All posts by Trevor

Rutgers student, avid sports fan, suffering Rutgers supporter, sneakerhead, jersey collector, and the only person to have a below .100 average in intramural softball.

Bye Bye Barcelona – Neymar to PSG in Record Transfer

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Image from Sky Sports.

*UPDATE* La Liga has blocked payment from Neymar’s lawyers of his 220 million buyout clause, and have reported PSG to UEFA for violations of FIFA’s financial fair play (FFP) rules. La Liga has also accused PSG of “financial doping” and improper spending by its owners, the Gulf state of Qatar. 

*NEW UPDATE* Barcelona has agreed to pay 222 million to terminate Neymar’s contract

In a shocking move, Brazilian superstar Neymar has left Barcelona in a record smashing transfer rumored to be around €500 million including wages, buyout clause (around €220 million), and transfer fee. After much speculation and rumors linking Neymar to French giant PSG, the official transfer was announced, sending shock-waves throughout the football world.

Following one of the greatest seasons of his young career at Barcelona as a member of the deadly attacking trio “MSN” (Messi, Suarez, Neymar), including sparking one of the greatest comebacks in any sport against PSG in the Champions League (sorry American football fans, but scoring 6 goals is a lot harder than coming back from 28-3), Neymar has decided to leave Barcelona for the former.

The move has caught everybody by surprise, but none more than Barcelona, who now are left without an answer at left wing, and are facing rumors and displeasure from supporters that their famed “La Masia” academy is drying up with talent and that the club is moving away from its roots as “More than a club” a center for Catalan culture.

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Promotional posters being replaced with images of Neymar cropped out. Image from Goal.com

After weeks of silence from Neymar amid rumors of the move, and pleads from teammates to remain with the club, the Lebron like transfer has created a lot of distaste from both players and fans alike. While I’m not sure Europeans are into the burning jersey craze, there are probably plenty of Barca supporters who want to do just that. The club was quick to replace posters with identical ones with the image of the Brazilian winger removed. While some are angry, Messi was quick to respond with a classy and heartfelt message on Instagram  following news of the move.

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Image from Tribuna.com

According to sources, Neymar wished to leave Barcelona in order to have a team of his own on which he would be the focal point. He wished to be a leader, on and off the field, and to have control of his own brand and career during which he wishes to become a Ballon d’Or winner, something that was deemed impossible playing alongside Leo Messi, possibly the greatest player to ever grace a football pitch (don’t @ me).

First off, I believe that Neymar is naive and stupid for leaving Barcelona. The club is one of the greatest, most valuable, and most treasured in the world, and he has been playing alongside the world’s greatest player while shining in his own right, leading the club to outstanding achievement. Despite a disappointing 2016 in regard to final achievement by the club, Barcelona won the treble of La Liga, Copa del Ray, and the UEFA Champions League titles in 2015, and have all the talent and brand power to do the same again. Together “MSN” have combined for 365 goals over three seasons with the Brazilian star contributing 105, but it seems Neymar wishes to have a more central attacking role away from the shadow of Messi, which contributed to his desire to leave (Kyrie Irving totally gets you right now Neymar).

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Secondly, those close to Neymar claim the deal is not about money, but when your yearly salary rises from €9 million to €40 million, money is clearly involved in the process. Now its easy to knock professional athletes for chasing money from our seats as average joes at home, but I personally do not believe his brand and image at Barcelona could be surpassed by playing anywhere else, even Paris, so I believe he should have put ego and money aside and continued his career at Barca where eventually he could become the face of the club’s future upon Messi’s eventual decline.

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Potential starting XI for PSG.

Neymar cited winning the Ballon d’Or as a personal goal of his upon arriving at PSG, where he will link with Brazilian teammates Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, and Dani Alves, but I do not believe playing in France will provide him any better of an opportunity to achieve such personal success. I view the French league as one of the weakest of the major European leagues in comparison to England, Germany, Spain, and Italy, and while Neymar is a world class talent, I do not foresee PSG making further advances into the Champions League. If you don’t believe me, FIFA league coefficients has Ligue 1 ranked fifth behind the Premier League, the Bundesliga, La Liga, and even the declining Serie A in Italy. Club coefficients has PSG ranked 7th behind four La Liga clubs. The next ranked Ligue 1 club is Monaco at number 21, but with the transfer of young talent Mbappe seemingly inevitable, that may change.

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League rankings from the 16/17 Champions League.

With that being said, winning the most respected award in world football will be a tall task, competing against the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, and others who are even higher class talents playing in better leagues against statistically some of the world’s top teams. With Monaco’s Mbappe wanting out and the transfer of Lyon’s Alex Lacazette to Arsenal, Ligue 1 has only become weaker in my opinion, so I do not support the move. Time will tell if this record transfer pans out, there is no doubt Neymar has the talent, but I am not convinced he’ll want to call PSG home forever.

While the deal has yet to be officially approved, PSG believes that the deal should have no problem going through. So what does the record setting transfer mean for world football?

The transfer, while currently rejected, has set a new standard for paying players. As Manchester United gaffer Jose Mourinho pointed out, while it is not an expensive fee for a player of Neymar’s ability, it will inflate the prices teams will pay for other players, who he believes are not worth the higher amount of money they will now receive. The same affect can be seen in the NBA, where players like Timofey Mozgov and Matthew Dellavedova received more money than they should have due to much higher contracts being awarded to superstars across the board, thus inflating the market for average to below average players. The lasting effects of this deal, if eventually approved, could be groundbreaking.

 

Readers, good or bad move? You can leave your thoughts and comments below.

Why Conor McGregor Has Already Won…

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We’re still over a month away from August 26th, but the anticipation for Mayweather v. McGregor is growing everyday. For months, talk of this fight happening seemed like a bunch of BS, giving people like Skip Bayless and Stephen A. something other than basketball or football to talk about on their talk shows. To be honest, I didn’t think Floyd would ever actually agree to this fight, but sure enough, the deal is done and the most anticipated boxing match in awhile is officially taking place.

Now I was never a big fan of Floyd Mayweather. It’s hard for me to like a guy who has made a career off of winning extremely boring fights, and even harder to respect a guy who has had domestic violence issues and constantly has to flash his money on social media as if we don’t know how much money he has actually made off of his fighting career. Now obviously Floyd’s fights are so boring because he’s so downright good at defensively dancing around the ring and timing his strikes, and Conor McGregor is not the most frugal guy either when it comes to his lifestyle. But it’s just so difficult to dislike a guy who represents his entire country and family in everything that he does, and it’s so easy to hate a guy like Floyd.

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Before this fight was ever official, me and probably just about everyone else who doesn’t live under a rock already knew that Floyd would win, hands down. Most likely Conor would barely even touch him in the process. But regardless of the outcome of the fight, Conor McGregor has already won, and here’s why.

First of all, McGregor is insane, in a good way. For starters, he and Dana White literally pulled a LaVar Ball and spoke this fight into existence. Not only is McGregor a world renowned name and a certified UFC great for having held a belt in two weight classes, but he is actually crazy enough to give that up in pursuit of fighting the greatest boxer of our generation, who is a calm 49-0. Regardless of the outcome of the fight, his stock will be higher than before. No one expects him to win, but if he does he will have taken down one of the greatest boxers in history, and if not, he will still help contribute to what will probably be the biggest pay-per-view event of all time, smashing any numbers he would’ve done in the UFC. Sounds like a win-win.

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Image from FightNights.com

Secondly, he wore a custom pinstripe suit to the first fight press conference, with the pinstripes containing “f*ck you” up and down the suit. That’s probably the most amazing thing ever. Shout out to Conor’s tailor.

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Image from BlackSportsOnline and ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

Next, he’s the most savage trash talker ever. Sorry Peyton Manning, I absolutely loved your Kevin Durant joke at the ESPY’s, but nothing tops an amped up Conor McGregor starting a “F**k the Mayweather’s” chant, then going up to Floyd Mayweather’s face and stating that he dresses like a bum because he can’t afford luxuries due to his tax problems, and then asking why he has a school bag, because he can’t f**king read. *Insert Funk Flex bomb here*. I mean I loved it when 50 Cent took to Instagram to call Floyd’s third grade English skills into question, but Conor flat out stood next to him and said “you can’t read”. You can watch the entire rant below, courtesy of UFC on Fox.

Lastly, Conor McGregor is a people’s champ. He completely disrespected Floyd in two press conferences, had crowds chanting his every move, and he’s fighting a fight that everyone expects him to lose, and no one cares. Every single Irish person on this Earth flat out loves the guy, and so does everyone else, because he’s batsh*t crazy, and he doesn’t back down from anything. He came from nothing, and he never forgot his roots, his country, or his family. After this fight, he’ll return to the UFC where he is treasured, and he will continue to draw big money in his events. People will only love him more following this bout, and if he overachieves he’ll become a legend. So whether or not he even comes close to touching Floyd in the ring on August 26th, Conor McGregor has already won.

 

NBA Draft Recap, Analysis, Plus Winners and Losers

With the 2017 NBA Draft officially concluded, it’s time to assess the damage, and to try and predict what every teams’ next move is as they prepare for next season. For those of you who watched the entire draft, I applaud your commitment, and for those of you who didn’t, here’s a recap of the entire first round, the major moves, and the winners and losers on draft night. Image result for nba draft 2017

  1. Philadelphia 76ers – Markelle Fultz, PG Washington: No surprises here with this pick, Fultz was the consensus top pick in this year’s draft, and rightfully so. Many people didn’t watch Fultz too often, including myself, due to the fact that he played in the PAC-12 and on a very bad team, but he possesses many attributes that make him a great fit for the league. A natural scorer at 6′ 4″ with a 7′ wingspan, coupled with athleticism, a nice outside shot, and play-making ability, Fultz should definitely contribute to #TheProcess and could become a star in the league.Image result for markelle fultz draft
  2. Los Angeles Lakers – Lonzo Ball, PG UCLA: This pick was essentially guaranteed with the trading of D’Angelo Russell, and it’s a solid pick for the Lakers. Ball is a natural leader, and he possesses outstanding passing abilities to go with a remarkably efficient offensive game (He was the only player to shoot better than 60% on 2 pt field goals and 40% on 3 pt field goals). Ball has all the potential to be a part of a young core that could revive the Lakers and showtime along the way.Image result for lonzo draft
  3. Boston Celtics – Jayson Tatum, SF Duke: A great pick for Boston with a lot of upside, Tatum is fortunate to be a lottery pick joining a 50-win team. Tatum boasts a well established offensive game drawing comparisons to Carmelo Anthony, and with Amir Johnson figuring to leave the C’s in free agency, Tatum could instantly find himself in a big role bolstering the team and providing another offensive weapon as Boston tries to get over the hump that is LeBron and the Cavs.Image result for tatum draft
  4. Phoenix Suns – Josh Jackson, SF Kansas: One of my favorite picks of the draft, if there’s one thing the league always has a place for, it’s athletes, and Jackson definitely fits the bid. While his jumpshot is inconsistent as well as his overall offensive game, Jackson is a high motor guy that will be a dynamic compliment to Devin Booker on the wing. Plus, he can be a great defender and offensive skills can be improved over time, but Jackson’s athleticism is something you can’t teach.Image result for josh jackson draft
  5. Sacramento Kings – De’Aaron Fox, PG Kentucky: This pick is right up there with the Knicks’ pick as one of the most painful picks for me in the draft. I absolutely love De’Aaron Fox on and off the court. He’s blazing fast with a great handle, the ability to finish around the rim, and an underrated mid-range jumpshot which was flashed in excess against Lonzo Ball and UCLA during the NCAA tournament. Not only that, but he has drawn John Wall comparisons and he’s a leader and a high energy guy. So why do I hate this pick? Because Fox has all the tools to be a star in this league, but Sacramento is where players’ careers go to die. Tell me the last Kings’ draft pick that went on to have a successful career. Exactly. Image result for de'aaron fox draft
  6. Orlando Magic – Jonathon Isaac, F Florida State: Orlando just can’t seem to figure it out recently, but hopefully Isaac can be an answer. Having grown a freakish amount in high school similar to Anthony Davis, Isaac possesses excellent guard skills for a player of his size to compliment good ability around the basket and a freakish wingspan. Provided he can fill out and get stronger, Isaac has a lot of potential to become a scary player in the league.Image result for jonathan isaac draft
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves (Chicago) – Lauri Markkanen, F Arizona: I can’t help but think that the Bulls got the short end of the stick in this deal, and I’m not sure how I feel about Markkanen either. The poor man’s Kristaps Porzingis, Markkanen shoots the 3 at a great clip and can stretch the floor, but is lanky and a bit soft, and his defense will have to improve as well as his strength if he’s going to succeed.  Image result for markkanen draft
  8. New York Knicks – Frank Ntilikina, PG Strasbourg: Was Phil Jackson asleep when the Knicks decided to make this pick? Probably not, because this pick was such a typical Jackson/Knicks thing to do. Draft an 18 year old European prospect who is largely unknown and touted solely on potential that won’t be realized for years, and who ESPN gave a 59% chance of being a bust. Sounds good right? Ntilikina is raw and could potentially develop into a solid player in the league, but he’s only averaging 5.5 ppg in limited minutes in France, and with both Malik Monk and Dennis Smith Jr. on the board, I just really hate this pick by the Knicks. At least there were no crying fans after this one.Image result for ntilikina draft day
  9. Dallas Mavericks – Dennis Smith Jr., PG NC State: One of the biggest steals of the draft. Smith Jr. is a gamer, and while playing in the rigorous ACC, he proved that he is an extremely talented offensive guard who can make an immediate impact. Dallas was in need of a point guard, and I predict Smith Jr. makes waves in the league, all while causing an early funeral for Phil Jackson at the hands of all the angry Knicks fans who will be pissed that they missed him.Image result for dennis smith jr draft
  10. Sacramento Kings (Portland) -Zach Collins, C Gonzaga: I see Adam Morrison in Zach Collins’ future, and no, not college Adam Morrison. While Collins brings size, intensity, and a presence on both ends of the floor, he has never been the best player on his team, and I don’t think he should have left school for the draft. Clearly NBA execs think otherwise, but I just don’t see this pick panning out. But who really pays attention to Portland anyway, right?Image result for zach collins draft
  11. Charlotte Hornets – Malik Monk, SG Kentucky: I was in complete shock that Monk fell this low in the draft, so this is a steal for the Hornets. I’m sure Michael Jordan is smirking with a cigar in his mouth somewhere, life is good for the GOAT, and it just got a lot better for Kemba Walker and company. Monk is a gifted scorer with extremely under utilized athleticism, and if he continues to improve and combine the two, I project him to be a big time star. I mean the guy dropped 47 on the eventual national champions, and eclipsed 30 points 3 other times during the season. He’s the real deal. Image result for malik monk draft
  12. Detroit Pistons – Luke Kennard, SG Duke: Kennard is definitely the epitome of a Duke basketball player, a guy who is just so easy to hate, but also so easy to love at the same time. Not only did Kennard inspire the greatest tweet of the year (courtesy of Barstool), but he has a silky smooth offensive game and he can fill it up in bunches, making him a lot of fun to watch, and a good candidate to improve Detroit’s offense, particularly from behind the arc.Image result for luke kennard draft
  13. Denver Nuggets (Utah) – Donovan Mitchell, SG Louisville: This pick leads me to think the the Jazz are anticipating the departure of Gordon Hayward. Regardless, Mitchell is an athletic SG with a lot of upside, and he showed flashes of how good he can be at the pro-level, so this is a solid all around pick for the Jazz. The Mormons have spoken, welcome to Utah Donovan Mitchell. Related image
  14. Miami Heat – Bam Adebayo: Adebayo had an underwhelming freshman season at Kentucky but it’s hard for me to hate any pick that Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra make. Adebayo is a great athlete with a lot of potential, and I think the Heat develop him into a solid player.Image result for bam adebayo draft
  15. Portland Trailblazers (Kings) – Justin Jackson, SF North Carolina: This goes back to what I said before about the Kings and killing careers and just flat out doing stupid sh*t. They passed on Malik Monk at 10, and I thought okay fine, they have Buddy Hield, they don’t want a SG. Only for them to trade the pick, and draft Justin Jackson at 15. Like what the actual…I mean I know Jackson averaged 18 ppg, but I think he’s extremely overrated and only good for about 10 ignorant pull-up 3’s a game. I hope Malik Monk drops a 30 piece on you Sacramento, I really do. Image result for justin jackson draft
  16. Chicago Bulls (Minnesota) – Justin Patton, C Creighton: Most people probably didn’t even know that Creighton existed, but Patton is another long center that grew an insane amount in high school. He’s athletic, can shoot the 3, has guard skills, and a high motor, so I like this pick because I think almost anyone can contribute more than Gorgui Dieng in the long-run, and I think the Wolves thought the same thing with this pick. Plus paired with Towns in the frontcourt will relieve pressure  from Patton.Image result for justin patton draft
  17. Milwaukee Bucks – D.J. Wilson, PF Michigan: Wilson showed lots of potential at Michigan, and as one of the older guys in the draft he’s slightly more developed. He’s a solid offensive talent and should provide more offense and youth to a Bucks squad that could be scary in a few years. Solid pick.Related image
  18. Indiana Pacers – T.J. Leaf, PF UCLA: Ah T.J. Leaf. On paper he’s a great shooter, a stretch four who is like a Swiss Army knife, and he displayed this versatility by leading UCLA in scoring with 16.3 ppg. There’s no doubt that Leaf can play, but I can’t help but wonder if the play of Ball inflated his stock and made him appear to be a more attractive player than he really is We’ll have to wait on this one.Image result for tj leaf draft
  19. Atlanta Hawks – John Collins, PF Wake Forest: I love John Collins and this pick. By his second year he had developed into an unstoppable force in the paint for Danny Manning and Wake Forest, and while he’s not as good as another PF drafted from Wake, he’s a high energy guy who’s unstoppable in the paint. Unfortunately the NBA doesn’t really revolve around the paint anymore, so Collins will have to develop his jumper to become an impact player.Image result for john collins draft
  20. Portland Trailblazers (Kings) – Harry Giles, PF Duke: I just really hate everything the Kings do. De’Aaron Fox was a great pick, I just wish he wasn’t in Sac-town, but then they trade away the opportunity to pair him with Malik Monk and select Justin Jackson and Harry Giles. Don’t get me wrong, there was a time when Giles was the best player in the country, but that time is not today, and with two severe knee injuries, and even if Giles reaches his potential, I just don’t see Giles having any longevity in the league.Image result for harry giles draft
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder – Terrance Ferguson, SG Adelaide 36ers: Risky pick for the Thunder, but a great pick, because let’s face it, Andre Roberson is absolutely terrible. Before leaving for the outback, Ferguson was routinely torching fellow peers who went on to star in college this year, so the potential is there. The best part is he doesn’t even have to live up to it, all he has to do is make open 3’s when Westbrook dishes it out. Image result for terrance ferguson draft
  22. Brooklyn Nets – Jarrett Allen, C Texas: Jarrett Allen looks like he hasn’t been carded in a liquor store since he was 12 years old. The guy didn’t even bother to get a haircut for draft night, now that’s confidence. Unfortunately, New York teams always find a way to screw things up, so we’ll have to see how this pans out. But hey, anyone is better than Timofey Mozgov.Image result for jarrett allen draft
  23. Toronto Raptors – OG Anunoby, SF Indiana: This is a steal for the Raptors. Despite having surgery and an injury that caused him to miss the second half of the season, Anunoby is a freak athlete who can become a dynamic wing and defender for the Raptors. And they need all the help they can get with Kyle Lowry potentially being on the way out. I predict Drake will be rocking an Onunoby jersey by this time next year. It’s a 6 ting eh.Image result for anunoby draft
  24. Utah Jazz (Nuggets) – Tyler Lydon, PF Syracuse: Another long range shooter from Syracuse who more likely than not will disappear into the blackhole that is the NBA D-League. That’s about all I see here.Image result for tyler lydon draft
  25. Orlando Magic (76ers) – Anzejs Pasecniks, C Latvia: A 7 footer and friend of Kristaps Porzingis, but not nearly as gifted. The 76ers don’t really need another center, so this pick and trade was a bit puzzling to me, but hey, trust the process right?Image result for andrzej pasecniks draft
  26. Portland Trailblazers – Caleb Swanigan, PF Purdue: This pick came out of right field. I don’t think anyone had Swanigan going in the first round, but I don’t hate this pick. Swanigan is built for the NBA, which can’t be said about most picks, and I have a lot of respect for anyone that goes from being 300 plus pounds to one of the most dominant players in the country. Best of luck to Swanigan.Image result for caleb swanigan draft
  27. Brooklyn Nets (Lakers) – Kyle Kuzma, PF Utah: Even though Magic Johnson’s recent draft predictions have been God awful, I can’t help but think the Lakers got another Larry Nance Jr. type steal of a pick here, so shout out to them.Image result for kyle kuzma draft
  28. Los Angeles Lakers (Utah) – Tony Bradley, C North Carolina: Tony who? I watched a decent amount of college basketball this year, and the fact that I didn’t even know who this guy was when he played on the national championship team should say something. But again, the Mormons have spoken, and they see a bright future in Bradley I guess. Welcome to Utah.Image result for tony bradley draft
  29. San Antonio Spurs – Derrick White, PG Colorado: I thought the Spurs really missed out on a Spurs type player in Frank Mason, but I can’t hate on anything the Spurs do, because other than signing LaMarcus Aldridge, almost everything they do pans out. White is a dynamic guard who rose to the first round after having only one college offer coming out of high school, so he works hard for his success and should buy in to the Spurs system quickly.Image result for derrick white draft
  30. Utah Jazz (Lakers) – Josh Hart, SG Villanova: If you want to talk about late picks that go on to become great players or maybe even stars, this could be one of them. Josh Hart is a senior, a great leader, and he straight up gets buckets. Hart could develop into an extremely talented guard in the league, so I love this pick by the Lakers.Image result for josh hart draft

So now that draft night is over, it’s time to talk about the winners and losers. Some of the picks and moves in this years draft had me baffled, and like Stephen A. Smith said last night, there’s a lot to be said. So, here we go.

Winners:

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves are the clear cut winners of the night, adding Jimmy Butler, a top 15 player in the league, and giving up very little in the process. On top of that, they added another solid frontcourt player to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns. This team is young and talented, and with Tom Thibodeau reuniting with Jimmy Butler to provide veteran leadership, this team is scary.

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Cold like Minnesota, eh?

Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers got their guy in Lonzo Ball, and they had a slew of picks in the first and second round to further boost their roster. I love Josh Hart and I think that Kyle Kuzma could pan out to be an under the radar player. The Lakers also added a solid center in Brook Lopez and dumped the contract of Mozgov and the immaturity of D’Angelo Russell in the process. With a young core and Paul George on the way, the Lakers are winners on draft night.

Boston Celtics: The Celtics have been winning on draft night since they traded KG and Paul Pierce for all these picks. Adding a player of Jason Tatum’s caliber to a 50 win team and the future is bright for the Boston Celtics.

Philadelphia 76ers: Markelle Fultz. Enough said. Trust the process.

Charlotte Hornets: I really love Malik Monk, and with his athleticism and scoring ability, I think he’s destined to become a star in the NBA. It’s not often a guy who had four plus 30 point games while absolutely dominating the competition slips to number 11, but it happened, and Charlotte is a winner because of it.

 

The Losers

Chicago Bulls: I just can’t help but think that the Bulls got finessed big time on the Jimmy Butler deal. Zach LaVine was becoming a star because of his ridiculous athletic ability, but following ACL surgery, I’m not sure how he’ll respond. On top of that, Kris Dunn had an underwhelming first season and he doesn’t solve the shooting problem that Chicago faces. To top it off, I’m not totally convinced that Lauri Markkanen is the next coming of Kristaps Porzingis, so for that, I’m calling the Bulls losers.

New York Knicks: It’s not often that the Knicks are winners on draft night, and this year is no different. Phil Jackson must’ve been too caught up in the zen, because I don’t see how you could leave Malik Monk and Dennis Smith Jr. on the board. Hopefully James Dolan had a good concert at least…

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Live look at Phil Jackson during the draft.

Sacramento Kings: When it comes to doing stupid stuff, the Kings are right up there with the Knicks. They drafted De’Aaron Fox, only to pass on the number 10 pick with Malik Monk on the board, trade it, and select a less talented shooting guard and an injury prone guy who’s likely to break down on the flight over. On top of that, the Kings then proceed to draft Frank Mason…Another point guard!? Wasn’t De’Aaron Fox supposed to be the answer? Sacramento is an NBA wasteland, time to move the Kings to Seattle.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Cleveland is almost a lock to win the Eastern Conference again next year, but with no draft picks and very little cap room, plus talk of Kyrie trade rumors and LeBron ditching the Land in a year, Cleveland won’t be able to get over the hump to beat Golden State, and as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby taught me, “if you ain’t first, you’re last”. Cavs are losers here.

With the Second Overall Pick In the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angles Lakers Select…LaVar Ball?

By this time tomorrow, the 76ers will already have taken Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick, which brings us to possibly the most anticipated pick of the night. By now, Adam Silver will strut out onto the stage, smile because everyone likes him better than David Stern (Sorry David, this hurts because you’re an RU alum, but nobody likes you), and will say, “With the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select….LaVar Ball?”.

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“Yeah baby, that’s me.”

Yup. You heard that right.

Now for months everyone has been talking about Lonzo Ball and the Lakers acquisition of the number two pick. Obviously nobody is talking about drafting his father LaVar, that would be ludicrous. But maybe we should be, and here’s why.

  1. LaVar Ball is a showstopper. It goes with out saying that the guy is an entertainer, and in LA, that’s what its all about. LaVar is a BIG BALLER, and that’s just what a storied franchise like the Lakers needs. Plus the man is responsible for turning his sons into a family wrecking crew on the court, and in his prime he could beat the GOAT Michael Jordan 1 v 1. Sounds like trouble for opposing teams and a guarantee to sell out the Staples Center every night, plus the young guys on the team could really benefit from his veteran presence.

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    A veteran presence is essential in every winning locker room to tell the young guys when to “stay in their lane”.
  2. Magic Johnson literally has no idea what he’s talking about. If Magic Johnson’s previous predictions are any indication, then maybe the Lakers and Rob Pelinka should consider taking a slightly different path during the draft. Johnson has compared Lonzo to some great guards and says that he has all the ability to be a star in the league. Normally it would be an honor receive such praise from a great like Johnson, but it might be more of a curse. Considering Magic said Michael Carter-Williams was the next coming of Jason Kidd, perhaps the Lakers should shake it up at number 2…bring in the old man!Image result for magic johnson nba tweets
  3. Lonzo will be a bust. For all the great plays he makes, Lonzo Ball definitely comes with some flaws. He has underwhelming athleticism, and he really isn’t that great at breaking guys down off the dribble. He shoots like a fourth grader who has to heave the ball across his body to reach the rim, making it hard to pull up while driving to the basket, and making his stepback predictable. Today, the league has no place for pass first point guards, which is why scorers like Steph and Kyrie thrive, sorry Lonzo but nice guys finish last. Finally, as De’Aaron Fox’s dad so astutely pointed out, his son “ate that ass up twice” in their two meetings this year. If you’re going to draft an underwhelming player, might as well draft the king of it, because who else makes averaging 2.2 points per game look so good?Image result for lavar ball 2.2
  4. LaVar Ball is the best trash talker since Reggie Miller. The guy is already the center of attention, and if the Lakers draft his son, they’re getting him as part of the deal anyway. Might as well suit him up and throw him out on the court, the guy doesn’t back down, and his trash talking ability is an x-factor.

Obviously the Lakers can’t and won’t draft LaVar Ball on draft night, and now that D’Angelo Russell has been traded to the Brooklyn Nets, it seems to be a lock that the Lakers will select Lonzo with the number 2 pick. Initially I hoped that the Lakers would pass on Lonzo, because I genuinely believe that De’Aaron Fox is the better player and because I thought it was ridiculous that LaVar could dictate what team his son played for. With that being said, there is no question that Lonzo has incredible talent, and as draft night approaches, I hope to see him succeed in the league regardless of where he is drafted. Only time will tell if he lives up to the hype, or if he is just the next lottery pick to bust…

 

The Lakers – Nets Trade Might Be the Best Deal of the Off-Season

First off, besides that one project in high school that I pretended to work really hard on, this is my first blog post ever. I’m just going to come out and say I’m really not that funny, in fact I’ve thought I had so many funny stories in the past that turned out to be awful, that I have inspired an adjective to describe an awful story – the “Trevor Story”. It’s all in the delivery really, and apparently my delivery is about as good as Helen Keller trying to throw out the honorary first pitch, so let’s hope my blogging ability is better. Anyway enough of that…

Secondly, I want to say that this Lakers – Nets trade might actually be one of the worst things since sliced bread, and that’s really hard to do, because a lot of bad things have happened since some primitive Albert Einstein decided his bread would be more enjoyable in smaller servings.

Before I talk about the trade itself, I just want to say I honestly feel bad for every party involved, but especially for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov, whose reaction when he found out he was traded can pretty accurately be summed up below.

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That, “Wow, I just got traded to Brooklyn” look.

I just can’t seem to understand how the Lakers or the Nets thought that this trade was a good idea. For Brooklyn, you get D’Angelo Russell as the cornerstone piece, a young kid whose better at scoring video of teammates talking about their body count on camera than he actually is at scoring the basketball.

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Now maybe Russell does go on to become the potential superstar some have touted him to be, but frankly Russell didn’t impress me in college and 15.6 points per game isn’t gonna cut it, especially on a dreadful Brooklyn team. Secondly, the Nets get Timofey Mozgov in the deal, and while its great for the Lakers to get rid of the ridiculous contract they gave him, someone in the Brooklyn front office must’ve been smoking something when he agreed to this offer.

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“Are you serious, bro?”

 

Don’t get me wrong, Mozgov is definitely a baller, I mean look at the guy. And he’s probably a great dude to go out and rip straight shots of vodka with until you can barely stand while he tells you stories about how he’s been doing this since he was 12, but unfortunately vodka shots are really the only shots he’s good at taking. The guy is a goof-ball on the court, and I don’t see how he can help this Brooklyn team other than helping them drink away the pain of another dreadful season with no first round pick.

I guess the Lakers are the winners in this deal, getting Lopez and the 27th pick, but there’s no center in the NBA I hate more than Brook Lopez. I mean the guy is 7 ft. tall, but he’s about as soft as a roll of Charmin ultra toilet paper, and for those of you who don’t know, that’s really soft. In fact, I was fortunate enough to attend only one Nets game during their recent stretch of awfulness, and even the Nets fans in front of me were chanting about how the guy’s got a gash as he took fadeaway shots over J.J. Barea. Plus, I don’t think any other center has been dunked on as many times as Lopez. I mean c’mon man.

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Now teammate Larry Nance Jr. giving Lopez a taste of his testicles.

Now maybe I’m wrong, and this trade works out for both teams. Maybe Russell becomes a stud in New York while he throws alley-oops to Timofey Mozgov soaring above the defense. And maybe Lopez has a great season in LA and is the next great Lakers center, catching dimes from Lonzo while LaVar ball tries to tell Magic Johnson his son will boycott playing unless the Lakers guarantee they’ll draft Liangelo and LaMelo. But that’s all a big maybe. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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Like Mozgov in this picture, all we can do is wait.