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The General’s New Year’s Resolutions In Sports

(photo courtesy of Kelly L Cox/USA Today Sports)

(photo courtesy of Kelly L Cox/USA Today Sports)

A new year is upon us and like usual, there are many that have made New Year’s Resolutions. You see some of the usual ones that involve working out posted everywhere, but what if teams and professional athletes had resolutions and we all had access to them? No one knows if some of these professional athletes made some resolutions for the year, but if they were to make them, this is what they could have been. Without further ado, here are some New Year’s Resolutions the General has for some people, teams and players.

Chicago Bulls-Remember Who You Are

A lot was made of Jimmy Butler’s comments in regards to his coach, Fred Hoiberg, and him needing to coach them harder. But one other thing the star guard spoke about was the team needing to play harder like they have in previous seasons. And he could not have been more correct. The Bulls have no identity at all this season and the effort seems to not be there on both ends consistently. For them to even compete in the East, they need to get back to the basics. Of course there is a new coach there, but the same pieces remain. For their sake, they better hope some things get better soon for them.

Markieff Morris- More Patience and Composure

The talented forward for Phoenix has had an interesting season. He watched his twin brother get traded to Detroit this offseason and it has seemingly had an adverse effect on him. He wanted to leave and demonstrated so during the offseason but that cooled down once the season started. But even now, he has had temper tantrums like throwing a towel at the coach. And like any player that has issues with a coach, he has been in and out of the doghouse. One thing he may want to realize is he is not making himself look any better with these tantrums. Other teams are watching. And eventually the talent-trouble formula will not be in his favor. Get it together Mr. Morris. Of you could be calling it a career quicker than you want.

Los Angeles Lakers-Atone for your mistakes

The Los Angeles Lakers have been employing Byron Scott for almost three years now. And with this team as young as they are, it seems like Scott hasn’t got the memo to play the young players so they can get better. So since he seems to not get the memo, why not let him go now? Kobe is about to exit Byron. Lou Williams is not a starting point guard in the NBA. Larry Nance Jr is not a starter in the NBA. The Lakers’ brass needs to end this science experiment with Byron as head coach and do so as soon as possible.

Dwight Howard- Find out who you are

Dwight Howard has had the potential to be one of the best big men in the NBA for some time now. But he has never lived up to it. Instead, he has been known as an unhappy big man. Dwight has visions of himself being more involved in the offense in Houston just like he had in Los Angeles for his one year there. But in each situation, he has yet to realize that he is the not the focal point of his team. It was Kobe in LA and now it is Harden in Houston. He will not be the main weapon on this Houston team because he does not have a consistent offensive game. Maybe if he had that, he would have a gripe. But right now, Dwight may want to focus on just being a rebounder, dunker and defensive presence because that is what he is.

Cleveland Browns- Take control of your situation

The team seems to be in disarray yet again. There seems to be no direction there and the front office and management seem to be on two different pages. The talk has been that general manager Ray Farmer will be done after this last game. But with the Browns, you never know. This one reads like a soap opera, so maybe one day they will get some direction and move forward. But it all starts from ownership. Ownership here has never asserted itself and taken control of the situation. And this mess will continue if Haslam and company do not do so.

Detroit Lions- See things clearer

The Detroit Lions had a rough start to the season. They were 1-6 out of the gate and there were many disappointed fans of that team. But the team righted the ship and played well down the stretch after they fired their offensive coordinator and members of their front office. Some saw this optimism and have thought that it is time to give Jim Caldwell more time. Well, those that don’t want that better hope that does not happen. Detroit fans and ownership, don’t be fooled by the finish of that team up there. They still have a ton of issues there and keeping Caldwell is not going to help fix those issues at all.

Chip Kelly-Learn how to play well with others

Chip Kelly almost completed his third year of coaching the Philadelphia Eagles when the plug was pulled on him by the organization this week. Aside from some of the questionable moves he made as the general manager this season, it was his icy relationship with people around him that helped get him fired in Philly. He reportedly would not even speak to players in the building, often leaving them feeling uncomfortable. He more than likely will receive another shot at some point (at the college level or in the NFL). But in order for him to succeed, he has to learn to value the people around him. He apparently did not in Philly. If he is able to learn that along with other things, then he could be successful in his next go round.

San Francisco 49ers- Change your course

The team has had issues all season long. Of course most of those were linked to the departures of their head coach after the 2014 season and the loss of players to retirement. But even more than that, the team just seemed like it just could not get any form of consistency all year long. For them, the consistency needs to start with what direction they will be going in. This was obviously not what the 49ers expected and this was unacceptable in their eyes. The stability starts from the top and it will be interesting to see what they do to stabilize this team and get better.

Chicago Cubs-Seize the opportunity

The Chicago Cubs were a team that many expected to not be ready to achieve until the 2016 season. But they surprised everyone this past season and made it to the National League Championship Series. They lost the game, but they were ahead of schedule. And this offseason, they acquired a few pieces to help take them to the top. The thing that Cubs fans have been waiting on forever is a championship. And this year is their best chance to do it. The best thing for them to do is take advantage of this opportunity when it presents itself. If not, this chance could pass them by quickly.

Pete Rose and Major League Baseball-

Time and time again we hear about Pete Rose and whether or not he should be in the Hall Of Fame. Well, he was denied again and the argument ensued as to why he should or should not be in the Hall. Well, both sides need to come together and make this happen one way or the other. Rose has to come clean about everything and Major League Baseball has to value an all-time great before he passes away. At some point, Major League Baseball has to let him in. And while Major League Baseball is trying to take the moral ground, they may want to take a look at how they conveniently looked the other way during the Steriod era. I bet that would change some viewpoints there on all those taking that moral compass out involving Major League Baseball.

 

2015 has come to an end and 2016 is now upon us. And all of us have great dreams of making things happen in this new year. And some of us even made resolutions. Hopefully for these teams, players and people, they make some changes within themselves to make this year a great one for themselves.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

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Plenty Of Changes Needed In Lakerland

(photo courtesy of Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times)

(photo courtesy of Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most storied franchises in professional sports history. From Jerry West to Kobe Bryant, the Lakers have always had star power along with the championship mettle. Thinking of all that history makes it hard to believe the Lakers have been relegated to what they currently are now. After their loss to the Golden State Warriors Tuesday, the Lakers are now sporting a record of 2-12. The team, which former Laker Byron Scott coaches, has stumbled out of the blocks yet again. And the worst part is there is no telling when they will stumble out of the darkness and back into the limelight. Under Scott, the Lakers have not made the playoffs nor have they looked close to making it. For a franchise that has been used to success, this is something that has to be troublesome for the team and their fans. After reviewing the game against the Warriors, there were a few things that struck me as interesting for a team that is constructed the way they are. It just seems like they are out of sync. They are a young team and they are not expected to make the playoffs, but some of the things they are doing is not making them any better on the court. With a few adjustments, the team could actually be a better product to watch and be more competitive on the court.

The offensive philosophy of this team seems very simple. It seems like they run the offense through Kobe Bryant still. In case Byron Scott has not been watching, Kobe is not the same Kobe he once was. For example, he went 1-14 against the Warriors and did not seem to have the same lift he once had. But Scott seems determined to run the offense through Bryant no matter what. One day he may want to realize that Bryant is not the future of this team. The future of the team lies in D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and power forward Julius Randle. These three young guys have a chance to be the future of the franchise and lead them back to relevance. But as long as the offense is run through Kobe, there is no room for them to grow. And as time goes on, these young players need time to mature and minutes to grow. The more they are put in situations where they have to lead and be the playmaker, the more you find out what you do or don’t have in them. You also find out what you need to surround them with. And once you are able to get a true evaluation of their skills, then you can start moving forward with more information and things to build on.

The adjustment in the offensive philosophy not only has to do with the change of the focus but the change of pace as well. Byron Scott is trying to run a Princeton-style offense with the young players that he has. If you are not aware of what kind of offense this is, it is predicated on movement and a series of cuts and off-the-ball movement. For a team that has veteran players that are in the NBA it takes time to learn. So imagine what it is doing to the youngsters playing with the Lakers. D’Angelo Russell looks tentative on the court at all times. It seems like he is thinking more than playing. Clarkson will be fine, but he even has moments where he does not get what’s going on too. And as far as Randle, he is a guy they want to take a rebound and push the basketball. But it seems like they are not really pushing the fact that they want him to push the basketball. The slower pace for the Lakers helps guys like Kobe and center Roy Hibbert but hurts the young guns. Since Hibbert and Kobe are not giving them much, why are they catering to these two? Why not get the most out of your young and entertaining pieces by pushing the basketball? And if Hibbert or Kobe cannot keep up, cut down their minutes and play more young guys that can pick up the slack. If that can happen, I can guarantee the Lakers would see more out of Russell than they currently are. They would also see Clarkson and Randle be better.

The Lakers do have some talented scorers off their bench in Nick Young and Lou Williams. The former 6th man of the Year with the Raptors last season, Williams came to LA this offseason to play for the Lakers. It was thought he would bring some firepower off their bench, but it has not worked out the way he has thought. His average is down three points from 15 points per game to 12 points per game. And when you watch the games, Byron Scott has him playing point guard. Lou Williams may not be the prototypical size for a shooting guard, but that is what he does and has done his whole career. Having him initiate the offense is not a good look at all. The best thing to do for him is put either Clarkson or Russell on the point and allow him to create as a scorer when Kobe goes to the bench. In doing that, you will get the best use out of Williams that can help this team. And if you combine the faster tempo with this move, then you get Lou Williams going in the right direction.

The Lakers could be better than what they currently are. But instead of being a team that is getting their young pups ready to take over, they are still letting the old guard run this team. Kobe is one of the greatest players of all-time, but his time has passed and he is holding back these youngsters. And if Byron Scott does not understand that, then maybe it is time for him to call it a career with the Lakers. The team has pieces to grow with, but Byron is not helping the situation at all. If these adjustments were made at least on the offensive end, the Lakers would be growing instead of looking like a team with no direction.

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