Sports Stingers: 18 May 20

Sport Stingers

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Wrestling

  • WWE and wrestler Drew Gulak parted ways. This is after Gulak lost his match to Daniel Bryan in the Intercontinental Championship tournament. 
  • Jinder Mahal is rumored to have a babyface run now that he’s back. He’s been absent due to recovering from a knee injury. While being interviewed he stated that his journey will be a hero’s journey.

 

Basketball

  • NBA.com is reporting that Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the rest of the passengers in the crash all died instantly.  The Los Angeles County coroner reported that the victims had broken bones, dismembered body parts, and smelled of fuel. The report summarized that they all died from the blunt force trauma of the crash and not the subsequent injuries. Bryant and the others were heading to a tournament, but the helicopter flew into thick fog and they crashed, and when the pilot, Ara Zobayan, tried to clear it, the helicopter took a turn and crashed into the hills. They are reported to have crashed at 184 mph with the impact scattering the bodies and debris over the size of a football field. Bryant was found outside the wreckage, his daughter found on the ravine. For more on this sad story: https://www.nba.com/article/2020/05/16/autopsies-show-bryant-passengers-died-instantly
  • NBA teams started to reopen their gyms and allow players to work out. Kevin Love expressed how happy he was to return to the gym. There still isn’t any news on if the season will continue, but owners are working on a plan that may see players return, but with no fans in attendance. 

Football

  • Eagles center Jason Kelce believes Andre Dillard can take over at left tackle. Dillard is going into his second season and was drafted in hopes of taking over from Jason Peters. Peters is exploring free agency and it appears won’t be coming back. This is the first time since Peters arrived in Philly, that the Eagles had to worry about the position. The Eagles made it into the playoffs due to the Dallas Cowboys’ poor play in the last four weeks of the season.

Hockey

  • William Douglas, a writer for the NHL, hosts a blog called The Color of Hockey on the NHL site which covers people of color in the game of hockey.  In his most recent post, he talks about Reggie Millette.

 

Baseball

  • MLB.com has a feature article on the best moments in each ballpark’s history.

https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-ballpark-best-moments

 

Giannis Promotes Community

Screen Shot 2020-05-14 at 5.27.32 PM
The image is taken from greekreporter.com.  greekreporter.com

 

Reigning MVP Giannis Antentokounmpo has a heart that matches his talents. He believes in giving back to the community as his family struggled with finding food when he was younger. He revealed this during a video recorded by the NBA as part of its #ActsofCaring during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He talked about how there were community-based programs that helped low-income families. This made it important for him and his main motivation for helping community-based programs now.

You can view the video here

High School Basketball Prospects Changing College Paths

NCAA sports do not pay their student-athletes. A topic that has been up to debate the last few years. The argument that NCAA profits off its players, but players can be punished for making money off their talents. Arguments include that elite players already have a free scholarship. One of the sports that comes into question is basketball. Over the years, the NBA has put rules in place that players have to go to college for at least one year, before being drafted. Now, there are ways around this. Players can go play internationally, like LaMelo Ball. However, a new opportunity is presenting itself here in America.

The NBA G-League, formerly known as the D-League, before Gatorade became an official title sponsor. The G-League is now a minor league that farms athletes for NBA teams. The concept is similar to minor league baseball. The G-League has become more prominent in the last decade, with now every NBA team being affiliated with a G-League team. Contracts are around $30,000 to $40,000.

Jalen Green is the top high school recruit and the first to sign with the G-League. The image is taken from NBA.Com. All rights reserved to NBA.com.

However, that is being changed. The league can now offer up to $120,000 for select prospects. The prospects in question? The top high school players. Three of the top players in high school, who would have spent next year in the NCAA, before being drafted into the NBA, have decided to sign with the G-league.  Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd, and Daishen Nix have all signed with the G-League.

Todd had committed to Michigan. Nix was signed by UCLA. Both decided to negate their commitments to sign with the G-league. Nix is highly considered to be the top point guard for the 2021 draft after his one year NCAA eligibility. Todd is a big athletic power forward. Green is the cream of the crop. He is expected to be the number one draft pick in 2021.

This changes the landscape for players in basketball to become professionals and enter the NBA. Complaints about the huge turnover due to NCAA basketball players of elite talent going to the NBA after a year is ruining college basketball. Now, with the G-League offering higher contracts, college basketball might lose the opportunity to even signed elite high school players.

Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski was interviewed about it on NBA.Com. ““It’s affected our game,” Krzyzewski said. “Really, anybody can win. I’m not saying that’s bad. I’m saying that’s what happened. … If you look at this as a business, the amount of guys going (to the NBA), the amount of guys testing (the NBA waters), the amount of guys transferring, whoa. Whoa. It’s a lot. It’s a lot.”

Recently, the NCAA has decided to have each division write their own rules on how to allow college athletes to make money off their names and talents.  The president citing that times are different and they [NCAA] have to change with it. The NCAA will have to wait on each state legislature before moving forward with it, but this is a win for college athletes, who bring in millions for their schools. For college basketball, this is an important change that needs to happen as the rise of the G-League continues to become a threat.

The Lakers Returns Loan

Lakers Logo Stock Photos & Lakers Logo Stock Images - Alamy
Image taken from https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/lakers-logo.html.

On April 27, the NBA reported on its website that the Los Angeles Lakers return the $4.6 million they received from the stimulus loan program. The program was meant for small businesses but was depleted by large businesses like Shake Shack.

The Lakers are worth $4.6 billion according to Forbes in a February report by azcentral.com.

Small Businesses, often consider to be the heart of the economy, were not able to receive the loan they desperately need because of corporations like the Lakers and Shake Shack being able to draw upon the package.

To note, as of the writing, it appears the Lakers were the only NBA team to apply for the loan. The Lakers organization is one of the biggest markets in the NBA. In 2019 their operating income was $178 million dollars. They average around $54  in revenue per fan. They spend $120 million on player expenses.  Their revenue is 434 million. They are also sponsored by the likes of American Express, Delta Airlines, Nike, Staples, Toyota, and Verizon Wireless, amongst others.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting every company, especially those of the entertainment variety like the NBA. The Lakers is an organization that doesn’t need to take part in a small business loan program.

However, the Lakers issued a statement on Monday, saying that they qualified for and received the loan under the Payroll Protection Program. When they heard the funds were depleted, they felt the financial support would be directed to those most in need.

According to NBA.com, the Treasury Department issued further guidance for the loan program, asking larger companies not to apply if they don’t need the money for survival.

One of the reasons the Lakers qualified is because they only have 300 employees, but are the NBA’s second most valuable franchise. No one has been fired at the time of this writing.

For more on the story, visit the NBA website.

Dear Kobe

 

I know, I may be late to reflect on the tragic passing of Kobe, his daughter Gigi, and the other passengers in this tragedy. I didn’t know what to feel, other than sadness for the families of the victims.

I can’t sit here and say I was a huge Kobe fan, but as a fan of the game, he is legendary. I will miss the competitive edge. I may not agree with his motivation tactics, but there is no denying that he was a winner, both as player and as father, husband, friend.

Thank you Kobe for the great memories, restoring the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, and most of all, being an example of pursing greatness. You affected many people and you will be missed.

#mambaforever #8 #24

 

Stories from NBA.com

https://www.nba.com/video/2020/01/28/20200128-inside-kobe-storys

Images and names of the victims

https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/pictures-these-are-the-victims-in-the-kobe-bryant-helicopter-crash/2299204/

NBA Suspends Embiid and Anthony-Towns

Last night altercation between Philadelphia 76ears Joel Embiid and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl Anthony-Towns has led to both of them being suspended for their scuffle.

Embiid and Towns have been talking trash to one another for years on Twitter. Last night Embiid and Towns were caught together after a play and Towns took offense to Embiid’s hold. The two brawled to the ground before teammates and other officials broke them up. Towns, visibly angry, was escorted back to the bench while Embiid joked with teammates.

Both players will be suspended for two games.

Breaking…Rockets to Trade Paul for Westbrook

Well that was quick. Reportedly The Houston Rockets agree with a trade with Oklahoma City Thunder. Point guards Russel Westbrook and Chris Paul will swap teams. This trade reunites Westbrook and James who were integral parts along with Kevin Durant when OKC made the NBA Finals in a loss to Lebron James and the Miami Heat.

Since the offseason rumors were floating around that Chris Paul and James Harden were not on the same page. Both have denied the rumors. Chris Paul who has had injury plagued season can’t be happy with this deal as he now finds himself alone in OKC. The Thunder fans most likely will not be happy either as this ends their playoff run.

Rumors that no one wants to play with Westbrook are also being spread because ehe averages a triple double for the past three seasons. Essentially stealing rebounds, which is ridiculous in my opinion.

Chris Paul may look to get waived and picked up by a playoff contending team that can afford him.

-Terrio Jenkins

Paul George Traded to Clippers and..

3 hours ago ESPN Paul George will be traded to the Clippers and NBA.com reports that Kawhi Leonard will Reportedly sign with the Clippers.

This is great for the NBA as the Lakers will not be a superteazm. In fact looking at the teams everyone seems balance. The top teams if we go by superstar talents are

-Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

-Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving

-Los Angeles Clippers: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

The Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia Sixers made deals that help keep them in the picture.

Now the NBA seems even more exciting. Last year Eastern Conference play-offs were more enjoyable as most fans expected the Warriors to return for their fifth finals appearance. With Lebron gone the Eastern Conference was left open for Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee or anyone who could upset those four.

Nobody expected Lebron to not make the playoffs with his team, but with Anthony Davis they will be a playoff team this year. What seed depends on how they build around the two and Kuzma. They are reportedly acquiring Jared Dudley from the Brooklyn Nets.

Fans can rest easy now. The biggest fear was that Kawhi would sign with the Lakers with Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Even the experts and their sources expected to happen. Kawhi opted for the less popular Clippers and one can assume that he hopes to deliver a NBA Championship there. The move makes sense to as Leonard is from Southern California.

Still Waiting on Leonard

Latest reports on Kawhi Leonard is that it’s between the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors. I stated before I would hate to see him go to the Lakers to form a super team with Anthony Davis and Lebron James. However unlike when Kevin Durant went to Golden State and Lebron going to Miami. Leonard has proven he can win twice as the superstar. The first time with the Spurs with Duncan, Ginobli, and Parker. The second time basically all by himself with the Raptors.  So, if he did decide to go to the Lakers it would be more about just winning and maybe not being “the man.”

So far, the NBA free agency has started to balance power. The Nets look like they will be a force next season. The Bucks managed to gain some power back after losing some of its  players. The Heat got better with Jimmy Butler. Detroit may be better with Derrick Rose.  It would be nice to keep Leonard in Toronto. Drake is doing his part. Only time will tell when Leonard will make his decision. Hopefully, it’s not the Lakers.