Former LSU Offensive Tackle La’el Collins Wanted for Questioning in Murder

La’el Collins, the former LSU offensive tackle, was considered a lock to go in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, but the announcement that he is wanted for questioning in the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend Brittany Mills changes everything.  Even though Collins isn’t a suspect, the timing of the announcement isn’t good for Collins.

This announcement may cost Collins his bright future, so hopefully the authorities would have been more discrete if it was just about questioning.  Now at the very least Collins will lose millions of dollars, and his reputation is stained forever.

Collins will suffer from association with Aaron Hernandez because it is not far-fetched that a NFL player would commit murder.  The child was born and there will be a paternity test to see if Collins is the father.  If he is the father, it doesn’t mean that he killed her, or had her killed, but that would be the perception.  It’s not like it didn’t happen before with Rae Carruth.

Hopefully for his sake, this can get squared away, but the longer this lingers the more trouble he is in.  He is not a suspect now, but that’s what police always say  to try to get you to talk.

Javaris Crittenton Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter

Ex-NBA player Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Julian Jones, a mother of 4, in a 2011 shooting.  When entering the plea Crittenton explained that he joined a gang his rookie year in the NBA for protection, and Jones was shot while he was attempting to retaliate against a rival gang member who robbed him.

According to Deadspin, Crittenton will be sentenced to 23 years in prison.  It is heart-breaking how a life with so much potential ended up like this.  In hindsight, the Jarvis Crittenton-Gilbert Arenas guns in the locker room scandal was an indicator of a bigger problem.  It’s not even over for Crittenton, who is also facing charges as part of a cocaine and marijuana drug distribution ring.

This is not good for any professional athlete especially considering the social climate we now live in with the police and black men.  It’s getting to the point that athletes are going to be feared, so black athletes will have it worse than regular blacks.  The Thabo Selfalosa incident in New York lends credence to that theory.

Hopefully guys learn from this case, Aaron Hernandez, and Darren Sharper.  Life as a professional athlete is good, so concentrate on your craft.  If time is being put in on the court or on the field then there shouldn’t be time to get in trouble off of it.

Breshad Perriman Putting UCF Football on Map

Breshad Perriman UCF Football Highlights

Breshad Perriman a 6’2″ wide receiver, who ran a 4.27 40 yard dash will have UCF Football on the national stage during the 2015 NFL Draft.  Perriman is expected to be a first round pick in the draft.  It will be the second year in a row that UCF has put a high first round pick in the NFL.  It is a major accomplishment for the UCF Football program because it lends credence to the direction of the program, and it will put them in play for more talented recruits.

Perriman was a 2 star recruit coming out of high school, despite having a father who played football in the NFL.  Last year’s third selection, Blake Bortles, was getting offers to play tight end in college.  So the UCF coaching staff has proven that they get the most out of their players.

Elite players want a path to the professionals and UCF can show them the way.  There are really enough players in the state where they don’t have to recruit anywhere else.  but after this draft, players will be recruiting them.

 

Baltimore Riots Will Continue Same Old Cycle

Baltimore Riots Coverage on CNN

The Baltimore riots turned violent after the funeral for Freddie Gray, the man who died from injuries sustained while being taken into police custody.  It deteriorated to the point that Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency.  The sad part is that these riots, done in ‘honor’ of Freddie Gray, will only ensure that there are more victims like him.

These acts of savagery are going to be how white people view all black people, so it won’t be a surprise when more innocent black men get shot.  Donald Trump already came out criticizing Obama for the riots, and even though he got some backlash, he probably isn’t alone in his way of thinking.  Black people are making it easier by playing into all the typical stereotypes.

In any relationship someone has to be the bigger person and make sacrifices.  In this instance, black people have to ‘turn the other cheek’ .  Violence only begets other violence, and right now the actions of a few have stained the reputation of many.  Rioting isn’t the answer because it only makes the situation worse.  We need to be peaceful to prove these cops wrong, and that we are not all threats.

No good can come from rioting because a situation can always get worse.  As bad as the police killings that are happening are, imagine how bad it would be if the military came in.  Baltimore is about to learn that we do what we are allowed to do because the government can shut it down any time they want.

Are the Expectations on Anthony Davis Fair?

Anthony Davis has been appointed by the media as a future MVP and future champion, but after his playoff performance against the Golden State Warriors, maybe the brakes need to be pumped.  Davis got his numbers, which isn’t surprising because the New Orleans Pelicans don’t have many offensive options, but he couldn’t get numbers when they were needed.

Davis may be more of a Kevin Love type player who gets inflated numbers on a bad team.  Love His offensive game is still a work in process, and although he has a good touch, he is very awkward looking with the ball.  Also Davis needs to get more strength because he always seems to get knocked on the floor.  Davis needs time to develop, but he isn’t going to have it after he has been anointed.

The media’s love affair with Davis probably gets other players fired up.  Draymond Green gave Davis everything he wanted, and he was probably more hyped because of the attention Davis gets.  The media doesn’t appoint the next great player, play on the court does.

In this age of analytics sometimes the numbers get too much attention versus what happens on the court.  Davis’ teammate Tyreke Evans had big expectations after averaging 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists during his rookie season.  Those numbers put Evans in a group that included Lebron James, Michael Jordan, and  Oscar Robertson, but obviously he isn’t that level of player.

Anthony Davis may take over the NBA one day, but let’s wait until that day before he is anointed.  Is Davis’ potential that much better than Andre Drummond? or Giannis Antetokounmpo? who are both younger than Davis.  Just because a player has potential doesn’t mean they will live up to it.  When Dwight Howard was young he was the next great big man and now he isn’t even and All Star.  Expectations mean pressure and not everyone can handle it. Hopefully moving forward Davis will just be allowed to develop because with all the talk, it’s questionable of he will be able to live up to what everyone expects next season, and then he will be labeled as a failure because he didn’t live up to someone else’s standard.

Barry Bonds Case Shows How Justice System Treats Black Men

Barry Bonds 2011 obstruction of justice charge was thrown out by an appeals court.  The obstruction charge was based on his 2003 Grand Jury testimony  in the government’s case against performance enhancing drugs.  The government has been after Bonds for over 11 years and spent over $50 million in public money.  Then after all this time he is exonerated.  If that was a possibility, why waste all that time and money? It raises the question why Barry Bonds became the government’s target to make an example of PED use.

The Bonds case is a microcosm of race relations in society.  An African-American is always  considered guilty until proven innocent, and they will get you if there isn’t a ‘smoking gun’ of innocence.  The federal government prosecuted him years after the fact for testimony that he gave in 2003.  They couldn’t prove that he took the PEDs, so years later they file an obstruction charge just to get him on something.  If they wanted to go through all this trouble, MLB and the New York Yankees probably feel like Alex Rodriguez deserves this type of treatment, but this is only for those select few with the hue.

In reality Bonds is the one responsible for cleaning up baseball.  He was tired of players he considered to be inferior getting recognition for PED enhanced performance, while the great numbers that he was putting up as a clean player were overlooked.  So his alleged PED use didn’t make him great, it took him from great to ridiculous.

If Bonds didn’t assault the baseball record books the way he was then PEDs wouldn’t have been a problem.  But Bonds hit 209 home runs in 4 seasons and Congress got involved.  Their involvement was more about publicity because what could they really do? It was made for television to make it seem like there was this grand agenda to clean up sports, when it was really about stopping Bonds.  Mark McGwire knew, which is why he just refused to talk until it blew over.

There were worse abusers who should have been shamed as being the face of PED use besides Barry Bonds.  By all accounts Bonds wasn’t a long-term user, and he started out of frustration, but he gets the shame while those whose career was made by PEDs get off free and clear.  If there are no consequences, what is the deterrent those players.  Being a black man is always a deterrent because you are guilty unless proven innocent.  Barry knew that, probably better than most, but that still doesn’t excuse how he was treated.

OKC Thunder No Longer Model Franchise

The OKC Thunder are in full desperation mode after firing head coach Scott Brooks.  The Thunder were once considered the model franchise on how to rebuild through the draft.  It could be argued that the Thunder’s early success led to the ‘tanking‘ epidemic we see today.  All that changed because the Thunder are now hoping to catch ‘lightning in a bottle‘ like Golden State by firing their coach.

The move is curious because it seems to be a year too late.  How can Scott Brooks be judged on a year when all 3 of your franchise cornerstones, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka, missed time.  Durant only played 27 games, yet the Thunder missed the playoffs by a tie-breaker, and the coach gets fired.  Add in the fact that he had to incorporate new players into the mix, and it doesn’t seem fair.

The question now is who can they get to coach the team? Are they going to pay a big name? There are a lot of unknowns, and whoever coaches the team will have championship expectations.  Add in the added pressure of it being Kevin Durant’s contract year, and not just anyone can handle that responsibility.

If they get a Tom Thibodeau the point is moot, but before Brooks was fired the Thunder were linked to Billy Donovan.  Billy Donovan or Kevin Ollie would be a risky choice given the NBA circumstances, but they both are coming off of disappointing college seasons.  Donovan is even riskier because he took a job with the Orlando Magic, only to back out a few days later. How would he handle championship expectations in his first season?

The Thunder are in full win now mode, so they are going to hire someone they have full faith in.  Kevin Durant will be a free agent at the end of the season, so everybody’s jobs are on the line.  There are no thoughts of the future; it’s just about getting it done now.

Why are the Los Angeles Clippers Considered Contenders?

The Los Angeles Clippers have been considered contenders for the NBA Championship since acquiring Chris Paul, but they have never been out of the second round of the playoffs.  After winning game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series, there was talk that the Spurs were over-matched because Blake Griffin made a few spectacular dunks. But that line of  thinking was obviously off-base

Never mind the age-old adage that a playoff series doesn’t start until someone wins on the other team’s home floor. Never mind that the Spurs are the defending NBA Champions, and the Clippers have never had playoff success. Never mind that the Clippers played as good as they could in Game 1, while the Spurs didn’t try.  The Clippers were going to beat the Spurs and go all the way.  That Clipper playoff love didn’t last long as the Clippers lost Game 2  of the series to the San Antonio Spurs 111-107.

The expectations placed on the Clippers aren’t fair because they don’t have a championship roster.  They are the Orlando Magic west, and the Magic were never considered contenders.  Reviewing their roster, almost half the players would struggle making another NBA roster.  It’s not surprising considering the majority of their team is on minimum type deals.

The rosters ‘stars’ aren’t necessarily the stars on the court that they are off the court.  Chris Paul is doing all he can, but he is a point guard where he is best orchestrating everything.  Unfortunately with this roster CP3 and Jamal Crawford have to try to score too much because the team is offensively challenged.  The Clippers have no low post presence despite Griffin’s spectacular moments.

Blake Griffin is a tantalizing talent because of his extraordinary athletic ability.  Everyone wants to imagine how he could be, instead of seeing what he is.  He is a good player, just not as good as all of his commercials would make you believe.  It is because of the Griffin and CP3 commercials that the Clippers are considered contenders, but on the court they aren’t what people expect them to be.

Pat Riley Press Conference Seemed Like a Diss to Lebron…

Pat Riley Press Conference April 2015

The Pat Riley press conference to end the season showed that he still hasn’t gotten over Lebron James returning to Cleveland.  In the press conference Riley mentioned how today’s players are different taking 2 weeks off with a hang nail, when players of the past would have never done that.  Then he went on to say how this off-season will be better because there are “no smiling faces with hidden agendas.”  It seems beneath a decorated NBA executive like Pat Riley, but when his background is considered, it’s not surprising.

Pat Riley came up during a different time.  He played when there were few African-Americans in the game.  He was part of the Kentucky team, led by Adolph Rupp, that lost to Texas Western, the story behind the movie “Glory Road.”  For someone who grew up in those times, it is hard to accept that Lebron James is more powerful than he is.

Lebron James is more powerful than anyone else associated with the NBA.  He is the star of the NBAHe grows relationships with other players at early ages via his basketball camp, so at this point he knows enough players in the league where his agenda drives the league.  Anyone that doubts that only need look at the Donald Sterling situation.  He was forced to sell his $2 billion basketball team because of racial comments he made to his minority mistress.  That was all because Lebron said the whole Sterling family had to leave the NBA family.

A white man can kill a black man and get off, but Donald Sterling lost his team for a private conversation.  That’s how powerful Lebron James is.  The spotlight was on owners for a brief period, and the glare was so bright that they had to do anything to make it go away.   In the end a precedent was set that forced owners to live to a higher standard.  No owner can be happy about that.  Pat Riley is also part of ownership, so he is twice as frustrated with Lebron.

But Riley better be careful because other players are watching.  While insulting Lebron, he is insulting an entire generation of players.  He is making life more difficult on himself.  Riley has been in the game of basketball for a lifetime, so maybe his time in the game is running short.  At some point the game passes everyone by.

But Riley better be careful because other players are watching.  While insulting Lebron, he is insulting an entire generation of players.  It is going to make life more difficult for himself.  Riley has been in the game of basketball for a lifetime.  He is an all-time great, but unfortunately the greats usually have a hard time of knowing when to let go.

 

Jalen Rose Interview with Manny Pacquiao

Jalen Rose 1-on-1 with Manny Pacquiao

Jalen Rose sat down with Manny Pacquiao in an interview for Grantland.  Jalen Rose did a great job with the interview first off slowing down his speech out of consideration that English is Pacquiao’s second language.  It was obvious that Pacquiao appreciated the consideration because this was the most open that he has been in an interview. Pacquiao’s love of basketball may have been a bond that they share, but it was mostly Jalen’s professionalism that put the interview over the top.  There were a few moments that would have caused Stephen A. Smith to laugh in his face, but Jalen didn’t take the bait.

One of those such moments was when Pacquiao corrected Jalen and said the fight isn’t about him or his family, but it’s about God.  It’s good that Manny found religion, but it begs the question of whether he is ready to knock out Floyd Mayweather.  Floyd has the sweet science of boxing mastered, so Manny needs brute force to break Floyd’s defense.  Is Manny ready to do what it takes to win? It’s hard to have the necessary rage to go into a fight when there is so much love in your heart..