Sportige The Sports Know-It-All Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:15:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Los Angeles Lakers – Byron Scott Got the Job for the Wrong Reasons Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:15:13 +0000 More ]]> Byron Scott1 e1406711269869 Los Angeles Lakers   Byron Scott Got the Job for the Wrong Reasons

The Los Angeles Lakers are always about winning championships, nothing else. But their team isn’t good enough to even dream about going that far, and hiring Byron Scott is further proof that this team isn’t aiming very high yet again.

Magic Johnson has proved to us more than once how bad of analyst he is, and how a lot of what he says in the media has to do with his personal relationships with players, head coaches and team owners. Byron Scott, except for taking the New Jersey Nets to the NBA finals twice in 2002 and 2003, when some people would prefer to give most of the credit to Jason Kidd, hasn’t done much in over a decade.

He didn’t get very far with the New Orleans Hornets, another team that went up and down depending on how good their point guard was on that day. Scott might be methodical and tough with his players, but there hasn’t been much to be impressed with in terms of style or development over the last 11 years from him, which included getting fired from each of his jobs, twice in the middle of the season.

So what makes Scott the right man for the job? In the eyes of Magic Johnson and those that chose him for the position, his history with the Lakers. The fact that he got “only” $17 million on a four year deal while head coaches who have never been on an NBA sideline are getting more than that on teams that aren’t as rich and “Generous” as the Lakers says something about where he was at before the Lakers hired him.

This is a friend getting a job. Scott has done some great things as a player for the Lakers, helping them win three NBA championships. He played alongside Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy. He has the right connections.

But something extra? Some special offensive system, defensive awareness or proof of his ability to develop players, young and mature? Scott wasn’t the first and probably not even the third name on the shortlist of head coaches for the Lakers, but there are a lot more people weighing their influence and opinion on the decisions makers in Laker Land. Some of them simply wanted to see a friend running the team, and it didn’t matter that he’s not a very good head coach.

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NBA Rumors – Minnesota Timberwolves Might Replace Kevin Love with Thaddeus Young Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:15:39 +0000 More ]]> Kevin Love Thaddeus Young e1406710452807 NBA Rumors   Minnesota Timberwolves Might Replace Kevin Love with Thaddeus Young

When this whole Kevin Love trade saga will be over and the Minnesota Timberwolves once again find themselves far away from any national spotlight, it might be because the Philadelphia 76ers got themselves involved in the deal, and were willing to give away Thaddeus Young.

Young averaged 17.9 points per game in a season that was one long garbage time and tanking for the Philadelphia 76ers, who held out and didn’t trade Young despite the bounty of offers for the Power Forward. Maybe now they’re in a position to use him in a package that will land them better players than they could have gotten last season.

The Timberwolves are closer to striking a deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers than with anyone else. It seems that Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett are the names that will make the switch, but the Timberwolves want more for Love, who at least in terms of PER is a Top 5 NBA player. Two number one draft picks is fine, but the Timberwolves want and will get more, but that probably includes getting a third team involved.

Young can become a free agent in 2015, having an ETO in his contract, which means the Sixers might be eager to move him by the 2015 trade deadline in February. Kevin Love is also in the same situation, although he has made it quite clear that he doesn’t want to stay with the Timberwolves. The 76ers are still undecided on whether or not Young is part of their long term future or not, but with his next contract demands probably being for more than $10 million a season, they’ll probably be inclined to trade him before it’s too late.

The Cavs will be the team that pays the biggest price, no matter how this turns out. They might be forced to give up a player to the 76ers – Dion Waiters? Tristan Thompson? Getting Kevin Love in a two or three team deal is going to be very expensive. Some might think too expensive for a team that already has a very good foundation to build on, and shouldn’t try to break everything for the sake of just one player.

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NBA Rumors – Cleveland Cavaliers Shouldn’t Start Dion Waiters Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:15:27 +0000 More ]]> Dion Waiters e1406709582731 NBA Rumors   Cleveland Cavaliers Shouldnt Start Dion Waiters

A talented player, Dion Waiters. Also a player with plenty of ego and self confidence, seeing himself as a starter in the new look Cleveland Cavaliers, even if the personnel and the lineup suggests it would be better for everyone if he starts on the bench and gets the role of a sixth man.

Andrew Wiggins is the obstacle for Waiters on the floor. Wiggins is a small forward, but LeBron James joining the team should mean the number one draft pick will probably move to the shooting guard position, while Tristan Thompson plays power forward.

Obviously, Blatt has options. He can use Waiters and Irving in the backcourt together while Wiggins plays the ’3′ and James plays the ’4′. They can also make Wiggins a sixth man, but something tells me that’s not going to happen. Wiggins, right now, is probably inferior to Waiters in terms of shooting, but is most likely a much better defender.

The deciding factor? What LeBron James will want. If he suddenly tells David Blatt that he wants to play as a power forward (again, assuming that Kevin Love doesn’t land in Cleveland), then Dion Waiters will be a starter, not matter who fractured his relationship on and off the court is with Kyrie Irving. It will mean putting Andrew Wiggins at small forward and Tristan Thompson on the bench.

But a sixth man is a much more suitable role for Waiters. A great scorer who can really spark some life coming off the bench. Thompson isn’t a bad player, but he isn’t your classic sixth-man player, who suddenly pumps the team with energy and speed and can create points on his own out of nothing when a team is doing badly. Waiters might not like starting the game on the bench, but he fits that mold a lot better.

Maybe all of this doesn’t matter. If the Cavs do pull off that trade, Wiggins will be gone and probably so will Dion Waiters. Maybe the Cavs will end up with Kevin Martin, who did a good job as a Sixth Man for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012-2013. For now, the Cavs’ “problem” is Waiters and keeping him effective and happy. One of Blatt’s first tests will be finding a way to do it while not playing him as a starter.

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Kevin Durant Will Follow in the LeBron James Footsteps Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:45:42 +0000 More ]]> Kevin Durant LeBron James e1406708858770 Kevin Durant Will Follow in the LeBron James Footsteps

Because this is summer and the off-season, things a superstar like Kevin Durant says regarding his future with the Oklahoma City Thunder or his path to the Washington Wizards which in any case won’t be decided in the next two years, seem a lot more meaningful than they actually are.

Durant grew up around the Washington DC area. He playing college basketball in Texas. He’s been playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder since entering the league in 2007. Yes, he already has seven NBA seasons behind him. All of them with the Thunder, although his rookie season was as a Seattle Supersonics player, before Clay Bennett packed a franchise in a suitcase and went somewhere willing to give him a new arena without him paying for it.

Durant is marking down all the achievements he set out for himself one by one. All of them, or almost all of them. He wanted to be number one, so he won the MVP award last season. He has an Olympic gold medal as the leading scorer on the dream team despite Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant playing next to him. He has a Basketball World Championship from 2010, and he’s leading Team USA into the 2014 edition as well.

But what’s missing? A championship. Durant has been once to the finals, in 2012. Everyone said that it was just the first in many for the young Thunder, who had an incredible core of four players under the age of 23 with Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden. Then James Harden got traded, while the Thunder juggled around that move by trying to keep themselves on top of the Western conference without spending too much. It hasn’t worked. Great regular season records, but they’ve failed to return to the NBA finals in the last two seasons.

Durant is envious of James. It took LeBron James nine years to finally become a champion, losing in two NBA finals along the way. Moving back to Cleveland was different for him. He got what he wanted out of Miami, and was finally free to head back to his original destination, making a connection of money, desire, heart and maybe seeking some Ohio forgiveness along the way.

Durant, unlike James, never “betrayed” Washington. Yet he feels a connection, obviously, with where he grew up. But he won’t be going back to Washington for sentimental reasons. He’ll head over there in two years only under certain conditions, and the most important of them will be where he stands in terms of winning a championship. If the Wizards emerge as a team that has a shot of signing him and surrounding him premier talent, than they’ll look a lot more lucrative than they have in past seasons, although it does seem like they’re headed in the right direction.

This is some thick hint dropping. For the Thunder, to let them know that he wants to see them spend, or willing to spend, in order to add more talent and depth to this team. It’s also a hint to the Wizards and maybe the rest of the NBA to start calculation their cap spaces for two years from now, when Durant will be the hottest name in the free agency market.

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Seydou Keita Refuses to Shake Hands With Pepe & Throws Watter Bottle at Him Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:13:54 +0000 More ]]>

Some teams and players can make a friendly match look like something a lot more serious, as Seydou Keita not shaking hands with Pepe just before the start of the AS Roma vs Real Madrid exhibition match resulted in something of a scuffle on the pitch, which included the Malian midfielder nearly hitting the Portuguese centre back with a water bottle.

Now, why did this happen? There are two versions currently running around. The fourth official, the only one pointing this out at the moment, has said that Pepe spat at Seydou Keita after not getting the handshake from him. We can also see Keita mimicking that action as he is talking to one of the Real Madrid players when things got a little heated up.

And why didn’t Keita shake his hands to begin with? Pepe has done a thing wrong once or twice in his career, especially against Barcelona. When you’re trying to injure a player instead of just stopping him, you’re bound to gather yourself a band of haters. Pepe has allegedly referred to Keita as a monkey in the past, which had Keita going into this encounter fired up, even if it’s no longer part of the Barcelona – Real Madrid rivalry.

Roma won the match from a Francesco Totti goal, the only one in the contest. And I kept thinking about Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso, who constantly have to get into fights and arguments because of one problematic teammate, who often deserves the way he’s treated, although having a water bottle tossed at him is going a bit too far.

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Los Angeles Lakers – Jeremy Lin is Great for Steve Nash Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:15:05 +0000 More ]]> Steve Nash Jeremy Lin Los Angeles Lakers   Jeremy Lin is Great for Steve Nash

The arrival of Jeremy Lin to become the starting point guard of the Los Angeles Lakers might mean less minutes for Steve Nash who is reaching the final stage of his career, but it also allows the future hall of famer to take it easier, and making it possible for the coach and team to give him plenty of rest, as the last two years have shown he’s going to need it.

It’s always hard to admit it about great players, especially someone who’ll be in the hall of fame five years after he retires. A point guard with two MVP awards. But Steve Nash looked like his career was almost over after last season. He played only 50 games for the Lakers during their failed attempt at putting the wrong set of stars together in 2012-2013.  He played only 15 regular season games in 2013-2014.

Irrelevant? As close to it as you can get. He averaged just 20.9 minutes a night. Making over $9.5 million next season, Nash isn’t exactly producing or will produce at the level his contract is taking up. However, the Lakers didn’t use the stretch option on his contract which would have meant taking a cap hit that is spread over a few seasons. They’re not going to win anything this year, so why not eat it all up at once, as Nash announced he’ll retire at the end of this season, when he becomes a free agent?

The Lakers needed a point guard, badly. Even if Nash will be the starter just for the sake of it, and it really shouldn’t be working this way, it’s hard to imagine him going through his back problems and giving the Lakers more than 15 minutes of quality basketball, if he’s even still capable of that, throughout an entire season. It’s more likely that he’ll get plenty of rest on back to back nights or long road trips, and Jeremy Lin gets the bulk of the minutes.

Had the Lakers gone for someone who hasn’t been a starting point guard or hasn’t proven he can last at the position, that might have added more pressure on Nash to try and give them more than he could. Lin has no problem playing plenty of minutes. Last season he played 28.9 a night, but that was because of the McHale treatment, which meant giving Beverley the lineup spots, and plenty of times ignoring Lin at the end of games, despite Lin time after time showing his capabilities in clutch situations.

It’s going to take more than just two point guards, especially with Nash more than likely to miss more than just a few games, to fill up the rotation. After last season’s injury epidemic, the Lakers can’t rely on a few players without having some decent cover.There is Jordan Clarkson, but maybe we’ll see some minor changes before this season begins. Kobe Bryant, lest you forget, is going to hold on to the ball quite a lot. But even if it’s just by name, which is another problem the Lakers might have, Jeremy Lin makes it possible for Steve Nash to have a respectable end to his career, as much as possible at least.

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NFL Rumors – Chicago Bears Will Choose Chris Williams as Their Return Man Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:45:05 +0000 More ]]> Chris Williams e1406638320479 NFL Rumors   Chicago Bears Will Choose Chris Williams as Their Return Man

Right now there seems to be open competition as the Chicago Bears are trying to decide between Eric Weems and Chris Williams to take over the return man position for next season, but looking at the differences between the two players should make it an easy choice.

Stepping into the shoes of Devin Hester easy, but the day had to come at some point. Weems is more experienced. He has been in the NFL since 2007 and even made the Pro Bowl in 2010 while playing for the Falcons. He’s been with the Bears for the past two seasons, returning 18 kicks and one punt over the last two years. He has one career touchdown from a kick return,, but that was back in 2010.

Williams hasn’t played in the NFL. Like the Bears’ head coach, Marc Trestman, he has made a name for himself when playing in Canada. He’s 26 (Weems is 29), and had two very big years with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2011 and 2012. He had six return touchdowns in only nine games back in 2012, not to mention being quite the useful and productive receiving target, something that isn’t likely to happen with Chicago.

Williams had a few impressive plays against Trestman himself, who was coaching the Montreal Alouettes. He once scored a 91-yard punt return in an exhibition game and a 70-yard punt return in a regular season game. He also once returned a field goal for 117 yards but lost the touchdown as he ran the last 15 yards backwards, and was tackled at the one.

Weems is reliable, but very far from brilliant. Williams needs to show he has the ability to make the transformation from CFL star to an NFL return man who can be trusted. If it’s about talent and speed, he’s likely to be the man with the job at the end of the preseason.

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NBA Rumors – Los Angeles Lakers & New York Knicks Interested in Signing Michael Beasley Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:15:08 +0000 More ]]> Michael Beasley e1406637263120 NBA Rumors   Los Angeles Lakers & New York Knicks Interested in Signing Michael Beasley

Last season was about rebuilding his reputation as a player who isn’t going to cause trouble on an NBA team. This season will probably be about becoming a more important part of the rotation, and Michael Beasley should get a chance to do it from the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks or a number of other teams.

Sometimes it feels as if Erik Spoelstra had something personal against Michael Beasley last season. The small forward averaged 7.9 points in 15.1 minutes a night while shooting 49.9% from the field. That translated into 18.9 pointer per 36 minutes, but Beasley, even at his worst, could always put the ball in the basket without too much help. He just didn’t really get the chance to do it consistently with the Miami Heat.

He has been training with Kevin Durant in Los Angeles, and according to Alex Kennedy several teams are going to be trying to sign him pretty soon. Beasley said more than once he would like to remain with the Miami Heat, even if it means another minimum deal, but he’s not going to get an offer from them as it seems right now, with the Heat pleased about how they’ve been able to fill their roster after the departure of LeBron James.

Beasley is only 25, and whatever he has managed to do wrong in his NBA career, mostly in terms of his maturity and behavior in the locker room and away from the arena, he has time to fix it and his reputation. He didn’t have any problems with the Miami Heat last season. Not being a great defender seemed to be his biggest flaw in terms of getting more minutes, and some might think that better usage of his talented could have meant the Heat fairing better in the NBA finals.

The Los Angeles Lakers need scoring, especially from a guy who’ll be able to create points on his own. Putting him under someone like Kobe Bryant and a disciplinarian head coach like Byron Scott could help carry on the trend of making Beasley a positive influence on the rest of his teammates. He was kicked off the Phoenix Suns who were afraid he’d poison the other youngsters.

Not just the Lakers are going to try and sign him. The New York Knicks are in the picture, and so are a few other teams. Scoring, even if it comes with no defense, is still something every team needs, especially if it’s a player who seems to be on the right path. It might take some more time for Beasley to get the offer, but it’s hard to imagine him not being on any team when the next NBA season begins.

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New York Giants – Eli Manning Isn’t an Accurate Quarterback Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:54:07 +0000 More ]]> Eli Manning New York Giants   Eli Manning Isnt an Accurate Quarterback

Nothing and no one can take away the things Eli Manning has achieved and won throughout his NFL career. However, if the New York Giants actually think they can turn him into an extremely accurate quarterback, then it’s quite the delusional setup and aspiration they have set for themselves heading into the 2014 NFL season.

Despite Manning’s career numbers when it comes to completion percentage, new quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf is setting the bar quite high; for Manning to complete 70% of his passes next season. The New York Giants changed offensive coordinators, an offensive system and approach during the offseason. After hitting something of rock bottom last year and missing out on the playoffs for two years in a row, they felt a change had to come.

It hasn’t been done very often, so that’s the ultimate goal. I think it’s been done eight or nine times, maybe? That’s an impressive statistic in the history of the league. So that’s what we’re gunning for, that 70 percent. He’s well aware of who’s done it in the past and what the system can get you in terms of completion. So we’re trying to focus on that and really trying to do a good job of taking care of the ball and hitting open receivers.

Only seven times has a quarterback made it past 70% in a season. Steve Young, Joe Montana, Drew Brees. Those are some of the names that have accomplished it, but so has Alex Smith, Sammy Baugh (through only eight games) and Ken Anderson. It’s difficult, and maybe even an incredible achievement, but not impossible, even for those who aren’t legends at their position and trait.

But will all of the optimism that the Giants are going to look completely different next season and be much better, a look at Manning’s career gives us an indication of just how difficult it’s going to be to even get him close to that number. It’s not just up to him. The Giants’ offensive line was crushed last season. It’s improved heading into this one, but by how much? By enough?

Manning has a career completion percentage of 58.5% through his 10 NFL season. He has completed more than 60% of his passes four times (2008-2011), but he hasn’t gotten past the 59.9% mark over the last two seasons, including 57.5% in 2013, as he threw a career high 27 interceptions and for the first time finished with a negative TD-INT ratio since he became the sole starting quarterback of the Giants.

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Los Angeles Clippers Finally Taken Away From Donald Sterling Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:45:22 +0000 More ]]> Happy Sterling e1406635997626 Los Angeles Clippers Finally Taken Away From Donald Sterling

Is the saga over? A judge ruled that Donald Sterling attempting to block the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer isn’t going to work, but there are always appeals to be made if you have the money and right lawyers to delay an inevitability from happening.

Right now, the Clippers will be sold to Ballmer for $2 billion, a record deal for an NBA franchise. Sterling, recorded by his girlfriend while making racist remarks, was banned for life by the NBA and fined $2.5 million. When the league threatened to take away the team and auction it, Sterling allowed his estranged wife Shelly Sterling to negotiate the sale, but refused to sign the papers when it came down to it.

Things got ugly. Shelly Sterling got two doctors to examine her husband and declare that he suffers from Alzheimer, making him unfit to be at the head of the family trust that handled the sale of the Clippers. Donald Sterling dissolved the trust, trying to make it impossible for his wife to complete the sale of the franchise but for now his attempts have been in vain, as Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas ruled in Shelly Sterling and the NBA’s favor.

So are now the threats of Chris Paul to boycott team events and the preseason over? Is Doc Rivers finally relaxed, knowing that he doesn’t have to go and look for a new job? Shelly Sterling believe that her husband will pull out of any pending lawsuits and attempted sanctions, but according to his lawyer, nothing is over.

Sterling is suing the NBA for $9 billion and has claimed he could have gotten more from the deal. He has also shown some weird behavior when taking the stand during the proceedings (he wasn’t in court for the ruling), one day kissing and acting kindly with his wife and the next day shouting at her to get away from him.

This isn’t the league stealing a team from someone. Whatever the percentage cut is inside the family according to the trust, now headed by Shelly Sterling according to her, there are plenty of ways to split $2 billion. For Donald Sterling, this isn’t about the money. It’s about the principle but mostly his own name and selfish reasons, although at this point, there’s no way of redeeming himself in the eyes of anyone that has something to do with the NBA.

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