Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Should Kobe Retire?

Posted: February 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

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As the NBA wraps up its All Star festivities, something, or someone, was notably missing. Kobe Bryant, who was voted a starter for the western conference, missed the game due to a knee injury.

 

Bryant’s season has been met with constant adversity. When he finally came back from an ACL tear, Kobe played only six games before fracturing his knee. With his age, declining play, and injury problems, it may be time for Kobe to call it a career.

 

Lets start with his age. At 35 years old, Kobe may not be able to keep up. Basketball is becoming more and more of a fast paced game. With teams like the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Clippers feasting off the fast break, the half court team is becoming less and less effective. The only team at the moment to be fully successful playing half court offense is the San Antonio Spurs.  At 35 years old, Kobe may not be able to keep up. Bryant struggled mightily in transition in his six games back this year. If he gets back on the court, he may simply be outran.

 

As far as Bryant’s individual play, a lot was left to be desired. In six games this season, Kobe averaged 14 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds per game. Those numbers are well under Kobe level but aren’t terrible. The real issue comes with the less noted stats. Bryant shot 42% from the field this season. That’s well under his career average of 46%.

 

The real startling stat is his turnovers. Kobe averaged a staggering six turnovers a game in his six games this season. That is an unfathomably high number. In comparison his career high for a season is four turnovers. In addition, the NBA leader in turnovers per game this season is Stephen Curry with four. It is evident that his play is declining.

 

Lastly, it may just not be worth it for Kobe to come back. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the worst team in the NBA this season. At 18-35, the team just lacks talent. Nick Young, Pau Gasol, and an ancient Steve Nash are leading the charge in L.A.. Despite signing a contract extension, the Lakers are trying to bring in stars such as Carmelo Anthony or Lebron James this offseason. With past problems with other stars, it may be in the best interest of all sides for Kobe to call it a career.

 

Due to all the reasons stated, it might be time for the Kobe Bryant era to end. If he does, it may do more harm than good. Derek Jeter knows when to call it quits; lets see if Kobe knows the same. 

The NBA Anti Mount Rushmore

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

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On Tuesday, LeBron James stated that he will end up being one of the top four basketball players ever. His current Mount Rushmore of the NBA is Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Oscar Robertson. These statements have led ESPN and other majors sports networks to create their own Mount Rushmore’s. Instead of following that pattern, I introduce the Anti Rushmore.

 

These players represent the worst basketball players to ever step on the courts.

 

Darko Milicic- The 2003 NBA Draft was filled with some of the biggest stars in the league today. LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade were all taken within the first five picks of this draft. Then there was Darko Milicic. The 7’0 Serbian was taken 2nd overall by the Detroit Pistons. The next three picks; Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade. In his 10 year career, Milicic average 6 point and 4 rebounds a game. He will forever live in the infamy of one of the worst draft picks ever.

 

Adam Morrison- It’s sad when your most memorable moment is crying, post game, in college. That moment perfectly represents Morrisons entire career. Taken third overall in 2007 draft by the Bobcats, the Gonzaga product was the definition of a bad player.  Despite winning two championships as a waterboy for the Los Angeles Lakers, in his two seasons with significant playing time, Morrison averaged 8 points and 2 rebounds per game. He never shot over 40 percent from the field and looked absolutely atrocious on defense. His “career” is something worth crying over.

 

Luke Walton- Unfortunately, the only thing he got from his dad was his last name. the son of Hall Of Fame center Bill Walton, Luke’s career was filled with nothing but bloopers. Walton was arrogant, annoying, and a above all else terrible. Despite playing significant minutes for a decent portion of his career, the 2nd round pick from Arizona averaged double digit scoring only once in his entire career. Mercifully he retired in 2013.

 

Brian Scalabrine- I’m not going to even think about insulting “The Red Mamba.” With that being said, Scalabrine is by the far the worst basketball player ever to step foot on a court. He has gained cult status for his time spent on the bench during games. This ended up proving useful, as he is now an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors.

 

Think we missed someone? Who would you have put on the anti Rushmore? Let us know in the comments!

The Fifth Quarter radio show discusses the fallout from the Marcus Smart incident. Starting with the incident, Gary goes through all the potential scenarios join forward

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I know that the Sochi games have just begun, and that the NHL players are only now settling down in their “accommodations”, but this has been a big issue since even before this year’s games began.

The NHL was allowed to play in the Olympics starting in Nagano, Japan in 1998. Since then, the NHL takes a 3 week break during the season, and sends their players off to wherever the games have been, and halted almost all league operations until their return. This year seemed like it was in question due to security issues in Russia.

However, there are many more issues besides security for the players.

The players who fly over to represent their country deal with a very demanding schedule, adapting to a new time zone, playing a bunch of games in a short period of time, then flying back home to readjust before continuing the season. This kind of strain that these players put on themselves can easily cause injury and fatigue. Those ill-effects can carry over into their NHL season, especially in the home-stretch and playoffs. Also, with games in the Eurasian continent, the playing rink is different sized than the standard NHL rink, thus the players have to adjust to a new rink for a handful of games.

Besides the obvious risk for the players, there is a financial gap for the NHL. In years where the Olympics are played, they don’t have an All Star game. The 2010 season, and also the 2014 season does not have an All Star event scheduled. The game, plus all the festivities that go around it, are a huge financial boost to the NHL, that they are missing out during the Olympic years. Also, teams separate and go stagnant for 3 weeks, making things more frantic when all the players return to the States for the remainder of the season. These players are also under contract for their teams, and their top priority should be to their respective team, and to do what’s best for them and their team.

There are positives to sending the players, though. The FIFA World Cup is one of the most anticipated events in the sports universe, and professional players are everywhere, playing for their respective nations. Everyone watches it, and doesn’t bat an eyelash on the ill-effects it could have on the players. With the Winter Games, it’s similar in terms of camaraderie. The games are talked about for months in advance, and are watched by entire nations when the games get really important. According to stats, 80% of Canada tuned in for the 2010 gold medal game. While the players are playing, no one seems to mind the hardships the players go through, and everyone enjoys the games and talks about it at the water coolers the next day at work.

But recent news, concerning security risks and lack of proper accommodations for the players, brought forward the question on whether the players should have been sent to Sochi. The NHL was juggling the question until the very end. Now, the question that will be asked from here until the next Olympiad, is whether the NHL would be participating in South Korea in 2018.

Considering that Korea is at the opposite side of the world, and have been in constant struggle with their Northern counterpart for years on end, both reasons for the NHL to sit the 2018 games out. Also, with recent financial issues the NHL has experienced, namely the lockout of 2012, the NHL wouldn’t be so keen as to miss another 3 weeks of revenue, as well as the 2018 All Star game in a yet-to-be-determined location.

It’s tough to compare the World Cup to the Olympics, with many differences throughout the comparison. The advantages of sending the best in the world are present. But with players under contract with an organization, and under enough physical stress as is, it’s tough for me to say yes to Pyeongchang, if it were my decision. The risks involved far outweigh the rewards.

No matter my opinion, it’s a good possibility that we may be seeing the last of the NHL in the Olympics for a while, this year in Sochi. Take a good look, it may look very different next Olympiad.

Todays Radio Show

Posted: February 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

VERY HEAVY HANDED SHOW TODAY. TALKING MICHAEL SAM, MARCUS SMART, AND WASHINGTON REDSKINS.
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On Wednesday, New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie made headlines due to his comments on marijuana. During an interview with thisis50.com, Cromartie said, “We’re just going to do it anyway,” Cromartie said. “They just need to let it go. They need to go ahead and say, ‘Ya’ll go ahead, smoke it, do what you need to do.’”

 

While he may have been harsh in his delivery, Cromartie is absolutely correct. The NFL should just avoid the inevitable and legalize medical marijuana.

 

To begin, lets look at the positives of just using medical marijuana in the NFL. While there is no concrete evidence at the moment, many believe the marijuana could help treat concussions and other brain injuries suffered by players. If that is the case, players are going to jump on the opportunity to use the drug.

 

The benefits don’t end there.  Football players are getting everything knocked out of them every Sunday. With all there bones hurting, lighting a joint helps relieve that pain. The other reason player’s use it is for stress relief. With the pressure placed on these players every week, it may not be the worst thing to use the drug to relax themselves.

 

More important than what marijuana brings is what it avoids. Prescription painkiller abuse has been rampant across the league for some time now. Players are using Vicodin, Ocycotin, and other over the counter medications. Players have been recently addressing the abuse of these drugs and are aware it’s a problem. Steelers safety Ryan Clark said on ESPN, “A lot of it is stress relief. A lot of it is pain and medication. Guys feel like, If I can do this, it keeps me away from maybe Vicodin, it keeps me away from pain prescription drugs and things that guys get addicted to.”

 

The benefits of bringing marijuana to the NFL seems to be endless. Not only does it help players relieve the pain, but it helps them avoid more serious problems in the future. Commisioner Goodell needs to sit down and really think about legalizing medicinal use.

 

 

 

 

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Matt Harvey burst onto the scene in Flushing this past season, cementing himself as a staff ace for the New York Mets, and giving hope to Mets fans for the first time in a few years. He led the rotation with a 9-5 record, an ERA of 2.27, and a WHIP of 0.93, striking out 191 hitters in 178.1 innings. He started the All Star Game, held in Citi Field, home of the Mets, for the National League.

Just as Mets fans were riding high on their new star, in late August, he was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his pitching elbow. After stints on the 15 day and 60 day DL, he was shut down for the season. GM Sandy Alderson and Harvey both took time to decide on whether he should get Tommy John surgery or not. If he opted for it, he would be ruled out of the 2014 season, and come back in 2015 with a brand new elbow and a reprieve of sorts. If he chose not to have surgery, he would have gone on a recovery program, and keep pitching while risking injury. He elected for surgery, and indeed will miss the entire season.

However, Tommy John surgery isn’t the death sentence for pitchers as it used to be. Notable pitchers who’ve recovered from this operation to pitch well and succeed include Adam Wainwright and Stephen Strasburg. Both returned to the top of their respective rotation and pitched well enough. Matt Harvey was held in similar regard pre-surgery, with the talent of an ace, and the ability to anchor a rotation. It remains to be seen whether his return would continue to herald hope for the Amazin’s, or it’s another heat-seeking missile to the heart of Mets fans. 

The Mets have developed a strange habit of exemplifying Murphy’s Law, where everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Whether another of their young promising players gets hurt, or another game goes awry due to a leaky bullpen, or a Ponzi-scheme, they seem to find a new way every day to find failure. Mets fans feared the worst when Harvey went down. 

However, with many teams who are so bad for so long, they begin to develop a good farm system, and gather young talent. The Mets have accrued many young arms to put together the future’s next best rotation. In terms of prospects up-and-coming, they have Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, and various others behind Matt Harvey. Provided Harvey can recover fully, and return to form, and the prospects live up to their potential, this could be a rotation leaned on for quite some time, and potential to give the Mets a chance to win games.

The Mets have been through a good amount of turmoil since the Cardinals knocked them out of the 2006 NLCS. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Mets aren’t out of the woods yet, Harvey still needs to spend a year rehabilitating, and the prospects need more time to develop. There will be a rough growing period. But if everything goes according to plan, the Mets will have one of the better young rotations in baseball.

Gary talks about the Incognito/Martin scandal. He starts off reviewing the story tan talks about the future for these players.

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We’re almost halfway through the 2013-2014 NBA season, so it’s time to take a look at break-out players around the league who have taken big steps this season in their overall game.

John Wall-For the 2nd year in a row, Wall is hovering right around 20 points 8 assist and 4 rebounds, but he’s improved in multiple facets of his game, including defense. He’s the 5th in the league in steals and 2nd among point guards in blocks. Wall is also shooting much more efficiently, with a career high 33% 3-point FG% after coming out of college with virtually no outside game. He’s also shooting a career high 84% from the free throw line, up 80% from last year. And to top it all off, Wall has led the Wizards to a record above .500 for the first time since 2009. No matter how trivial that sounds, Wall has had a phenomenal year and taken a big step in his overall development.

Goran Dragic-The Phoenix Suns are one of the best feel-good stories in sports the year, after completely overhauling their roster and management, Jeff Hornacek is leading a team projected to be a bottom feeder this year to a 29-18 record and 2nd place in the Pacific Division, but the breakout of Goran Dragic, the former Steve Nash backup, has played just as big a role. He’s up to a career high 20 points a game to go along with 6 assists and 3 rebounds and a career high 39% 3-point FG%. Dragic is one of only 3 players in the league to average 19 points, 6 assists, and 49% from the field. The other 2? LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Anthony Davis-In just his 2nd year, Anthony Davis has already asserted himself as one of the elite big men in the entire league. Davis has jumped from 13 points a game to over 20 per game, while still averaging over 10 boards after averaging just over 8 last year. Defensively, Davis is leading the league in blocks at an astounding 3.4 per game, 1 more than anyone else in the league. He may be just a sophomore, but Davis is quickly showing why he deserved to be the #1 pick in the drat just a year ago.

Lance Stephenson-Over his 4 years in the league, Lance has emerged from rotational bench player to one of the best young all-around players in the league on one of the best teams in the NBA. Stephenson’s averaging over 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists per game, all career highs. All the while, Stephenson leads the league in triple-doubles with 4. The Pacers are arguable the best young team in the NBA, and Stephenson is slowly showing us why.

By Avi Soep

Did Seattle Win or Denver Lose?

Posted: February 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

After all the anticipation, Super Bowl XLVIII was finally played last night. In an absolute route, the Seattle Seahawks annihilated the Denver Broncos 43-8. From the first snap of the game Denver looked disheveled and unorganized.

In the aftermath of this defeat, many called Peyton Mannings legacy into question. While Manning did not play a good game by any stretch, all credit is due to Seattle for playing one of the best and most complete games of football in quite some time.

Lets start with the pass rush. A crucial key to the Seahawks winning this game was for the defensive line to bring pressure to Peyton Manning. Unlike Denvers last opponent, the New England Patriots, the Seahawks did an absolutely stellar job with this. Chris Clemons, Brandon Mebane, and Cliff Avril kept Peyton uncomfortable all night. This discomfort caused Manning to throw two costly interceptions. As Avril said, “Once they start thinking about the rush instead of your defensive backs, you’ll get turnovers and you’ll make plays.”

The next step to this win was the Seahawks secondary. While not great when it came to the short pass, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and the rest of the Legion Of Boom shut down the deep passing game entirely. The longest reception for Denver was a 23 yard catch by Demaryius Thomas. When you don’t allow the Broncos to go vertical, you will have great success.

Special credit in this game goes to Super Bowl MVP Malcom Smith. The 7th round pick from USC recorded 10 tackles, a pick six, and a fumble recovery. He played the ball well and did a nice job on the blitz.

While not enough praise cannot be given to the defense, the offense is also due credit. Denver did a very good job shutting down Marshawn Lynch. Lynch was held to 39 yards on 15 carries.  Beast Mode did punch in a touchdown, but for the most part, Denver did a good job against the run.

Russell Wilson and the rest of the offense had to step up due to this and they did so with flying colors. Wilson was fantastic in and out of the pocket; throwing for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns. Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin got good space against the Denver secondary and their stats reflected that.

MVP of the offense has to go to Percy Harvin. In his first full game of the season, Harvin made plays all over the field. He ran the ball two times for 45 yards, made one reception for 5 yards, and returned an 87 yard kickoff for a touchdown.  The former Florida Gators presence created mismatch and created terror in the eyes of the Broncos defense.

Did Peyton Manning have a bad game; absolutely. What did everyone expect though? The old saying goes that defense wins championships and it showed last night. As the number one defense in the league, Richard Sherman, Cliff Avril and the rest of the Seattle Seahawks played exactly how they did every other game and it worked. As Dennis Green said “They Are Who We Thought They Were!”

By: Gary Younger