how bright is that future.

The Knicks have so many holes in the roster, so it makes no sense to move on from Carmelo now. Jackson must not have learned from the last time he ‘tore down’ the roster.

This is the same thing Phil did in 2015 when he sent the Cleveland Cavaliers Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith for nothing.  The team still hasn’t recovered.  Phil and the New York Knicks organization need to be very careful, or they might dig themselves a hole that the organization will never get out of.

Andy Dalton Has to Win in Playoffs But…

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is infamous for his inability to perform in big games, but his comeback from  17 points down in the 4th quarter to pull out a 27-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks is worth something.  People will say that he still has to do it in the playoffs, but making it to the playoffs should count for something.

The irony is that people act like the Bengals are some storied franchise.  They were the laughing-stock of the league for years, who never even made the playoffs.  Now they finally have a quarterback that consistently gets them to the playoffs, it’s all about playoff wins.

The Bengals as a team struggle in big moments, not just Dalton.  The Bengals have capitalized on giving players second chances, but players with issue typically have demonstrated questionable judgement in life, so is it a surprise they would do the same thing on the field?

But Andy Dalton hasn’t been one to make excuses.  Judging by the way he is throwing, he spent a lot of time working on his game.  Dalton’s accuracy has improved, and he is not only dropping the ball into tight windows, but he is protecting his receivers from the big hits.  With that type of understanding between teammates, they are more likely to leave it all out on the field.  It is still early, and Dalton still has to show more, but it seems that he is putting his past behind him in route to a bright future.

Stephen A Smith Rant on Kevin Durant

Stephen A Smith Rant (First Take)

In response to Kevin Durant’s claims that he is a liar, an epic Stephen A Smith rant was delivered.  Smith addressed Durant’s claims that he never talked to him by pointing out that he interviewed him at his house in Seattle when he was a rookie.  Smith also pointed out that Durant’s own mother was a guest on the show.

But that was only the beginning as Stephen A was noticeably offended.  Smith had to mention how he broke the Lebron James to Miami story, so he would put his reputation against anyone.  He then ridiculed Durant for ridiculing the media for insinuating that his then coach Scott Brooks would get fired, when he eventually was.

Kevin Durant took the brunt of the Stephen A Smith rant, but it was for the entire league.  Smith mentioned how sensitive that today’s athletes are, and that it is getting out of hand.  He then went on to explain why none of them want no problems with him because he has a national show and he will always get the last word.  This is interesting because someone is going to get humbled, and judging by the rant it isn’t going to be Stephen A.

 

Vanessa Williams Interview on Return to Miss America

Vanessa Williams Interview

Vanessa Williams spoke on her history with the Miss America Pageant as she returns after being forced to resign her crown over 30 years ago.   Williams won the Miss America crown in 1984 only to be forced to resign in shame after naked pictures of her surfaced in Penthouse Magazine.  That scandal almost destroyed Williams, but she make a recovery to take her stardom to new heights that no other Miss America winner ever has.

The pageant has lost its luster over the years, so it’s ironic that they had to reach out to the ‘black sheep‘ to regain relevance.  The organizers probably wish they had a contestant that had nude picks today because no one seems to care about the event.  The apology that the organization issued was very disingenuous, but it probably provided a measure of satisfaction for Vanessa Williams that they came crawling back.

Vanessa Williams Gets Apology

Frances Tiafoe is New Future of American Tennis

Frances Tiafoe – ATP Tour Uncovered

Frances Tiafoe is a 17 year-old American tennis prodigy.  Even though his career is just getting started, he has been labeled as the future of American tennis.  Tiafoe is the first tennis player to sign to Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, which gives an idea of the expectations on the young man.

Hopefully there is a long-term plan for Tiafoe because his story is starting out similarly to Donald Young.  After over 10 years, Young still has yet to make his mark in professional tennis.  Young credits his recent rise to getting in better shape, so hopefully Tiafoe and his people learn from Young’s struggles.  Tiafoe needs to develop physically before he will be able to excel in the men’s game, but if he does the sky is the limit.

 

Brittney Griner Glory Johnson Union Shows Pitfalls of Marriage For Everyone

Brittney Griner Glory Johnson on ‘Say Yes to Dress’

The fight for same-sex marriage had been going on for years, and significant crossroads has been made.  But the Brittney Griner Glory Johnson union shows the dark-side of legalized same-sex marriage.  Griner and Johnson were married for 28 days before Griner filed for an annulment.  Griner lost her petition and she may now be at the mercy of Johnson, who is currently pregnant with twins.

Johnson claims that she got pregnant through IVR and that Griner is the father, so she wants support.  Johnson is asking for $20,000 a month in spousal support.  It seems shady, but legally now Johnson has the upper-hand, especially if the children are Griner’s.  This is going to get very ugly.

Johnson and Griner were arrested for domestic violence 3 weeks before their marriage, so that was probably a sign of things to come.  This should be a cautionary tale for those eager to get married just because they can.  It’s not always all that it’s cracked up to be.

 

Brittney Griner Interview with Kate Fagan

Ex Baltimore Cop Michael A Wood Jr Exposes Corrupt System

Ex Baltimore Cop Interview with Joe Rogan

After hearing ex Baltimore cop, Michael A Wood Jr, expose the truth behind the inherent racism in the police practices, there is hope for change.  Wood is also an ex-marine so his credibility is impeccable, which is why it was such a big deal when he started tweeting about the injustices he witnessed as a member of the Baltimore Police Department.

The tweets were only the beginning as Wood got more in-depth in regards to the problem in an interview with Joe Rogan.  Wood spoke of the sometimes sub-conscious targeting of young Black males, and the vicious cycle.  They seem to commit more crimes because the police harass them.

But Woods wasn’t just talking about the problem he offered a solution.  Woods stated that 90% of the arrests are for drugs, so if we got rid of the war on drugs then it would ultimately make things better.  Woods compared it to alcohol, where during prohibition there were gangs, but once alcohol was legalized the violence subsided.   Most are probably not ready for that, but at least now they have to acknowledge that there is a problem.

 

Full Michael A Wood Jr Interview with Joe Rogan

Michael Sam Debuts in CFL…Is It Even A Story?

Michael Sam made his pro football debut with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, becoming the first openly gay player to play professional football.  His debut was nothing special, but maybe now Sam will cease to be a major story now that he has accomplished his goal.

The whole ‘coming out’ was strange from the beginning due to timing.  By coming out before the draft it made his motives questionable.  Michael Sam was considered a fringe NFL player, so it made no sense to come out.  The NFL frowns upon individuality, so any kind of revelation before the draft would hurt his stock.  In hindsight, it seems that he was trying to use the social climate to force his way into the league.

Then after being unable to make a NFL roster, he was hesitant to go to Canada to prove himself.  After getting to Canada he then took a still unexplained leave before eventually returning to the team.  Who does that? Why did he even get a second chance? For some reason he seems to think he is entitled, so maybe if the media paid less attention to him then he would put in the work he needs to on the field.  If he does that he will have a chance to reap all the accolades he imagined.

Stephanie Ready – 1st Woman to Coach Men Professionally

Stephanie Ready on Coaching in NBA D-League

Becky Hammons is viewed as a trendsetter, but Stephanie Ready was an assistant coach with the NBA D-League Greenville Groove in 2001, where her team won the championship.  Before that Ready served as an assistant with the Coppin State Men’s Basketball team, where she was the first female NCAA Division I recruiter.  Ready is currently a sideline reporter for the Charlotte Hornets, so the expectations of a female head coach may be a bit premature.

Right now women in men’s sports is in vogue.  Arizona Cardinals hired Jen Welter as an intern, and the Sacramento Kings hired legend Nancy Lieberman.  Lieberman is fully aware that she may not have been hired if Becky Hammond didn’t win the summer league title.  It is good that we are progressing, but there is still ways to go before there is a woman head coach.

Widespread Doping Allegations After Blood Test Leak

Widespread Doping Allegations

Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper and Germany’s ARD/WDR broadcaster said they obtained secret data from IAAF indicating widespread doping allegations in the endurance running sports.  Based on the findings, it is suspected that a third of the winners of Olympic and World Championship medals where guilty of doping between 2001-2012.  Now distance running is being compared to the state of cycling when Lance Armstrong won his 7 Tour de France titles.

Russia and Kenya bear the brunt of the negative press from the report.  It is suspected that 80% of Russian medal winner had a suspicious blood tests.  While Kenya  didn’t have the number of questionable test results, they have dominated distance running, so these allegations about the sport stick to them more.  Ukraine, Morroco, Spain, and Turkey were also countries specifically mentioned.

There was one positive piece of information released, the fact that Usain Bolt is clean.  Bolt is probably the biggest star in track and field, so if he was dirty it would have hurt the entire sport.  It will be interesting to see how active the United States is in getting to the bottom of this.  A stance has been taken to clean up sports, but does that apply when there isn’t money to be made.