Kyrie Irving And The Death Of The Ghetto Superstar

Kyrie Irving And The Death Of The Ghetto Superstar

Had to reblog this article written by Khalid Salaam on The Shadow League. Really good article and I gotta say I enjoy the way he writes. Click the link above and give it a read. If you haven’t seen Kyrie Irving play yet this season I also suggest doing that. This kid owned the Rookie vs Sophomore game, won the 3 Point Contest, and dazzled in the NBA All Star game in back to back to back nights. Welcome to the limelight young man. 

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Quick Thoughts

1) Very rough week for several NHL teams in the injury department. Something I expected to see in this shortened season was a spike in bumps and bruises type injuries with players playing more games each week. I, however, did no expect to see so many long term injuries. Evgeni Malkin, Dan Girardi, Craig Anderson, and Artem Anisimov were all hurt on accidental, hockey plays, while others haven’t been as (un)lucky. Cal Clutterbuck was obliterated by a greasy hit from Taylor Hall. Last night Max Pacioretty ran Ryan McDonagh from behind forcing him to leave the game. Marion Hossa took a UFC forearm to the head from Jannik Hansen. The NHLs list of injured players is quickly becoming the best looking roster in the NHL and it will soon begin to hurt many teams in the standings.

2) Sticking with the NHL, I’m really losing interest in John Tortorella. I’m way past caring about seeing him bitch and complain everytime he has to talk to the media. Can we give this fucking idiot a pass on all press conferences for the rest of the season? He sighs, whines, rolls his eyes and offers up a bullshit answer for every question. I saw a clip of a reporter asking him if he had any sympathy for the Senators after watching Craig Andersen get hurt on an accidental net crash by a Ranger player. Tortorella couldn’t simply say “it is unfortunate to see a player get hurt on a play like that but that happens in hockey.” but instead he had to offer up some asshole, non commital response and proceed to look pissed off. Get over it Tortorella, it’s your fucking job.

3) Was listening to the Backhand Shelf podcast the other day. Love the show, the guys have a good perspective on hockey and are pretty hilarious at the same time. I recommend checking it out if your looking for a good listen.

4)Been paying close attention to the NFL Scouting Combine this weekend. One thing that stands out so far is that this is going to be a very athletic draft year. On day one, 5 Offensive lineman ran sub 5 seconds in the 40 yd dash. Compare that to last year when only 2 O-lineman ran sub 5 seconds. The Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Runningbacks work out today for NFL scouts. Through the first few hours this morning all results are unofficial but 2 WR have run 4.25 40s, which is .01 away from the all time record. 

5) The biggest news from the combine so far has sadly been the Manti Te’o hoax phenomenon. Yesterday Te’o held a 36 question press conference where he had to defend his personal life for 20 of them. I understand the interest in this story but I really believe that it has received  its share of attention and we should move on. At the end of the day the person truly hurt most by this is Te’o. He is the one who looks like the idiot with the made up girlfriend. People may not like the fact that he deceived everyone even after he found out about the hoax but in my opinion he was being the ultimate teammate by hiding it until after the BCS National Championship. I just hope that the teams that interview him give him a chance to talk football X’s and O’s instead of a story should already be an afterthought. 

6) Not a NASCAR fan by any means, but I will definitely be checking in on the Daytona 500 tonight to see if Danica Patrick can make some history  by becoming to first woman to win NASCAR’s version of the Super Bowl.

7) Max Pacioretty has a hearing today with Sherriff Shanny to discuss his hit from behind on Ryan McDonagh last night. I’m a Habs fan and truly feel he should be suspended for atleast 2 games for this one. McDonagh had hit Patches from behind earlier in the game and it seemed to me that Pacioretty had a little revenge on his mind when he made the hit. 

8) Lebron James and the Miami Heat have been on an absolute tear as of late. They will certainly be the #1 seed heading into this years playoffs but that doesn’t mean they will have an easy road through the Eastern Conference. I look at the Indianan Pacers as a team that could give LBJ and company some trouble. Roy Hibbert and David West will create size problems inside for the Heat while the Pacers have the ability to use multiple defenders on Lebron throughout the series with Danny Granger and Paul George.

9) The San Antonio Spurs look to be the best team in the NBA’s Western Conference right now but could also have a tough time in the playoffs. With an aging roster and playoff games becoming a lot tougher, the Spurs might not have the ability to play at such a high level long enough to sustain a playoff run. They remind me of the New England Patriots who, in recent seasons, have dominated the regular season but haven’t quite had the finish in the playoffs. 

10) A lot of NHL and NBA on today so I’ve got my afternoon set. A few games i’m looking forward to seeing are:

Detroit Red Wings vs Vancouver Canucks: 2 great Western conference teams. Should provide a good, physical duel.

Chicago Blackhawks vs Columbus Blue Jackets: Columbus is fucking terrible and they sure don’t deserve to be watched on TV. I’m picking this game solely because I want to see how long Chicago can keep winning.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Pittsburgh Penguins: Even with Evgeni Malkin not in the lineup this game bolsters an insane amount of scoring power and some pretty lacklustre goaltending. Sometimes its fun to catch a game where the red light could get burnt out.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Chicago Bulls: Really the only NBA matchup of the day with 2 good basketball teams.

 

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Why The Sloan Conference Is The Super Bowl Of Sports Analytics

Why The Sloan Conference Is The Super Bowl Of Sports Analytics

Loved this read on Forbes.com by Zach Slaton. Before this I knew that the world of sports analytics was growing but to hear of a conference of that size happening once a year clearly shows this is here to stay. As Slaton mentions, Moneyball introduced us to the world of analytics in Baseball but it is not becoming a trend across the sports world. 

Enjoy the read.

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Halifax’s Fucale stealing some of the draft spotlight

Halifax’s Fucale stealing some of the draft spotlight

Click the title above to read a great story on NHL.com by Mike G. Morreale about Halifax Mooseheads star goalie Zachary Fucale. The number 1 rated goalie heading into this years NHL entry draft seems to have a good grasp on the difficult road that lies ahead. Morreale’s story showed me that Fucale seems wise beyond his years and is aware that being the best 17 yr old goalie doesn’t necessarily translate into NHL success. This kid will be a prized possesion for any NHL GM lucky enough to have the chance to draft him.

Enjoy the read.

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Bergevin looking to improve Habs defensively

Shortly after signing restricted free agent P.K. Subban to a 2 yr deal last week it seems Habs GM Marc Bergevin wants to hit the negotiating table with another RFA. Insiderrumours.com is reporting that Bergevin is in the process of preparing 2 trade packages for the Colorado Avalanche in an attempt to get, at the very least, two-way centre  Ryan O’Reilly and potentially defenseman Erik Johnson.

The biggest problem facing this deal, in my opinion, is not what the Canadiens will have to trade to get O’Reilly, but the money they will have to pay him upon acquiring him. Rotoworld.com reported that O’Reilly is looking for a contract that will pay him close to $5 million per season. Bergevin currently sits around $4 million dollars under the cap and with #1 centre David Desharnais becoming an RFA this offseason he may have less wiggle room than he thinks. The potential of bringing in Johnson aswell would add another 3.75m against the cap. Moving Lars Eller, Raphael Diaz, Louis Leblanc, a prospect and a 1st rd pick, as insiderrumours.com reported, wouldn’t free up enough space to pay Johnson and give O’Reilly the money he is looking for. Bergevin would have to somehow find a way to rid himself of one the terrible contracts given to Erik Cole ($4.5m against the cap) and Tomas Kaberle ($4.25m) if he wishes to pull off a potential blockbuster deal.

O’Reilly, at 6’0″ 200lbs, would add some much needed size and grit down the middle for the Habs. Last year the 22 yr old from Clinton, Ontario came into his own with 18 goals and 37 assists and earned himself an invite to the World Championships for Canada. Erik Johnson was the 1st overall pick in the 2006 entry draft by the St. Louis Blues and, to this point in his career, has yet to live up to the expectations. Johnson would still be a great pickup for the Habs because at 24 years old he is nearly a veteran with 309 career games played and still has plenty of time to develop.

Check theses reports from Insiderrumours.com and Rotoworld.com for more info click the links below!

http://www.insiderrumors.com/2013/colorado-avalanche/habs-interested-in-oreilly/

http://www.rotoworld.com/headlines/nhl/175511/avalanche-likely-to-trade-rfa-ryan-oreilly

Salary Cap numbers courtesy of Capgeek.com

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Free Agency Breakdown

http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/42496/309/nfl-free-agency-rankings

Great round up of potential Free Agents on rotoworld.com by Evan Silva. There is a few guys on this list that I believe will be gobbled by their current teams. Aqib Talib reportedly won’t be offered a long term contract by the Patriots, but I think a fair amount of teams will feel the same way with his attitude problems. He can be an extraordinary talent but has been troubled with off-field issues for some time. I see him returning to the Patriots on a short-term contract on a attitude improvement basis.

Take a look to see if your teams Free Agents make the list and where your teams needs fit in the depth of the Free Agent Market.

 

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Paid like a King

Paid like a King

King Felix Hernandez has earned a massive payday. A 5 year contract extension with the Seattle Mariners that will see him paid $175 million dollars through 2019. I have a personal connection with this story as last August I was lucky enough to see the King pitch his perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Great players in small markets often seek their money from larger clubs with bigger payrolls so I’m glad to see Hernandez staying in Seattle for a long time to come.

Story courtesy of espn.com

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