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    The Appreciation of The Men’s USA Basketball Team

    Aug 19 • NBA, Other • 74 Views

    The United States Men’s Olympic Basketball team has done exactly what is expected of them so far during the tournament and exhibition games, and that is win. Some wins may have resulted into a few scary moments as was seen versus Serbia and Australia, and other wins Team USA looked as if they were a well-oiled machine. To no surprise that is a reoccurring theme in the modern day Olympics. USA dominated in 1996 and again in 2000. Something in 2004 changed what we are seeing today.

    In 2004 in Athens, Greece USA received a wake up call. We were once again informed that we could no longer just compile players who didn’t fit a team game a few weeks after the NBA finals and send them to the games without a plan. It’s difficult to imagine now, but a team featuring prime Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire and young stars Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and some guy named Lebron James had a disappointing performance in the games and took home the bronze medal. The US lost to Puerto Rico, Lithuania and Argentina (the most ever by a US basketball team).

    I’m aware it’s unrealistic to think that other countries that focus on competing in these games year round are not capable of producing the same level of talent as the US. With basketball being invented in the US, one of the four major sports in the US and the NBA being the most competitive basketball league in the world it is realistic to think we should be the team favored to win each year. Despite the criticism surrounding this year’s team, they were still viewed as a favorite.

    With 7 of the top players in the league absent (Westbrook, Harden, Curry, James, Davis, Leonard, Paul) the US has still managed to dominate all exhibition games and to win all games in pool play during the Olympics. The result’s may not be Dream-team like, but the reality of a winning Gold Medal is still forthcoming despite a large amount of criticism.

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    Chelsea VS West Ham Recap: What We Learned From Conte

    Aug 18 • Other • 60 Views

    With the third day of the English Premier League wrapped up, Chelsea fans saw a glimpse of what Conte may have to offer this upcoming season.

    Goals from Eden Hazard’s penalty and Diego Costa’s 89th minute rocket were enough to get the Blues past West Ham United 2-1 and here’s three things we observed.

    1.) N’Golo Kante

    From Leicester City to Chelsea, I think anyone would find the immense pressure hard to live up too. But let me tell you, I finally saw first hand why this man had been regarded so highly. Kante showed up to play on Wednesday and no doubt was a huge help for the team. Throughout world football, a strong defensive midfielder is found at the core of each squad. Although given a yellow card very early on in the game, he was a non-stop engine and kept winning balls for Chelsea during the duration of the match.

    2.) Conte’s Tactics

    Chelsea has been traditionally seen playing with a 4-2-3-1, and that was the formation which ultimately won them the Premiership. Although, today showed the Italian lay out a 4-1-4-1 format. I was skeptical at first… but N’Golo Kante showed he could in fact protect the back four by himself and let Matic push up the field. It seemed to me that Matic was used to pressure higher up the field, and Kante pressured right in the middle of the pitch. This kept West Ham with very limited opportunities. At the very end, we even saw a 4-2-4 formation, which fundamentally led to Batshuayi linking up with Costa, supported by Moses and Pedro on the wings – deadly.

    3.) Regaining Their Pride

    Today I saw glimpses of the old Oscar, the old Hazard, and the old Terry; could the players finally be out of their funk? Oscar was chosen to start in front of Cesc Fabregas. I wont look too much into that decision but I thought Oscar had himself a good day. The Brazilian was heavily involved in all areas of the pitch and even (surprisingly) went into challenges with heart. Hazard was an outlet on the wing all game and even came close to scoring in the first half before his PK. The back line was superb and you really cant complain when you have such experience in Terry, Cahill and Ivanovic. It seemed, for the first time in a while, that the team might just be getting their mojo back.

     

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  • NBA-Fashion

    In The Modern NBA, Should You Even Buy Your Favorite Players Jersey?

    Aug 18 • Business, NBA • 75 Views

     

    As a kid growing up in the 80s and 90s, you always knew the investment to purchase an NBA player’s jersey was a sound one because you could most likely count on that player being with his current team for years to come.  In other words, you knew you would get to wear it to many games over the years before that player retires and it becomes time for another jersey.

    With the retirement of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan’s stepping down from his role as the permanent San Antonio Spurs ambassador this summer, the idea that you can purchase the jersey of your favorite player, knowing that it would be his actual jersey for years to come has pretty much ended.  Bryant and Duncan are the last two superstar players that I can remember being with their team for an entire career.

    Over the years, we have seen these All-Star players leave from time to time.  Karl Malone and Gary Payton left Utah Jazz and Seattle Supersonics respectively and unsuccessfully tried to grab that elusive title with the Lakers.  Charles Barkley did the same thing, leaving the Philadelphia 76ers for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets before finally calling it a career, without a ring.  But for the most part, the stars stayed with their teams.

    Magic, Bird, Ewing, Worthy, Jordan (yes, he played a couple of seasons for the Wizards, but that wasn’t about winning a title) all stayed with their teams.  Through winning seasons, losing ones and even the ones that saw them come oh so close to that ring and just fall short, they stayed.  They didn’t complain, they didn’t call their buddies and try to form a secret pact in the middle of the night to join up with a certain team, dominate the league and steal a ring or two.

    So why did these players, along with Bryant and Duncan stay with their teams until the end?  One word, loyalty.  They were loyal to the organization that gave them their shot and they were loyal to the fans who helped them become the stars that they were.  But the 80s and 90s, and what was left in the 2000s, is long gone.  Today, players chase rings and money trying to be better than Jordan, Magic and Bird instead of just being the best player they can be.

    It started with the Big Three in Miami and has continued since then.  Even though LeBron James went back to Cleveland, other stars continue to chase championships with teams who didn’t draft them.  Kevin Durant left OKC for the Golden State Warriors and Al Horford decided that the Celtics gave him the best chance of winning and bolted to Atlanta at the same time that Dwight Howard arrived with the hope that his fourth team will be the one he lands a ring with.

    While the product may not be diminished, the spirit of the league may be.  Fans no longer have “their” guy who sheds blood, sweat and tears with them, goes through the highs and lows they do as they attempt to bring a championship to a city.  Arenas still sell out, jerseys still fly off shelves, but Bryant and Duncan not only ended an era, they also took that last bit of emotional connection between team and fans with them.

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  • BEN-SIMMONS-2

    Who else Can Win NBA Rookie Of The Year?

    Aug 15 • NBA • 96 Views

    Ben Simmons, the number one overall pick, is the obvious front-runner for the rookie of the year award. During summer league, Simmons showed flashes of his brilliant talent, mostly as a gifted passer with vision that you simply cannot teach. Simmons is oozing with talent yet he remains far from a finished product. His lack of an outside shot could cause him problems once the real games begin. Teams in the summer league already started to sag off of him, forcing him to get rid of the ball or take the jump shot, which he was hesitant to do.

    Second overall pick Brandon Ingram could challenge Simmons for rookie of the year, but there are also a few other players drafted in the first round that could surprise some people. I believe there are a trio of guards drafted in the top 10 that have a chance to surpass Simmons and Ingram to take home the trophy.

    Buddy Hield

    Buddy Hield struggled with his shot during summer league, going 5/20 and 7/20 in back to back games at one point. He could not find his touch from three-point range, a touch he displayed regularly for Oklahoma last year. Hield, the sixth overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans, may have struggled with his shot, but what he did show was a willingness to continue firing. Hield should have plenty of opportunity to let it fly for the Pelicans this season, as the loss of Eric Gordon opens up room for playing time at the shooting guard position. He showed in college last season that he has the ability to become a big time scorer at the next level as well. When Hield regains his shooting touch, he could challenge for the ROY as a key contributor for the Pelicans.

     

    Kris Dunn

    Kris Dunn was selected fifth overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He is the latest addition to a very talented young core. Dunn, Wiggins, and Towns could make one of the best trios in the league for years to come. Dunn was known as a very solid defensive player coming out of college, which was the main reason he was drafted by the T-Wolves and ex Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. It did not take long for Dunn to show that he is also a very capable scorer, as he scored 27 points in his summer league debut. Dunn should be a very good two-way player right away and will challenge Simmons and others for ROY.

     

    Jamal Murray

    Jamal Murray averaged 20 points per game as a true freshman at the University of Kentucky. He was selected 7th overall in the NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets. If his college coach’s view is any indication, Murray will become a great NBA player as well. Of course Calipari is biased, but he lobbied for Murray to go No. 1 overall and believes he could also average 20 points in the NBA. Murray is a pure scorer and should put up points right away for the Nuggets. It would be no surprise to see Murray as the top rookie scorer next year, earning him a solid chance of becoming the ROY.

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    How Durant’s Move To The Warriors Impacts The 2017 MVP Race

    Aug 4 • NBA • 145 Views

    The Golden State Warriors landed the biggest off-season prize in Kevin Durant; making their team significantly better. But what impact will the addition have on the other Warriors star, Stephen Curry, when it comes to personal accolades? Curry is the two time reigning league MVP, and became the first player to win the award unanimously last year. He will likely start next season as the MVP favorite once again, but the arrival of Durant could put a damper on any hopes for a third consecutive trophy.

    Durant, a former MVP himself, may have also taken himself out of the conservation by joining Curry and the Warriors.  When two of the top 3 players in the world team up, they likely cancel each other out when it comes to MVP voting.  With the Warriors duo likely being phased out of the equation, the door opens for a few potential first-time MVP’s.

    Durant’s old running mate Russell Westbrook will be fueled by his departure and may just be the likeliest candidate to take home the trophy. Westbrook put up monster numbers alongside Durant, and without him, the ball will be in his hands at all times. He went on a triple-double tear last season and he will surely put up the type of numbers worthy of the trophy. The only question for Westbrook is if he is able to keep the Thunder competitive in the West.

    If the Thunder hang around the middle of the playoff pack and Westbrook’s numbers see an increase from last season, he will likely finish the year as the newest MVP. But the middle to lower tier team status could really hurt his chances.

    Another Western Conference star that could see a rise in the MVP rankings this year is Kawhi Leonard. While the Spurs have realistically been Leonard’s team for the past few seasons, Tim Duncan’s retirement this offseaon makes it completely official. Leonard is one of the best players on both sides of the floor and will get serious MVP consideration if his offensive numbers continue on their recent ascension for the Spurs. If San Antonio can keep pace with the Warriors, Leonard’s chances will remain very competitive.

    Rounding out the top 3 potential MVP candidates for next season is 4 time MVP LeBron James. James and the Cavaliers figure to be at the top of the Eastern Conference once again. If the team can play a little more consistent next season, James will be right in the MVP conversation as always. After bringing home a title for Cleveland, the pressure is off and the Durant signing should provide all of the motivation needed to push for another deep run. James’ numbers are consistent across the board from year to year. If he can get the Cavaliers somewhere around the 60-win mark he will have a great shot at winning his 5th MVP award.  Although it seems doubtful, even if the Cavs were too slip and not finish atop the East, James’ pedigree ensures that if he performs well, he will be in the conversation.

    These three superstars seem most likely to take home the honors in 2017, but don’t count out the holders of the trophy of the past season just yet.  Remember when Lebron teamed up with perennial All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh everyone said he would surely never win the MVP award again.  Those critics were very wrong, James won the MVP 2 of the 4 years he was in Miami and came in second and third in voting the other two years.  We’ll truly have to wait and see how this plays out.

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  • LL2k

    5th Annual Local Legends Shootout

    Aug 3 • Media • 115 Views

    Saturday August 6th will make the “5th Annual Local Legends Shootout” is presented by The Pearson Family and De’lish Ultra Lounge. The Shootout will be located at Dunbar High School, 1400 Albritton Dr, Dayton, Ohio 45417. Ticket prices are as follows: $8 for Adults and $6 for (4-14 age) Children. The doors open up at 6 PM and the game starts at 7 PM.

    The two teams will be captained by Dunbar graduates Daequan Cook and Norris Cole, both will put their GM hats on and a lot of trash talking will ensue.

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    If you are in the Dayton area on Saturday come by and watch some hoops, Chuck Richardson and the crew have worked hard to put together a great game. This will be the second year that the Local Legends will provide a scholarship to a local inner city kid who attended a Dayton area high school. This year a pair of 750 Yeezy Boost will be auctioned off so make sure you take advantage of this cool prize. I know they will have more events planned before the game and during so make sure you check it out!

    This post should be your guide for the games information, but if this isn’t enough feel free to email Chuck at richardsonhc1@gmail.com or leave a comment in the comment box.

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    Back to Back Champions: Overseas Elite Wins The Basketball Tournament

    Aug 3 • Other • 142 Views

    For a second year in a row, Overseas Elite are the champions of The Basketball Tournament taking home the $2 million grand prize. The back-to-back champions defeated Team Colorado 77-72 in a heated contest that nearly went down to the wire.

    Just like in Game 7 of NBA Finals a block changed the momentum of the game. After trailing in the closing moments, Overseas seized the momentum after D.J. Kennedy had a LeBron James-like (well not quite) chase down block that breathed new life into the team.

    Despite Team Colorado losing in the title game, the Buffaloes should be proud for their showing in the #TBT. For Overseas Elite, they add to their legacy in the tournament. Winning the championship will only add to the pressure of making it a three-peat for next year’s tournament. With an all-time record of 13-0 in the TBT, Overseas Elite will be expected to be at the top yet again.

    Schools such as Texas A&M, Ohio State, Kentucky, Arizona, UCONN, and a host of others are rumored to construct alumni teams to enter the #TBT. While the aforementioned teams will look to dethrone the back-to-back champs in 2017, the champs can bask in dominance of the basketball tournament for another 365 days.

    We would like to send our Congrats to Overseas Elite on repeating as champions. Now that the team has won over $3 million over the past two summers, I have one question.

    Can I borrow $5?

    Team payout is listed below:

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    Thoughts on Michael Jordan’s Stance on Social Change and Gun Violence

    Aug 2 • NBA, Other • 158 Views

    Less than a week ago Michael Jordan created quite a buzz for reasons non-related to basketball. He released a statement to The Undefeated where he detailed his displeasure with the way African Americans in the US have been subjected to police brutality as well as the backlash police departments have been faced with regarding random acts of violence.

    Michael discussed the pain his family felt after losing his father to gun violence during his career and that recent news had moved him to no longer stay silent. Even in retirement from the game he loved Michael has remained incredibly relevant in a way no athlete or former athlete ever has. The reasons for that relevancy have always caused controversy for an athlete who never really caused any controversy on the court.

    Many people in the media and public opinion in general had contrasting thoughts on Jordan’s statements. I heard many people say “why now” after all these years of glaring silence. I heard people say including Jordan brand athlete Carmelo Anthony “it’s about time” welcoming Jordan’s seemingly long overdue social political stance.

    I also heard those making the argument that by donating money (2 million dollars, 1 million a piece) to the Internal Association of Chiefs of Police (Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Jordan again did not make a political stance. By donating money to police and the NAACP equally, he would remain exempt from judgment or ridicule either way therefore again not making a stance.

    Personally, I feel it’s a lot of unfair pressure to put on today’s athletes expecting them to live up to the social/political platforms that Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown and many others did furthermore because an athlete as great at a sport does not mean they are obligated to speak on tough societal matters.

    However I do feel the issues that Jordan may have remained silent on throughout the years were more social/cultural and I feel those with a status and voice should speak on said issues especially when they open platforms for discussion as this one has.

    I could care less about who the man wants to vote for but asking him to have an opinion on Chicago’s inner city isn’t asking much.

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  • leveonbell

    Dear NFL, It’s Time to Allow The Players to Use Marijuana

    Aug 2 • NFL • 270 Views

    As the dog days of summer continue on through their late stages, the anticipation for the upcoming season is at its highest level. With training camp already started, fans around the world have begun to tune in to national coverage to try to get the inside scoop. This past off season has brought no shortage of what could be considered, the biggest “marijuana comedy movie” hashed out in real life. No pun intended.

    LeVeon Bell, running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was allegedly absent from one or more drug tests in the previous few months, causing the league to potentially suspend the all-pro half back for the first four games at the start of the 2016 year. If convicted and forced to sit out, Bell will have now missed the first few games of the season for the third time in his four-year career. A staggering 17 games, equivalent to an entire season.

    Several other names along with Bell have been suspended already, while others have checked themselves into rehab. Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith have both recently been admitted to rehabilitation centres to undergo treatment for various reasons. News of Aldon’s sober stint comes on the heels of a rather unique social media upload of a person, presumed to be Smith, hosting a fire up session which entailed audio of him smoking a joint. All the while denying the public would recognize his voice, until suddenly his name is spoken and the audio ends. Though innocence is guaranteed until proven guilty, in this instance the facts are woven with guilt.

    The underlying issue in all of these cloudy situations, again, pun not intended. Is the fact that now more than ever, professional athletes, and NFL players in particular, are veering away from a liquor fused lifestyle in favor of a marijuana induced mind state keeping them calm and pain-free with much less health hazards. Sure they get a little lazy but so does Eddie Lacy after a few Mcdoubles so who’s to judge?

    The pressure put on by media and fans is life changing, comparing closely to the expectations assigned by the organization and coaching staff, even their fellow teammates. Some players use marijuana as an escape from all that, no different than a blue collared worker coming home to spark one up forgetting his worries of the daily stress and struggle.

    Sadly the NFL doesn’t look too kindly upon this matter, becoming very stubborn and dangerous for one’s career when confronted with these types of problems. Instead of focusing on the PEDs,(Professional body enhancements) the silent assassin, building them into super genetic freaks only to find those same human monsters in a hospital bed not too long after their first rotation of steroids. Now I’m no doctor but it’s a pretty fair assumption that these injuries correlating with PED use is no coincidence. The examples are plenty and would take much too long to list but they are there and there are many of them.

    It’s a tough situation no matter what your personal stance is on marijuana, whether it be for medical or recreational purposes. The way I see it, and as a matter of fact as the majority of North America sees it, as long as it’s in moderation, it should be considered the same as alcohol. Placing it on the legal to consume list for athletes all around the professional sports world. It is their bodies and ultimately their health and career they put on the line every day, why not allow them to choose what they put in it, especially something so harmless.

    So Stephen A. Smith, Mike Mayock and the rest of the anti-reefer movement in the NFL, I’ll be perfectly blunt when I say, it could be worse so let the players have their “weeeed!!”

    Pun so proudly intended.

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  • Are The 76’ers Summer League Results Telling Of Their Coming Season

    Jul 29 • NBA • 122 Views

    The Philadelphia 76’ers summer league season came to an end over the past weekend with all eyes on #1 draft pick Ben Simmons out of LSU.  This gave the brass the opportunity to see talent play at, or near NBA caliber level and see what the future holds.  The two week stint demonstrated that yes, Ben Simmons can play and will be a force on the court immediately, and for years to come.  

    Philadelphia had a record of 3-4 with the victories coming against NBA D-Select, Utah Jazz and the Miami Heat.  The losses came at the hands the Los Angeles Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets, the Golden State Warriors, and Chicago.  Ben Simmons stats were solid in the four games he played.  He ranked second in scoring average with 12.2 pts and first in rebound average of 7.8.  He logged over thirty minutes a game and made his presence felt.  Simmons was also second on the team in assists and steals.  In Simmons last game, a 74-66 victory over the Miami Heat, he manufactured 15 points (5-15 fg, 5-7 ft), 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block. Also of note that night was his eagerness and desire to return to action, after having been held out of the Sixers’ two previous games due to previously scheduled rest. Overall, a strong campaign for Simmons who will feel the burden to be the franchise moniker for a team that ended the season at 10-72, worst in the NBA.

    The leading scorer for the summer team was Christian Wood, who played three games, averaging 13.0 points.  He was solid and contributed nicely.  So nicely, that he was immediately signed to a two-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets.  It’s certainly a disappointment, but the 76ers need a ton of work in all positions to begin to climb from the cellar of the NBA.

    Timothe Luwawu was the 24th pick in the 2016 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and played very well in the two week stint.  He is regarded as a versatile defender that can play solid in the paint.  Many experts believe he would be better served playing in Europe for a year or two.  He averaged 8.2 points per game with a 36% shooting percentage and logged almost 24 minutes per game.  His best performance out on the court was in a loss to Dallas on July 13, where he netted 15 points and shot just under 50% from the floor.  The potential to join the club in the near future was definitely there.

    Rounding out the rest of the team it will be very difficult to see (except for Simmons and possibly Luwawu) who will be on the squad come October.  The 76ers need a major upgrade in almost every position to become competitive again.  There is always the possibility that one or two could be pulled if injuries become an issue during the season.

    In reality, the summer league was to showcase Ben Simmons and get him acclimated to the NBA style of play and he for the most part did not disappoint management.  While issues remain with regards to his toughness and willingness to be dishing the ball out to teammates, that will come with time and repetition.

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