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Archive for the month “July, 2015”

The Toronto Blue Jays Are Going All In

Price and Tulowitzki could be the difference for the Toronto Blue Jays. (photo courtesy of www.foxsports.com)

Price and Tulowitzki could be the difference for the Toronto Blue Jays. (photo courtesy of http://www.foxsports.com)

The Toronto Blue Jays are right in the midst of the playoff hunt. They are right there in the Wildcard hunt and they are lurking in the shadows of the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles. Toronto was a team that was maybe a few pieces away despite how well they have played. And many looked at them to fade away as the season came to a close. The Yankees have always been the team to make the big acquisition near the trade deadline or before the season. Well, the Toronto Blue Jays decided that it was their turn to make it happen. As the trade deadline approached, the Blue Jays picked up shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and pitcher David Price. Both are talented players and can definitely help the Blue Jays. And at their peaks, they could definitely make the Blue Jays a scary team. But with everything, there is always a level of risk.

The shortstop position was one the Blue Jays thought would be special. They had the speedy Jose Reyes and he was expected to wreak havoc on the bases for them. But unfortunately, he was not able to stay healthy. Two of the three years he was in Toronto, he was not able to play in 100 games. And despite the excitement he could bring, the health was a big issue. So along with a few other players, Reyes was shipped to Colorado for the services of Tulowitzki and relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins. Of course adding Hawkins, a veteran arm in the bullpen, never hurts any team. But the main attraction in this deal is obviously “Tulo”. The veteran shortstop was not exactly happy being in Colorado anymore, but he surely did not expect to be in Toronto if he was traded. But this trade puts Tulo back into a playoff race, which he was not close to being in while a member of the Rockies. Tulo is capable of making some things happen with his power and his ability in the infield to make great plays. But along with the great things he can do, health is always an issue with him as well. Despite being on pace to play in more than 100 games this season, Tulo has not played in more than 100 games two of the previous three seasons. And then there is the question about his power. Tulo is on pace to hit over 20 homeruns along with hitting .300 this year. But how much of that can be tied into where he was playing? Tulowitzki played in Coors Field, where the ball is known to be flying out of the park. That theory will be put to the test the rest of the season as he goes to the play in Canada. If he plays to his ability, he can add to the power already in the Blue Jays lineup. It will be interesting to see how he will be in a new environment and how he adjusts. But now the Blue Jays are on the hook for the rest of his contract, which jumps from $7 million to $20 million next season.

Along with the acquisition of Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays made yet another splash on the trade market. Looking at the pitching of the Blue Jays, no one really scares you that they have. The best pitcher they have had all season has been Mark Buehrle. He has pitched well in Toronto, going 11-5 with a 3.29 ERA and gobbling up 134 innings so far. But after him, there is not one starting pitcher that strikes any fear in opposing teams. So the Blue Jays went out and got one of the best pitchers on the market, David Price. The veteran pitcher was acquired from the Detroit Tigers and now the Blue Jays have their star pitcher. Price is a guy that can lead a team deep in the playoffs with his skill, pitching prowess and his will to succeed. And in the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Price is 7-0 with a 3.86 ERA, his most wins without a loss in any stadium he has ever played in. Now the Blue Jays can slide Buehrle to the number two pitcher and R.A. Dickey can now slide to the number three role. Although this may not be the most potent 1,2,3 in baseball, all three are veteran pitchers. The addition of Price definitely helps Toronto, but for how long can help? Price has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for a while now and this summer he can hit the free agent market. Many are expecting him to break the bank in excess of $30 million per season. The question now becomes was he a rental or will he want to stay a member of the Toronto Blue Jays? Odds are the Blue Jays will not have the money to make it happen and will let him walk. So instead of building something with him, they are hoping for lightning to strike again like it did when they had Joe Carter and crew and won the World Series back in 1993. Another issue they may have to think about is Price’s performance in the playoffs as opposed to the regular season. Price is solid in the regular season and he strikes fear in teams. But apparently in the postseason, he is not the type that can make it happen. He had one solid game in the postseason last year. But he has mostly not pitched like the stud pitcher he is in the postseaon. His postseason ERA has been over 4.00 three of his five postseason appearances. This is not indicative of a number one starter in the playoffs. And even though he may be able to lead them there, he definitely has some demons to conquer when he is in the postseason.

The Blue Jays are locked in and ready to make a run. And with the two new acquisitions, their team got even better. Price and Tulowitzki can add to the team, but they both have some things to conquer within themselves. Tulo has to stay healthy and Price has to pitch well in the postseason if they make it. But after these two moves, the Blue Jays have definitely pushed all their chips to the center of the table. As time goes by, it will be interesting to see whether they roll snake eyes or get lucky when going all in.

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James Harden May Want To Slow His Roll With Khloe Kardashian

James Harden has stepped into the Kardashian picture. Is that what he really wants to do? (photo courtesy of www.abcnews.com)

James Harden has stepped into the Kardashian picture. Is that what he really wants to do? (photo courtesy of http://www.abcnews.com)

The Kardashians are everywhere. Ever since singer Ray J made the infamous sex tape with Kim Kardashian, the whole family has been on the television screen. But more than them being on the television screen, they have now infiltrated the entertainment and sports world. Kim is married to performer Kanye West. Some say that he is not the same guy he once was since he started a relationship with Kim. Of course, we know that Kanye was already eccentric before dating Kim anyway, so the jury is out on how much Kanye being with her has changed him. Another relationship that has garnered attention involving a Kardashian is that of rapper Tyga and one of the younger sisters of the Kardashians, Kylie Jenner. This relationship, which neither one has really confirmed, is one that has not done great things for Tyga’s public image at all. Tyga, 25, is eight years older than Kylie and essentially is dating her illegally because he could be turned in at any time. But yet they still go on with their secretive yet out in the open relationship. It seems like it there is a spotlight, there is a Kardashian somewhere around. And now we have the supposed relationship between Houston Rockets star James Harden and Khloe Kardashian. There seems to be varying reports of these two being together. In Tyga and Kanye’s cases, it does not seem like dating a Kardashian has turned out well for the way people see them now and if James Harden knows what is best for him, he will not get too involved in dating Khloe Kardashian. The Rockets and their fans are hoping he sees the light and distances himself as well.

This isn’t the first time we have seen Khloe get involved with a professional basketball player. Of course her first husband is Lamar Odom. And even though they have been separated for a good amount of time, they are newly divorced. When Lamar first came out as dating Khloe in August 2009, many wondered where the connection came from. But little did we know the connection would lead to a marriage one month later. Khloe and Lamar were married in August 2009 to the shock of a lot of people. But on the outward, everything was perceived as going great. Lamar would go on to play two solid seasons as a member of the Lakers once he was with Khloe. But in 2011, it seemed like the walls came tumbling down for him towards the end of his last season in Los Angeles. In April 2011, that is when Khloe and Lamar’s reality show debuted on television. Odom was named the Sixth Man of the Year in the 2010-2011 season and he thought he would be staying in Los Angeles. But what happened would change his career forever. He was traded to the then New Orleans Hornets only for the trade to be vetoed. That trade, which he heard publicly, was a huge blow to his ego and he felt disrespected and demanded a trade. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks and from there his career essentially died. He was not the same player he was when he was playing for the Lakers and the end seemed to be near. Of course Khloe had nothing to do with what was going on when he was on the court, but it seemed like his career tanked more the longer he was with her. Now he is trying to get himself straightened out after reportedly being on drugs. There are reports that Khloe is still interested in him, but they are mostly rumors at this point.

Khloe was definitely around when Lamar started slipping, but she pales in comparison to her sister, Kim Kardashian. She was the one that first started the Kardashian train towards athletes. But Kim actually did it twice though. The first athlete she dated was veteran running back Reggie Bush. Bush was one of the most electric running backs in college football when he came out of the University of Southern California. When he was in the NFL, he started dating Kim around 2007 reportedly and the relationship ended in 2010. During that time, Reggie Bush was trying to get himself together in the NFL. The entire time he was in New Orleans, his production declined every single year. Instead of the electric running back the Saints thought they were getting, they received a running back that was electric but could not make plays consistently to stay on the field. After the end of the 2010 season, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins. Also in 2010, his relationship with Kim Kardashian ended. Apparently the end of that relationship did great things for Reggie. He has had two seasons over 1,000 yards and become more of the guy many thought he would be when he came out of college. It seemed like the pairing of he and Kim served as a distraction and when she was gone, his career got better. His personal life also blossomed as he met his current wife and they now have a child together. Kim would also move on. And this relationship was with another athlete, but this time he was an NBA player. Kris Humphries and Kim started dating in 2010 and were married in August 2011. But this was no ordinary marriage between these two. Kim and Kris were married on reality television in front of the entire world. It was a Hollywood marriage that many did not believe and those thoughts were further influenced by how quickly they were divorced. Kim Kardashian filed for divorce 72 days after the couple was married. Humphries filed a petition for annulment in response to Kim’s divorce filing claiming that the marriage was a fraud. The legal fight went on for both until April 2013, when the pair ended up reaching a divorce settlement. The divorce was finalized in July of that same year. As far as Kris, his career was going well when he was dating her the first year. And after the divorce was announced, he had the best season of his career, averaging 13 point and 11 rebounds. But after that, it was all downhill as he never averaged double-figures again and also is still joked some to this day for his marriage to Kim Kardashian. He is playing a support role for the Washington Wizards now, but this was probably not where he thought he would be at this time.

Kim and Khloe may have good intentions, but the men they have relationships with ultimately end up having career problems at some point. Kanye West has not had them so far, but they may be coming down the line. So if the past of both of these two women is any indication, James Harden needs to stay as far away from Khloe Kardashian as possible. The success train does not follow for the men beside the Kardashian women. The fans of the Rockets are hoping the rumors of Khloe being interested in going back to Lamar Odom are real. Because that would free up their best player to focus on the team and not focus on the Kardashians and what is going on over there in their world. The Kiss Of The Kardashian can be a seductive one, especially with how they look. But it can also be a fatal one for your career potentially. You may want to proceed with caution James Harden. Your career could be riding on it.

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The Blind Support Of Tom Brady Keeps On Coming

Tom Brady had his suspension upheld. And his supporters are there supporting him despite what looks like guilt. (photo courtesy of www.sportsofboston.com)

Tom Brady had his suspension upheld. And his supporters are there supporting him despite what looks like guilt. (photo courtesy of http://www.sportsofboston.com)

Tom Brady was scheduled to be suspended for the first four games of the beginning of this upcoming season. He was suspended for Deflategate, which everyone remembers is about purposely deflating footballs to gain an unfair advantage in games. Brady, of course, appealed the decision that was made based on the report of lead investigator Ted Wells. Many thought that Goodell, who heard the appeal, would lighten the sentence for Brady after hearing what he had to say in the appeal process. But much to the shock of many NFL fans, Goodell decided to keep the suspension as is and will keep the NFL’s Golden Boy suspended for the first four games of the year. Of course there were many reactions to this one. Some loved it that Goodell did not change the suspension. While others decided they did not feel it was right and were defending Brady. But there were others that took another stance in regards to Brady that was very interesting.

Brady’s suspension, as it stands right now, is the same as another player that will be missing the beginning of the season. Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Greg Hardy was on the Commissioner’s Exempt List all but one game last season for the Carolina Panthers. How he landed on this list is what many were talking about. Hardy had an incident with his ex-girlfriend that ended up in him reportedly choking her and throwing her around. He was originally found guilty in Carolina, but he appealed the charge and was found not guilty upon appeal. The main reason that he was found not guilty is because he reportedly paid off the woman that he got into the incident with and she was uncooperative during the entire case. Upon review of the information, the NFL suspended him originally for 10 games. But upon review, the ten-game suspension was reduced to four games. The thing that has some fans riled up is that Brady, who was suspended for deflating footballs, has the same suspension as a guy that was violent with women. It is quite interesting that those suspensions are now the same but what happened to personal accountability? Of course, Hardy had an issue and that matter has been handled. But Hardy and Brady’s issue are two separate things. And even though it seems unfair that he is punished the same as Hardy, you cannot pick your punishment when you are indeed wrong. That is almost like a kid telling his parents how he wants to be punished when he gets in trouble. It’s something that will never happen. So instead of focusing on why he has the same suspension as Hardy, realize that Brady was wrong in what he did. And in regards to those that are speaking of others that may do this across the NFL, please remember that there are many things that go on in the NFL. Many players probably do things that are not actually legal when it pertains to the NFL rule book. But there are some that get away with doing so. Whenever you do something that is against the rules, you run the chance of getting in trouble. And even though others may or may not have done the same things that Brady did, Brady is the one that is in trouble in this one. And in life, when you get punished, you handle that situation and take the punishment. You don’t start talking about who else did what and when. Notice Brady did not do that at all.

Another lesson here in this one is blind faith. Notice that there are some that are supporting Brady after all of this and claiming that the league is after the Patriots and Brady. Since when does the league go after a team and a team end up being one of the winningest franchises over the last decade? If this was the Cleveland Browns, who have had decade after decade of bad play, then there may be a case here. But the Patriots fans that are yelling this one do not have one solid leg to stand on. And secondly, did we forget that Brady had a chance to cooperate and clear his name in what he was accused of. He was asked by Wells for the phone actually. But it is reported that he destroyed the phone when he was asked for it from Wells. Now I know Wells was not a lawyer and this was not a court case, but imagine if it was? If someone refused to give materials that pertained to a case in court, that would be obstruction of justice. And that would be something that would send Brady to jail. He isn’t going to jail and this isn’t court, but he basically tried to hide evidence from the case. And in the end, that was the one thing that eventually cost him. Even if he was not guilty, he made himself look guilty by destroying the evidence that was asked for by Wells so he could determine his involvement with the other members of Deflategate. For those that still seem to think that Brady is not wrong for his actions, imagine if you are a parent right now. Imagine if you asked your child for information about something and he or she purposely lied to you or hid information in your own “investigation” into something that may have involved them. Would you think he or she did nothing wrong? The prevailing thought there would be anger along with frustration about the lie in your “investigation”. Just like a kid, if Brady was asked for information by the authority, he should have been forthright. And if he was as innocent as he said he was, then he would have given the information without question to prove that he was. But yet he hid it and some are praising him for doing so. You see how this praising someone for lying and concealing information can be something that can baffle the mind?

Brady has reportedly given the NFLPA permission to appeal this case in federal court. And if he thinks this investigation is going to get easier, than he has another thing coming. It will be brought up why he destroyed the evidence and he more than likely will have to answer that question on the stand. The court could ask for the records of his phone data as well. And at that point, Brady could be in position to either clear his name or bury himself in his own lie. That will be solved one way or another in federal court. Brady, at this point, is not looking like he will be exonerated from this one and will have to serve his suspension. And just like in the past, it looks like the NFLPA will be getting the short end of the stick. Brady has always been seen as the Golden Boy of quarterbacks and he will go down as one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. But in this instance, he could have ended this one if he admitted what happened instead of hiding what happened by destroying evidence that was asked for. And reportedly, the NFL would have lessened the suspension if he would have admitted his role. But his pride would not let him do so and now we are heading to another level for this case. Brady is fighting this one tooth and nail, but it is a done deal at this point and it will be hard for him to even escape punishment.

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Colin Cowherd Is Out At ESPN. Who Replaces Him?

Colin Cowherd is gone from ESPN, but not the way he expected to be gone. (photo courtesy of www.si.com)

Colin Cowherd is gone from ESPN, but not the way he expected to be gone. (photo courtesy of http://www.si.com)

Colin Cowherd has been one of the most popular ESPN radio hosts around the last few years. Whether you love him or hate him, he has been getting ratings from every part of the country. Recently, it was announced that ESPN would not be renewing his contract. And it was later discovered that Cowherd would be moving on to Fox Sports after his contract was over. But before he moved on, his contract had to be fulfilled at the four-letter network. It was set to expire this year sometime, but then came the comments from Colin Cowherd this week. On his daily show, Cowherd was discussing baseball and why he believed it was not a complex sports and had this to say: “It’s too complex? I’ve never bought into that ‘baseball is too complex.’ Really? A third of the sport is from the Dominican Republic.” When he said these words, a firestorm started. Dominican baseball players were offended by his comments, as it basically indicated that Dominicans were not smart. But Dominican baseball players were not the only ones disturbed by his comments. They were reckless comments that had no place on air at all. And it is because of that, ESPN decided to cut ties with him a little earlier than they planned to. Cowherd is now gone from the four-letter network a little more unceremoniously than he thought he would be. And even though he is getting a pay raise and a new platform at Fox Sports, this will undoubtedly be something that will follow him for a while just like his constant criticism of Washington Wizards point guard John Wall.

This kind of outburst from Cowherd should not come as any surprise to many that are aware of his antics. Some tend to love what he does while others tend to love to hate him. But in this instance, it could have been a calculated chance for Cowherd to test ESPN on how much they wanted him to satisfy his contract. If he was able to survive this, then there is no telling how much he would have pushed until ESPN finally said enough was enough. Or on the flip side, he was going to get fired from a job that he was already getting ready to leave. The calculated move is going to hurt Cowherd in the short term. But in the long-term, this move allows him to prepare himself for the stage he has waiting for him on Fox Sports. While some may think it may be the right move for Cowherd to face some issues with his contract on Fox Sports, the reality is they will not be firing him before he starts. But let the fire get hotter over there over some controversial statements while he is just getting accustomed to things over there, and there is always the possibility of him ending up out of a job. The life of a radio host is one with great risk and great reward. You could be great and received greatly one moment and the next moment you could be walking out of the studio without your job. Whatever the case, Cowherd is now gone and the spot he now occupied is wide open. But who’s up next in his spot? No one knows but there are a couple recommendations that could take his place.

Bomani Jones has been an opinionated guy that has sparked conversation in both good and bad instances on the four-letter network. Currently he is the host of The Right Time With Bomani Jones four nights a week, co-host for Highly Questionable with Dan Le Batard and has his own podcast called The Evening Jones. His knowledge, strong opinions and stances would be something that would fit perfectly in the midday slot that Cowherd was inhabiting. Of course it would require some juggling of talents to replace him at his night slot, but with the talents that ESPN has, that can be rectified. Jones can be someone that can be polarizing to some and can be likeable at the same time. That would be something that would provide ESPN with the same type of ratings that Cowherd had over time. And for Jones, this move would be something that could boost his career even more. Of course ESPN has to make the decision to move him to this slot first and that does not look like it could happen right now. But there is another ESPN personality that may be able to slide into that slot. Cari Champion has been the mediator of First Take between Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. Recently, she was promoted from that show and landed on SportsCenter as an anchor. But many do not know that Champion actually has her own podcast as well. Be Honest with Cari Champion has been something that has been weekly done on and could be something ESPN could grow into something more. She is talented, smart and knows her way in the sports world. And even though Bomani Jones is used to being seen on television, Champion would bring in viewers when she is in the studio and on television as well. The biggest issue with this move for her would be how she would balance being on SportCenter and doing her show. The toll on her could be exhausting and it could wear her down. In this situation, she may eventually end up having to choose which one she likes more: radio or television. But just like Jones, ESPN has to extend the offer first.

Both Jones and Champion are talented enough to make it happen in place of Colin Cowherd. And even though it may seem to some that Cowherd’s shoes cannot be filled right now, it will happen eventually. As for Cowherd, he now has a vacation before he gets started working at Fox Sports. He got his payday and his new platform. But can he create the same buzz (both good and bad) that he did at ESPN over at Fox Sports? Only time will tell, but he is now free to leave after saying those comments he said. Those comments were wrong and disparaging, but Colin already had his new deal in place to begin with. He will continue to go on, much to the chagrin of many that love to hate him.

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Braxton Miller’s Move To Wide Receiver Will Help Him And The Buckeyes

Braxton Miller is making the switch to wide receiver in college football. (photo courtesy Rant Sports)

Braxton Miller is making the switch to wide receiver in college football. (photo courtesy Rant Sports)

Immediately after winning the National Title, injured quarterback Braxton Miller was mentioned as a candidate to transfer after graduating from Ohio State. Miller would have been a graduate transfer had he decided to leave the Buckeyes for a place he could play quarterback and not have much competition. But instead of going to places like the University of Alabama (who Ohio State beat in the playoffs this past postseason) and Florida State, the senior quarterback decided to stay at Ohio State. When he made that decision, immediately folks began to wonder who was going to play quarterback. Would the Buckeyes go back to Miller or would they go with one of the younger guys in either Cardale Jones or JT Barrett? That question was supposed to be answered when training camp began this preseason for the Buckeyes. But instead of it being a three-way competition, it has now become only a two-way battle. Braxton Miller recently announced that he will be switching positions from quarterback to H-back, which is like a wide receiver in the Ohio State offense.

Adding Miller to the receiving corps is something that will be good for the Buckeyes. They lost playmaker Devin Smith and his deep-threat abilities to the NFL draft. With Miller sliding to this new position, he becomes a playmaker the defenses need to worry about each and every week. He can still pass the football, although he admittedly has not fully recovered from his shoulder injury. And by his own admission, he has not shut the door on playing quarterback again at some point. But for the good of this team, his move to wide receiver will create headaches because he can pass, run and also catch the football. Urbran Meyer loves getting as much speed on the field as possible and Miller is arguably one of the fastest players in the Big 10 if not the country. His speed and versatility could remind some of a former Urban Meyer player at Florida. Percy Harvin was electric when he touched the football at Florida. And Meyer fed him the football in a variety of ways. From catching the football, running the football and even field punt and kick returns, Harvin was a headache for teams to defend. And if he would have been healthier in his collegiate career, he would be an even more dangerous weapon. This move give Meyer an even bigger version of Harvin with speed. The best thing about Miller when he gets in space is he is big enough to break tackles and elusive enough to make people miss. That type of ability is what makes NFL team’s hair stand up on the back of their necks and also makes them want to draft a player. And by making this move, Miller just made himself a more draftable player in the NFL. With a full season of catching passes, he could become at worst a 3rd round pick.

Since Miller is out of the way, there is now still a matter to resolve regarding the starting quarterback of the team. And even though Miller believes he will be running drills with the quarterbacks 20% of the time, he is effectively done being quarterback at Ohio State if both quarterback options stay healthy and don’t struggle. Barrett is a good passer and can run the football as well. The redshirt sophomore carried the offense and was a Heisman candidate at one point and time with his on-point passes and his footwork. But even though Barrett had so much success, he was not the quarterback to lead them to the title. That honor belongs to redshirt junior Cardale Jones. Jones’ disposition reminded many of former NFL quarterback Dante Culpepper. He had a strong arm in the pocket, size and he also was fleet of foot when rushed out of the pocket. And most importantly, he was as cool as can be when he stepped in on the biggest stage in college football. Choosing between the two is a tough decision that many would struggle with and welcome at the same time. But only one can be the starter. The two-quarterback system is something that can only work but for so long. So in choosing the quarterback to lead them, the choice can be quite difficult. But given the sample size we have seen from both, it is Barrett’s position to lose. After all, he did lead the team the entire time until the end of the season. Holding on to the job will not be an easy task for him though. Jones is coming for his spot. And if he comes out playing like he did at the end of the season, he will be taking that position from Barrett pretty soon.

With the position switch, the Buckeyes now have more playmakers on the field that can hurt opponents. But the question still remains as to who will be the starter. Will it be the flash in the pan in Cardale Jones or will it be the steady guy who beat him out to begin with last season in JT Barrett. Jones showed enough that he can make it happen and take this team to a new level. But in the end, whoever plays quarterback will have the luxury of an explosive weapon that will help the Buckeyes defend their National Title. And with that, the Buckeyes offense just got a little bit more explosive.

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Just Say No To Space Jam 2 LeBron James

LeBron James caught the acting bug in Trainwreck, but is a Space Jam sequel on the way? (photo courtesy of www.cinemablend.com)

LeBron James caught the acting bug in Trainwreck, but is a Space Jam sequel on the way? (photo courtesy of http://www.cinemablend.com)

LeBron James is one of the best basketball players in the NBA. He has carried teams time and time again over his career and has two championships over his time playing so far. But other than being a basketball player, James is a businessman. He has his own deal with Nike along with other deals he has made. And he also has his hand in ownership where he owns a piece of European soccer team Liverpool FC, which is very popular. But recently he tried his hand in acting. In the recently released movie Trainwreck, LeBron gets a chance to act for once. The movie is not doing that bad at the box office and all reviews of LeBron have pointed to him not doing that bad a job as an actor in this one. Apparently, this was just a precursor to the things that may be coming from James in the acting world. Recently, James’ company, Spring Hill Entertainment, cut a deal with Warner Brothers. James and his company will be partnering with Warner Brothers on a multi-platform deal that will span across the television and film worlds. And to add to the buzz about this deal, it is reported that Warner Brothers filed new trademarks for “Space Jam”. Could there be a sequel to Space Jam starring LeBron James? Well, if you believed the buzz, then there is some that are excited at the possibilities.

LeBron has been one to create his own legacy in basketball over his career. But when he first entered the league, he drew comparisons to a man who many consider the best player to ever play the game. Many looked at James as the next Michael Jordan. He could fly through the air like Michael and he could also had that type of bigtime persona off the court that captivated many. But over his career, it seems as if LeBron has resisted any of the comparisons to Michael Jordan even when fans compare them. Well, it seems like the comparisons will be kicking into high gear with this recent pairing and the reports that Warner Brothers filed new trademarks for “Space Jam”. If LeBron does this movie, he will be feeding right into the very thing that he has tried to avoid all of his career. Does LeBron really want these comparisons? From all indications, he does not want this comparison at all. And looking at the prospects of him doing this movie, it would not be a good look for him. We could all be wrong and this prospective sequel could be something that is far from what was thought of when this partnership was made. But then again, LeBron did answer a Tweet a few years ago saying that he would not mind doing a sequel to Space Jam.

Sounds like LeBron James was very interested in doing a Space Jam sequel when he put out this Tweet (of course LeBron did not include the Space Jam 2 picture with it folks)

Sounds like LeBron James was very interested in doing a Space Jam sequel when he put out this Tweet (of course LeBron did not include the Space Jam 2 picture with it folks)

Taking a look at this rumor and the picture, LeBron should pass on trying to recreate the magic that is Space Jam. It is a one of a kind movie that was made almost 20 years ago with Michael Jordan. And it should remain a movie that Michael Jordan starred in and made a hit. Everyone still remembers R. Kelly singing “I Believe I Can Fly” as Michael Jordan is exiting the spaceship onto the baseball field. Now imagine LeBron trying to recreate that same type of moment. It just does not fit his style or who he is. If LeBron wants to stay true to who he has been, why not create a new movie that is kid-friendly with his own production company? It seems he has done many things over his time in the NBA on and off the court has turned to gold anyways. Who would have thought Survivor’s Remorse would be as good as it was? That tells me that LeBron’s production company has more than a few good ideas going on. Space Jam was a classic. Michael Jordan was perfect for that role. LeBron is not the guy to play that role. Let him play something that would maybe fit his personality more than trying to reprise Jordan’s spot in this movie.

LeBron has done some great things over his career. He has been dominant on the court at time and more recently, he carried the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals. But recreating this classic film would be a huge mistake. Let the classic live. If he has been paying attention, some remakes have not turned out so well when trying to reboot them to the modern era. LeBron is smart enough business-wise to know what is a good idea and what could be treacherous. If he does this one, then the water will definitely be choppy. Let Space Jam be Space Jam and create your own classic movie LeBron. Besides, the focus at this point needs to be on fulfilling a dream: bringing the title back to Cleveland.

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Ray Allen And Allen Iverson: Two Of A Kind

Ray Allen and Allen Iverson were definitely deserving of their awards in Las Vegas at the NBA Players Association Awards (photo courtesy of www.espn.com)

Ray Allen and Allen Iverson were definitely deserving of their awards in Las Vegas at the NBA Players Association Awards (photo courtesy of http://www.espn.com)

The first annual NBA Players Association Awards took place Tuesday night. The awards show, which was held in Las Vegas, had awards from The Best Handles to The Player Most Want On Their Team. And what made the award show so unique is the players actually voted on what awards to give to their fellow players. Naturally, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors and LeBron James were candidates in a lot of categories, but it was not just the awards that stole the show. There were musical performances and comedic moments from host Jay Pharoah, but the most important moments in the entire show were by the two newest 40 year olds that were in the room in Las Vegas. And even though both did things in different styles, they both were successful in their endeavors on the court and both will become Basketball Hall of Famers for what they did in their careers. Ray Allen and Allen Iverson did many a thing on the court. Ray would drill a three that would snatch the heart out of his opponents routinely. And while Ray Allen was doing that, Allen Iverson was crossing over and embarrassing players with his crossover while doing things he wanted to do his way. Both may have done things differently, but they both have made a measurable impact over their careers. And they both deserved the awards they received.

ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose was the presenter for the NBA Man of The Year award. And with everything that he has done outside of the game, most notably his own school in Michigan, he was definitely a fan of all the things Ray Allen has done off the court. And even President Barack Obama had a message for Ray telling him how much he deserved the award. Ray Allen, for as great as he is on the court, is just as good off the court. Little as some may know, Ray Allen started a foundation called “Ray Of Hope”. This organization was created to help assist charities in communities. To give you an example of what Ray does with his organization, he raised enough money to donate his sixth computer lab to a school that was in need of the computers. It has been stated that Ray Allen has liked to give back and throughout his career in the NBA, he has used things like an annual golf tournament to raise money for his organization to give back to communities. And for that, he has had a profound effect on the other players in the NBA and has set the bar for giving back. But not only has he done charitable things for communities by golf tournaments, but he has taken on other causes like juvenile diabetes. Ever since Ray Allen’s son Walker was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Allen has been huge in trying to get more funding for diabetes and diabetes research. Along with his golf tournament raising money for charities, it also raises money for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. Allen and his wife, Shannon, take around the clock care for their son as he deals with the potentially deadly disease. And he has went to bat many times for Diabetes, even appearing in front of Congress to fight for more funds to donate to Diabetes research. Allen has been a special player on the court, but he has been more than special off of it as well.

Speaking of special people, Allen Iverson was also in attendance in Las Vegas to receive the Game Changer award. Chris Paul and rap artist Lil Wayne were the presenters and Paul spoke of how he Iverson took over the game on and off the court. And in receiving that award, Iverson was truly accepting an award that was named after all he did. Iverson arrived in the NBA as the number one overall pick and left the game in a fashion that most thought was not befitting of his effect on the game. Although he bowed out not as gracefully at the end of his career, his impact was immeasurable. When the worlds of hip hop and basketball collided, there was Allen Iverson to initiate the transition. He brought the multiple tattoos and conrnrows to the NBA. But when most were critiquing his style, there was never any critiquing the heart he played with on the court every night. Iverson may not have liked practice, but he was all over the place on the floor. He could be found getting back up after the hits from the opponents he would take. And at a generously listed 6 foot tall, he was one of the toughest players on the court. He embodied the spirit of Philly each and every time he got on the court. The toughness, the grit and the passion he played with has him up there with the greats of Philadelphia. And the style he created off the court has him embodied in the mind of each and every NBA player that has played in the last 10-15 years. You could actually say that it was him that helped usher in the era of a NBA dress code because of how he dressed coming into games. His style was against the grain. Some were not ready for what he brought and were not sure how to handle him at all. But one thing that can never be disputed: he was one of the toughest little men to ever play the game. And many that play the game need to salute him for his contributions to the game.

Both Allen and Iverson will be enshrined soon enough in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Although both have gone about their paths differently, they both have made a profound impact on the game of basketball. And in their own different ways, they have made a lasting impact on the game that will never be forgotten.

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Reggie Wayne Has A Decision To Make

Reggie Wayne's days in Indy are over. But what is next for him? (photo courtesy of The Indianapolis Star)

Reggie Wayne’s days in Indy are over. But what is next for him? (photo courtesy of The Indianapolis Star)

After he was not re-signed by the Indianapolis Colts, some thought veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne’s career was over. Considered the second-best wide receiver in recent Indianapolis Colts history behind Marvin Harrison, many were surprised the Colts did not keep him around after this season and let him walk into free agency. But sometimes business means more than the legacy of a player that meant a lot to the Colts. And just like Peyton Manning, the Colts had to make the tough decision to let a key player in their franchise’s history go. Despite the quiet free agency buzz around him, Wayne maintained that he would still be interested in playing with a team if the fit was good. There was a lot of doubt as to if someone would even pick him up after watching him struggle while battling through torn triceps. Recently, a list of teams mentioned they were interested in the services of Wayne. The teams mentioned included the Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots. The choice was there for Reggie to continue his career. The Ravens and Texans have reportedly backed down from their consideration of bringing in Wayne. But that leaves two teams that are in play for his services: the Packers and the Patriots. But if you take a look at both teams, neither would be a good fit for him at all.

The Packers are led offensively by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The veteran quarterback out of the University of California is arguably the best quarterback in the game. For Wayne, aligning with Rodgers would be excellent for his career. But in the scheme of things, how would he even fit that team at that position? This offseason, the Packers made sure to lock up one of their best weapons, Randall Cobb. The dynamic wide receiver signed a four-year, $40 million deal to stay in Green Bay. The deal keeps him paired with Jordy Nelson, who signed a similar deal with the Packers last offseason. After those two receivers, the Packers have a lot of young players. One young player that stood out for them last season was wide receiver Devante Adams. The rookie out of Fresno State only had 38 receptions for 446 yards, but it’s hard to get many catches when you’re playing with two guys that had over 90 receptions themselves. And the thing about Adams is he’s still young and improving. The Packers also have a penchant for drafting and finding good wide receivers. So in signing Wayne, they would be paying him to be a fourth wide receiver. And knowing the amount of money he may command, Wayne should be out of the question for the Pack. Green Bay would be stepping way out of their character if they brought in Wayne and for the veteran wide receiver, he would risk being cut before the season started if he signed there only due to his salary not meeting the potential production.

Tom Brady, like Aaron Rodgers, is in the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the NFL. He consistently does great things with the pieces that are handed to him. And last season, he made won the Super Bowl with a wide receiver crew that no one envied and a beast of a tight end in Rob Gronkowski. Heading into this season, the same cast that Brady had last season is set to return. And with the cast, the Patriots are considering bringing in Reggie Wayne. The veteran wide receiver, at this point in his career, does not have the speed he used to after his serious knee injury a couple years ago. He can probably still run good routes, but the separation from defenders on his routes may not be the same as it used to be. With the Patriots, they love to run the short routes that require separation. In Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell and Julian Edelman, the Patriots have the wide receivers they need to do the things they do. By adding Wayne, they would be adding one more guy that would be doing the same thing the others do. If anything, the Patriots need a guy that can take the top off of defenses. And Wayne has never really been a guy that strikes fear in teams with his speed. It has been his route-running that has been his staple over his entire career. Wayne would actually find himself in a battle to make the roster in New England like he would in Green Bay. And when it comes down to those choices with teams, you already know which way they will go. Teams would rather pay a young player that has upside and a smaller contract than a guy that an older guy that may command more money. Some fans of teams may or may not like the trend to keep cheaper, younger players, but this is what we are given in today’s salary-cap driven NFL.

The best choice for Reggie Wayne is to accept his time has passed. The veteran wide receiver has played his whole career up to this point with the Indianapolis Colts. With his health declining and with his speed declining, Wayne may not have the same affect he had in Indianapolis. Or even worse, he may not get to have that chance due to getting cut before the season on either of these two teams. Athletes are always on the go and in the end it is their decision when they want to give up the game. But it is also up to the players to actually notice the signs that tell you that it is over. Whether players listen or see the signs is up to them, but Wayne is missing the signs that it is time to call it a career if he steps on the field again.

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The Houston Rockets Roll The Dice By Acquiring Ty Lawson

Ty Lawson is headed from Denver to Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Ty Lawson is headed from Denver to Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Ty Lawson was once considered one of the top point guards coming up in the NBA. But after a few years of team struggles in Denver along with his own personal struggles, the stock of Lawson has gone down. And with his recent DUI arrest along with the drafting of point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, the writing was on the wall as to what would happen with him. The only question out there was if he would be traded or waived from his contract with the Nuggets. Well, it may have took a little time, but it looks like Lawson is headed to his next team. The Houston Rockets have apparently agreed to trade for the recently troubled point guard in exchange for point guard Pablo Prigioni, young guard Nick Johnson, forward Kostas Papanikolaou, big man Joey Dorsey and a future lotter-protected 1st round pick in 2016. And with this trade, the landscape in the West makes another shift. The Rockets wanted to make a splash this offseason and had seemingly missed their chance. With this trade, it may not have been a splash but they certainly made a ripple.

Lawson is a point guard that has always been known for his speed on the court. In fact, at one point he was considered one of the fastest point guards in the NBA. He still is a speedy guy on the court, but it seems to not have helped anything going on with the Nuggets. When the Nuggets signed him to an extension that kicked in the 2013-2014 season, Denver thought they were signing their future leader of their team to a long-term deal. For whatever reason, that did not work out for him in Denver and he was not the leader they expected. In fact, the Nuggets looked leaderless. Heading to Houston, leadership will not be something that he has to be involved with. The team is led by MVP-candidate James Harden. The only thing Lawson has to do is come in and be a playmaker for the Rockets while continuing to push the tempo. Too many times, the Rockets depended on Harden to do any and everything for them offensively. He would not only shoot the ball, but set up teammates for easy shots. The only other playmaker on the team last season was Josh Smith and that wasn’t exactly the most consistent. Lawson is quick as a hiccup and can shoot the gaps offensively. If he is able to do that in Houston, the Rockets will be getting wide-open shots a lot. And if the Rockets are hitting from deep, it could be trouble for any team. But not only can he get in the paint to kick out to shooters, but he can also make life a little better for Dwight Howard. The penetration by Lawson will allow Dwight to get lob passes at the rim. And with him getting those touches there and maybe a few more touches off the pick-and –roll, Howard will have an effect on the offensive end whereas sometimes he was just a guy out there on the offensive end last season.

Lawson will definitely be a welcomed sight for Harden, who has reportedly said he wanted another player in Houston. But the best thing that can happen for the Rockets is he can come in and start for them. Entering last season, the point guard position was anchored by Patrick Beverley. He was a feisty defender and was a good shooter from three-point range. And with him, the Rockets were playing very well. But unfortunately, he did not make it through the season, as he suffered a wrist injury that would put him down for a while. Replacing him were veteran point guards Pablo Prigioni and Jason Terry. Both played valiantly and made some things happen, but there was no doubt that neither were the answer at point guard. The addition of Lawson gives Houston the best point guard they have had there the entire time that Harden has been a Rocket. And with his addition, that means that Beverly comes in off the bench now. The team thought enough of him to sign him back to a four-year, $25 million deal this offseason. And with Lawson now in the fold, Beverley has now become one of the best backup point guards in the NBA. For a team that was having so many issues at that position when Beverley went down last season, they seemingly have a solid balance at point guard. And when Beverley comes in off the bench, he can bring that energy to sustain the team that is on the court.

All seems to be great in the eyes of the Rockets because the Rockets essentially got Lawson for nothing. And in the eyes of some, it seems he is now joining a contending team. Houston should content for the West this season, but the key ingredient is definitely Lawson. He is currently serving 30 days in a rehab center after his latest DUI arrest. The Rockets are hoping that Lawson comes out of rehab focused and ready to play some basketball. If he does, he gives them the jolt they needed offensively. And on the defensive end, he is still a guy that can cause some issues when he isn’t getting posted up. But if Lawson messes up again, it could be the end of him in Denver. It would be a shame if they happened to him, but if it did he would have earned the decision. The onus is on Lawson and what he feels he can do for the Rockets. The good thing for Houston is they did not have to give up much for his services and have a great backup in Beverley. Houston is taking a chance on Lawson getting it together. The jury is still out on what he will do, but if he is the Ty Lawson of old, then the Rockets will be able to make it happen.

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It’s Time For Ty Lawson To Do Some Damage Control

Ty Lawson is living on the edge with two DUIs within six months. Can he right the ship? (photo courtesy of www.usatoday.com)

Ty Lawson is living on the edge with two DUIs within six months. Can he right the ship? (photo courtesy of http://www.usatoday.com)

When Ty Lawson was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves and traded to the Denver Nuggets in the 2009 NBA Draft. Immediately when he was selected, he was thought to be the point guard of the future for the Denver Nuggets. And when he touched the floor in Denver, he was a guy that instantly changed the tempo of the game. His speed is something that not many can match and he consistently put folks in his rear view mirror as he flew up the court. As he advanced in his career in Denver, he has become more and more a focal point of that team. And although he has had some issues with health two of the last four seasons, many thought that he would be around to help turn things around prior to last season. But after the disaster of a season coupled with his off-the-court issues, the Nuggets may be heading towards reaching their breaking point. The Nuggets pretty much tipped their hand when they draft point guard Emmanuel Mudiay in the first round this year and they signed point guard Jameer Nelson to a three-year deal. Lawson helped made the situation even easier by getting stopped for a suspected DUI in Los Angeles this week. This makes four DUI stops for Lawson over his basketball career. But what makes the situation even worse is that this is Lawson’s second DUI stop in six months. Of course this is not looked well upon by the Nuggets organization. And now a team that was either shopping him on the trading block will now reportedly consider waiving him in lieu of the newest DUI arrest. But this arrest is more significant to Lawson than it is anything.

The appeal of Lawson is easy to see when you watch him on the court. He is fast, can play the game and is fearless when attacking the rim. He has had the aforementioned DUIs, but these last two are an even more troubling situation. Two DUIs in six months leads to suspicion that there may be an issue with Ty and handling his drinks. He is a great player when he is on the court, but he also has to have better judgement off of it. The decisions you make on the court can began to accumulate on the team you play for. Most teams take chances on players if they have talent. But if the talent does not match up to the trouble the player may cause, then the team will not keep you around. In Lawson’s case, he was not really the guy many thought of when it came to trouble. But as time has gone on, he has had a few issues in the NBA. Of course everyone has issues that they face and some face more than others. But the factor that always comes into play is do the players learn from the mistakes they made. In Lawson’s case, it appears he did not learn from the first mistake he made with a suspected DUI. And now he is in the crosshairs of a team that was ready to trade him to begin with. And along with the DUI, he has taken down his value from some teams. Even though he may or may have a drinking problem, Lawson has now become a guy that some teams will view as a risk due to his inability to make rational decisions. And if he is not careful and continues to make mistakes, then he could cost himself a career. Lawson has not made it to the radioactive stage as of yet, but he could make it there if he continues on this pace he is on the last six months.

If Lawson is smart, he will employ a driver to take him to and fro when he is out at night. Money isn’t an issue for Lawson, so paying someone to drive him around all night and make sure he gets home safe is something that he should have no problem doing. Another reason he would be smart to get a driver when he goes out is he wants to get home safely. Lawson has not injured anyone with this suspected DUIs, but what if he did one of these times if he got another one? He could not only ruin his life but kill or injure someone. At that point he would not only be altering his life but someone that was a victim of his neglect. That would be something that would be tough to live with. And the memories of something like that would haunt him for a long time. If Lawson values his NBA career, he will take the steps to make sure something like this does not happen again. The best thing for him would be to lay low and focus on getting some training in for basketball. Lawson has to realize that his career will not go on forever and that he has only a limited amount of time to make a lot of money.

Whether Lawson realizes it or not, the clock is ticking on his career in the NBA. In the blink of an eye, his career could be gone. He has to value it more than what he is currently because his trouble off the court is starting to overshadow his career and what he can do on the court. And if he isn’t careful, he could become that guy that slides into the untouchable category. And that is when your career is getting ready to fade to black. Ty Lawson, it is time to right the ship, cut out the foolishness and get back to being that great player at the point guard position you can be whether it be in Denver or somewhere else.

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