Is Rajon Rondo Good Enough For All That Attitude?

Rajon Rondo is still struggling to fit in with the Dallas Mavericks, and it all came to a head with an on-court altercation between Rondo and Dallas Mavericks coach, Rick Carlisle.  The shouting match started because Rondo was ignoring Carlisle’s play call.  Rondo sat the rest of the game and the Mavericks won.  That must not have sat well  with Rondo because he argued again with Carlisle in the locker room, and was suspended a game for conduct detrimental to the team.  The Mavericks were better before Rondo got there, so is he worth the  attitude he brings.

Rondo is a champion, but it should be pointed out that he won his title as a youngster with the Boston Celtics, a veteran laden team.  Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen are future Hall of Famers, so Rondo was the equivalent of a game manager when they won a title.  He forced his way into a bigger role, but for whatever reason they never won again.  It can be argued that his chemistry problems with Ray Allen were the beginning of the end for the Celtics.

Fast forward to today and Rondo has kept his ‘star’ status despite not accomplishing anything on the court.  The Boston Celtics have been one of the worst teams in the NBA the last few years, while led by Rondo.  Still the Dallas Mavericks saved Rondo from that purgatory, and put him in the middle of the Western Conference race.  How did Rondo repay the organization? He showed a total lack of respect for a coach who is more accomplished than he is.

Rajon Rondo is in a contract year, so if he was smart he wouldn’t make waves.  The Mavericks probably won’t want him back, and most contenders are set at the point guard position.  There are rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers are still interested, but that makes no sense.  Not only are there team chemistry issues due to his attitude, but Rondo is a flawed player.

Rondo can’t shoot and the NBA has transitioned from a defensive to an offensive league, so Rondo is obsolete.  The fact that Rondo can’t shoot is a testament to his arrogance.  After all these years his shot has not got better, which shows he doesn’t prioritize shooting.  He must think that he is good enough to work around his short comings, but he has proven that he isn’t.  Rondo better turn over a new leaf because even though the Mavericks traded for him, they didn’t trade much, and they don’t necessarily need him.  Arguably they may be better off going with Devin Harris and Raymond Felton at the point guard position,  and trying to outscore teams.  It’s not like they could be worse that Rondo has been.  At least they would run the plays that Carlisle calls.

 

First Take on Rajon Rondo Future

Larry Sanders Speaks About Why He Left NBA?

Larry Sanders spoke to The Players Tribune to explain why he walked away from the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA.  Sanders was portrayed as crazy because he walked away from so much money, but in hearing his reasoning he seems like a well-adjusted man who understands that life isn’t just about money.

Sanders reasoned that he is no different from any regular person who wasn’t happy in their 9-5 job.  It was just harder for him to leave because there was so much money at stake.  In the interview Sanders revealed that when he disappeared he was in a rehab facility for anxiety disorders and depression.

Hopefully moving forward Sanders will be applauded instead of ridiculed.  What Sanders is doing is very difficult because Brandon Marshall has detailed how mental health discussion is considered taboo.  Sanders has made himself vulnerable, and he must be in a good place to not only express his issues, but to also walk away from millions.

Sanders didn’t close the door on the NBA, but he wants to work on himself first.  He spoke of not wanting to devote the time required to be an NBA player.  Larry Sanders doesn’t define himself by basketball, which isn’t surprising considering that he was a late bloomer, who hit an incredible growth spurt in high school.  Fame isn’t for everyone, and money doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness.  Some people prefer a simpler life.

Hopefully Sanders will find what he loves to do whether or not that be basketball.  But hopefully he still has enough money to live a comfortable life because otherwise this decision will define him, and then it will be even worse than it was for him in the NBA.

 

Larry Sanders – Why I Left the NBA…

Should Fans Still be Confident in Floyd Mayweather Jr ?

Now that Floyd Mayweather Jr has confirmed the Mayweather/Pacquiao mega-fight, everyone wants to weigh in with their prediction for the fight.  Surprisingly, Mayweather is a heavy favorite.  Those that favor Mayweather point to the fact that Manny Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, but is that relevant because Floyd isn’t a knock-out artist?

Mayweather is a great boxer, but Manny Pacquiao is a fighter.  As an American it is hard to imagine the trials and tribulations that people from other countries go through to make it to America.  E:60 did a report on how children fight to support their family in Thailand.  Manny isn’t from Thailand, but one has to imagine he has encountered real adversity in his life.

Floyd Mayweather is the total opposite.  Mayweather is driven by material things such as his undefeated record.  The media hypes him because of his record, but its nothing new.  When Mike Tyson was young and knocking people out there was talk that he was the greatest ever, but then they realized that he hadn’t fought any other greats.  Floyd is similar where he hasn’t fought another great boxer, and he has cherry-picked opponents to keep his perfect record.

Floyd is fighting for legacy, while Manny Pacquiao is fighting to survive.  Pacquiao was so adamant about the fight because he needs the money due to tax problems he has in the United States and the Phillipines.  In boxing the hungrier fighter usually wins, so it’s surprising that Floyd is considered such a favorite.

Stephen A. Smith, of ESPN First Take and a self-professed Floyd Mayweather fan, was instrumental in making this match happen.  Stephen A. used his platform to force Floyd to take the fight, and now he is saying that Mayweather needs to ‘pay Manny back’ for talking trash about Floyd is scared of him.  That kind of talk is setting Floyd up for disappointment because it implies that Floyd needs to hurt Manny instead of just winning the fight.  Floyd needs to do what he does and just get the win, but it doesn’t seem like that will be enough for some people.  Will Floyd be Floyd or will he try to be something he isn’t? No one knows what Floyd’s plan is, so how can they be so sure that he will win?

 

ESPN First Take on Floyd  Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao

Jameis Winston Says The Right Things At 2015 NFL Combine

Jameis Winston spoke at the 2015 NFL Combine and he handled it wonderfully.  The media was salivating to speak to Winston because of his off-field issues, then there was his weight, and a recently reported weak shoulder.  Winston handled everything like a pro.  Even though he is a pro now, it is still somewhat surprising how impressive he was given his history.

Jameis Winston has to be smart because quarterback is a complex position, and there is no question about his mental on-field acumen.  It’s just that it is so hard to believe based on some of the silly things he does.  He didn’t understand his fame, which may be why through history the trust was reluctant to give the Heisman Trophy to underclassmen.  Hopefully Winston has left that behind him as he mentioned in his interview.

Winston dodged questions about his past by saying he was just trying to earn each team’s trust moving forward.  He addressed the supposed rivalry with Marcus Mariota by saying that he is trying to win Superbowls, so he wants to be mentioned with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.  Then he indirectly addressed his shoulder by saying that he was a pitcher is baseball, but everything is fine.  It’s still early, but it’s looking like it’s going to be hard for Tampa to pass on Winston.

 

Jameis Winston 2015 NFL Combine Interview

Jason Kidd and Milwaukee Bucks Are Going To Be Problems…

Jason Kidd and the Milwaukee Bucks have been getting the credit that they deserve because the Atlanta Hawks are the feel good story of the NBA after the controversy they  endured this off-season.  The Bucks had controversy of their own with how they acquired new coach Jason Kidd from the Brooklyn Nets when they already had a coach.  That may be part of the reason that the Bucks aren’t in the spotlight after having doubled last year’s win total by All Star break.

Controversy seems to follow Jason Kidd, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deserve credit when he’s earned it.  His coaching career got off to a rocky start having to demote his top assistant, but the team transformed at the beginning of the new year and finished strong making the playoffs.  That success was attributed to the veteran leadership on the team, but in hindsight that was Kidd finding his stride.  How else can the Milwaukee Bucks success be explained?

Despite a 30-23 record the Bucks made a move trading Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall to the Phoenix Suns for Michael Carter-Williams (Philadelphia 76ers), Tyler Ennis (Phoenix), Miles Plumlee (Phoenix).  Carter-Williams is the reigning rookie of the year, and Ennis was a lottery pick this season, so it seems like an obvious win.  Carter-Williams is an upgrade to Knight in potential because he is bigger, and if anyone can .

But the spin on the trade is that it is risky trading Knight because MCW put up numbers on a bad team.  The irony is that before Jason Kidd entered the picture, that was Brandon Knight, except his numbers weren’t as good as MCW.  It’s exciting to see how this young coach grows with his young team.  Whatever the personal feelings are about Jason Kidd, there is no questioning his basketball acumen.

Stephon Marbury – The Coney Island Kid: A Starbury is (Re)Born in China

Vice Sports caught up with former NBA Player and New York Legend Stephon Marbury, who found a rebirth in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), when his career was seemingly over.  The Marbury story is so compelling because he became the joke of the NBA from when he decided he wanted to leave Minnesota early in his career because he was jealous of Kevin Garnett.  Then he drifted his entire NBA career, not only never finding the success he craved, but having teams get better once he left.  It culminated with a very messy parting with his hometown New York Knicks that seemingly destroyed his career.

But the Stephon Marbury story is one of perseverance and redemption.  Who would have thought Marbury could rebound after the infamous ‘Vaseline video‘? But he did, and  now he is the type of star that he always dreamed about.   Not only has Marbury experienced on-court success by winning 2 CBA titles, but he is selling his Starbury shoes, and he even has a play called “I am Marbury“.

It’s a beautiful story because Marbury admitted to HBO Sports that he was in a deep state of depression during his time with the New York Knicks, and China saved his life.  It’s to the point where he says he isn’t coming back even though he has been offered NBA opportunities.  But why would he go back to being just another player when he is the face of a league.

 

Vice Sports – Stephon Marbury

Does Carmelo Anthony Care About Basketball Anymore?

It is now official that Carmelo Anthony will undergo knee surgery and miss the remainder of the season.  It is not surprising as Anthony has been hobbling all year, but Anthony played 30 minutes in the NBA All Star Game over the weekend.  The irony is that the East had a better chance of winning if Carmelo wasn’t out there.  As an isolated incident it’s no big deal, but Carmelo keeps doing things that make you question how much he even cares about basketball.

Carmelo is considered a ‘NBA Superstar’, but he hasn’t achieved any on-court success in the NBA.  He has made his objectives of building a billion dollar brand quite clear.  Melo went as far as saying that his business interests were a factor in staying with the New York Knicks.  He couldn’t have expected for the team to be this bad, but he knew they wouldn’t be good, and it didn’t matter.  Money and business connections are what is important to Anthony.  He doesn’t realize that winning is what builds the brand.

It’s understandable that Melo wants to look at things outside of basketball because he was part of the 2003 NBA Draft that featured Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, so he can’t live up to the expectations they set.  Wade won a title before Lebron and 2 more with him, so Carmelo Anthony will never be able to surpass their legacies at this point.  In turn Melo is focused on the business world, but ironically he’s further behind there than on the basketball court.

Carmelo Anthony seems to be searching for something that he can’t find, and it is right in front of his face.  He talks of building a billion dollar brand, but he needed to leave some basketball money on the table in order to accomplish that.  Melo isn’t giving any discounts, which is why the Knicks had to trade for him instead of signing him as a free agent.  Teams are about sacrifice, and Melo doesn’t, so it’s no wonder he has never been, or probably never will be on a great team.  This summer was his last chance, and his free-agent decision shows what he is about.  Right now it’s about them checks, but hopefully one day he doesn’t look back at these times with regret.

Amare Stoudemire Wasn’t Problem with New York Knicks

It has been reported that the New York Knicks reached a buyout agreement with Amare Stoudemire.  Stoudemire’s tenure in New York won’t be remembered fondly, but that shouldn’t be the case.  Stoudemire signed with New York after they struck out on the bigger names in the 2010 free agent class.  The relationship started off great, but it was the Knicks organization and to a lesser extent the city that ruined it.  The Knicks were winning, and the city was on fire, so it was the big stage that NBA players crave

Enter Carmelo Anthony, who forced his way into New York, and in the process ruined the Knicks franchise for years to come.  But Stoudemire took the blame for everything bad that happened.  Not only did the Knicks give up 3 starters to get Carmelo, but Carmelo’s game doesn’t blend with Stoudemire’s, so Stoudemire had to take a backseat.  Amare didn’t complain as he took his lumps in the media for being unable to live up to his $100 million contract, while Carmelo, the superstar, got a free pass. He never bad mouthed Carmelo, and he fell in line. That’s probably why the Knicks did the right thing and bought Amare out.

Even though Amare wasn’t a good fit for the Knicks, he can still contribute on a good team. Reports say the Dallas Mavericks are the favorites to land Stoudemire, and he could easily fit into Brandon Wright’s old role as a backup power foward or center. He could also go to Golden State and serve a similar role. It depends on what Stoudemire wants to do because he has an opportunity to prove himself on the court again if he wants.

With all the money that Stoudemire made, there are two factors to consider: likelihood of playoff success and his potential role with the team. He can chase a ring with whatever contender will take him, but if he wants to play, he will go to the Los Angeles Clippers. Since Blake Griffin is out, the Clippers have a major role for him. Wherever Stoudemire goes hopefully he will be able to leave his New York days behind him because he is a better player than that.

 

Amare Stoudemire – Top 10 Dunks

 

Zach Lavine Showed Out But Dunk Contest Still Dead

Zach Lavine put on a great performance in the dunk contest, but it still wasn’t enough to save a very uninspiring contest.  Lavine was born to dunk, but the moment was too big for the rest of the field.  Victor Oladipo had a nice first dunk, but this competition was really over after Lavine’s first dunk, and Oladipo knew it was over after Lavine’s second dunk.

The NBA has to change something because it didn’t turn out the way they wanted to.  There is no way that they can continue to end All Star Saturday with the dunk contest composed of unknowns.  Some say it  gives younger players to make their mark, but a player can only succeed in that situation if they are already ‘prime-time’  The dunk contest requires stars because there are too many stars in the audience.

Considering the situation this dunk contest was a no-win situation for everyone except Lavine.  Lavine is an isolated case because he is a dunker first who is trying to become a player.  Now that people are prisoners of the moment, there is talk that he revitalized the dunk contest, but did he do anything that Gerald Green hadn’t done? If Lavine  can transition his dunk contest win to on-court success then this will be his break-through moment, but the other participants may regress because of this.

Victor Oladipo was very ambitious this week-end.  During the Rookie/Sophomore game he was mic’d up, where he was singing and talking about getting a record deal.  He went as far as to attempt to come out singing “New York New York” before his first dunk.  It didn’t go well for many reasons, but trying to sing in front of professionals isn’t a good idea.  Oladipo was lucky to get his first dunk in and it showed on his face that he was in awe of the moment.

Oladipo is a promising young player, so it will be interesting to trace his development moving forward.  Make no mistake this was a traumatic experience that can either make Oladipo or break him.  Other players will be watching how all the participant’s careers progress, but especially Oladipo because he seemed to have an interest in the event.

 

Zach Lavine Dunk Contest

Jackie Robinson West Little League Drama Is Why Blacks Aren’t Playing Baseball

Jackie Robinson West Little League (JRW) is back in the news months after their impressive run at the Little League World Series.  This time JRW isn’t in the news for something good as they had to forfeit all their games because apparently 3 players lived outside of the district.  In the big scheme of things it’s no big deal because in athletics where districts are utilized, many of the teams use ineligible players.  But the more important thing is the lengths that the whistle-blower, Chris Janes, went to in order to get Jackie Robinson West Little League busted.

Chris Janes, who runs Evergreen Park Little League and was beat by Jackie Robinson Little League, championed the cause to bring JRW down.  Janes is a White man, but he does have an African-American wife and four children, so could he be a racist? Is it still racism when it’s the majority view? The fact that Janes probably isn’t racist makes the problem more concerning because it is how people’s mental limitations.

Everyone wants to know how to get more ‘Blacks’ back in baseball, but the solution is simple.  Whites need to let go of the game.  Over time we thought things had become more inclusive, but sports became segregated.  ‘Blacks’ no longer played baseball and ‘Whites’ no longer played basketball (American ‘Whites’).  In order to increase participation the members of that community have to want inclusive, and this story proves that isn’t the case.  Why is the all ‘black’ team under so much scrutiny? If racism didn’t motivate Janes, what did?

Janes demonstrated how some ‘Whites’ act when a ‘Black’ breaks a baseball record.  Hank Aaron had to deal with death threats, and Barry Bonds went through a long drama with the federal government.  Some ‘Whites’ hold the baseball record book as sacred, so when an all ‘Black’ little league team won the United States Championship it’s not surprising that some viewed it as a problem, even though it was a feel good story for the game of baseball.  This controversy is further proof that some ‘Whites’ just don’t  want the game of baseball to diversify, which is why it hasn’t.  They want to keep the game for their self on a grass roots level, which is why the game hasn’t grown.

It’s also symbolic that they pulled out the district map to condemn JRW.  That is the oldest trick in the book in keeping the ‘Black’ man down.  Districts were used strategically to minimize ‘Black’ political power, and to bus ‘Black’ athletes to ‘White’ schools, so it wouldn’t be surprising if JRW did violate the district map.

The JRW story was bigger than a district map.  The story for years was that ‘Blacks’ don’t play baseball, so what is the problem if they did get together to make a ‘super’ team? Even with a super team nothing is guaranteed.  JRW still had to get it done on the field, which they did, and no one can take that from them.