Month: February 2014

Back-to-Back

Jabari Parker splits C.J Fair and Rakeem Christmas Jabari Parker splits C.J Fair and Rakeem Christmas

The Syracuse Orange dropped their second game in a row to the Duke blue devils Saturday night 66-60 after starting the season with a 25-0 record.

The first meeting between both schools went to overtime in which the orange came out the victors 91-89, in what was considered an instant classic. After coasting majority of the season, the orange have found it difficult to score as of recent. Prior to suffering their first loss of the season to Boston College, the orange barely escaped some of the games they played. Most noticeably was the game against Pittsburgh, in which freshman guard Tyler Ennis hit a mid-court shot to snatch the game from the panthers.

The orange may lose their number one ranking, but they’re obviously a lock for a high seed in the conference tournament and the NCAA tournament. With just four games left against Maryland (15-12), Virginia (23-5),Georgia tech (13-14) and Florida State (15-11) on the season, it will be interesting to see how they bounce back from losing back-to-back games.

Back to winning ways

Giroud and Cazorla Giroud and Cazorla

The Gunners got back to their winning ways this weekend by defeating Sunderland 4-1 in the Barclay’s Premier League.

The past couple of games have been rough for the North London side, this is exactly what they needed after coming off a mid-week defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the champions league.

Olivier Giroud notched a brace for the home side after being left out of the sides previous two matches. A third goal was added by the Czech play-maker Tomas Rosicky, after the intricate and beautiful passes the gunners are know for, before a fourth was added by French defender Laurent Koscielny.

Arsenal needed the three points, as Chelsea and Manchester city both managed to squeeze 1-0 victories against their opponents this weekend. The road will get tough for the gunners as they will face Bayern Munich again, Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham and Everton. With just a hand full of fixtures left in the season the gunners need to find the form that saw them top of the table for more than half the season.

Branding Giants

When it comes marketing and branding, not many have done it like the Nike corporation. Besides being at the forefront of athletic gear.The brand alone is valued at 10.7 billion, making it the most valuable brand among sports businesses. Nike sponsors many high-profile athletes and sports teams around the world, with the highly recognized trademarks of “Just Do It” and the Swoosh logo.

One of those high-profile athletes aforementioned is Micheal Jordan, in my opinion Micheal Jordan helped raise the Nike brands already high profile. Other athletes have come and go under the Nike brand, however the Jordan brand has been a consistent fixture. Since his rookie year in 1984 when his shoe was introduced into the sports shoe market, the Air Jordan evolved to the original basketball shoes to models for different uses, including training and casual shoes, including a retro line. Air Jordan( currently sponsors 19 active NBA players, including Chris Paul, Ray Allen, and Carmelo Anthony.

Nike sells an assortment of products, including shoes and apparel for sports activities like association football, basketball, running, combat sports, tennis, American football, athletics, golf, and cross training for men, women, and children. Nike also sells shoes for outdoor activities such as tennis, golf, skateboarding, association football, baseball, American football, cycling, volleyball, wrestling, cheerleading, aquatic activities, auto racing, and other athletic and recreational uses.

It’s important in this day and age to find new avenues to market and promote your product,finding an individual to represent your brand is also important. signing one athlete to a contract to endorse their product has opened doors for them to continue to lead the way in their field.

Last Call

The recent shake up in college athletic conferences is seeing one of the Athletic Coast Conference’s most celebrated rivalries come to an end on Tonight. Come the end of this NCAA basketball season the Maryland Terrapins will be moving to the BIG 12 conference and coach Krzyzewski refusing to schedule the terps, this could indeed be the last game between the two for the foreseeable future.

Depending on who you ask this might not even be seen as a rivalry. If you ask a Duke supporter, they don’t see Maryland as their rivals instead they view the North Carolina Tar Heels as their rivals, and this is very evident through one of their more famous chants “Not our rival,” whenever the terps visit Durham just to remind the terps of how they see them.

The last time both teams met, Maryland edged out their opponents at the Comcast center who were ranked number one in the AP polls at the time. Maryland currently has a two game winning streak against their rivals, but both games were away from the blue devils home court. Duke comes into this game ranked 8 in the nation while the terps are not ranked. As the last page to this interesting rivalry will be written tonight in Durham in front of the Cameron Crazies, it will be interesting to see what kind of send off the crazies have for the Maryland players.

The 40/40 Club

The Philadelphia 76ers earned the dubious honors of being only the second team in NBA history to lose two games back to back by 40 plus points. Ironically the only other team to hold this record are the 1993-94 76ers who lost to the knicks by 48 and to Indiana by 45.

The sixers are currently second to last in the Eastern conference with a record of 15-38. Nobody expected the sixers to have a great season but to be struggling this much and have the record they have so far can be summed up with one word “Pathetic”. The first of the two record tying defeats came at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers who had just got back their All-Star point guard Chris Paul. As you can imagine Lob city had a field day with the lackluster sixers and were ahead by 39 points at the half. The clippers ended with their largest margin of victory in franchise history with a 54 point difference.

As if the prior game wasn’t atrocious enough the sixers followed that up with another abysmal performance against the Golden State warriors. The sixers actually pulled their weight in this contest, they kept the game close until midway through the second quarter when the warrior started to pull away. The sixers went into halftime down 33 points. The warriors went on to win the game by 43 points.
At this point the sixers might as well start preparing for next season and start preparing for the draft, even the Milwaukee Bucks who have the worst record in the league (9-42) have not lost in the manner in which the sixers are. It’s either time for the coach to go or for some major roster changes to be made in either event it seems all Philly fans have to look forward to is to see what college basketball player declares for the draft and what number they get in the draft lottery.

Not so Smart

I commend student athletes who accept their role as a student comes first and not an athlete, but can your draft stock be hurt because you choose to enjoy your college experience rather than cash in on your talent for the dollars you can potentially make. Marcus Smart starting SG for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, would have been a lottery pick had he submitted his name for the previous NBA draft. He returned for all the right reasons, however it may be a decision he just might regret.

Marcus Smart has struggled to find the form that saw him named Big 12 conference player of the year, freshman of the year award and be names to the pre-season all American list.  The recent performances of the Cowboys coupled with his own struggles may see him fall in the pecking order come draft day if he decides to enter after this year.

Oklahoma State finished last year losing to the Oregon Ducks in the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 24-8.  Smart averaged 15.4 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, and 4.2 assist per game and led the Big 12 in steals where he recorded 99 and averaged 3.0 per game. This season is a different story however, the cowboys are struggling currently with a 16-7 record and 4-6 in the big conference it’s easy to say the team and Smart are not performing to expectations. The frustrations has been visible in the otherwise reserved Smart. Twice on Jan. 25 he kicked a chair on the sidelines in a game against West Virginia, more recently Smart got into an altercation with a Texas Tech fan who he alleges directed a racial slur at him.

Now personally I don’t think these recent events should hurt his draft stock, but if I’m being realistic it just may hurt him. Players are held to a higher standard unfortunately, and regardless of what might have been said Smart should have known better than to react, after all he has a lot more to lose than the fan.

 

Higher Age Limit

Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants to change the leagues age requirements from 19 to 20. Former commissioner David Stern also tried to raise the age limit from 19 to 20 in the collective bargaining agreement in 2012 but was turned down. Now who would his rule change benefit?  College programs perhaps and of course the colleges that make money of off these very “Student-Athletes.”

No doubt if the age limit is changed, college basketball will benefit from it tremendously. Instantly the level of play  would increase, players would be deemed more “NBA”ready, pro scouts have more games to evaluate the players. Could you imagine the likes of Derrick Rose, Demarcus Cousins and John Wall had stayed more than a year how much more mature they would have been instead of going through the growing pains of the NBA so early.  Anthony Bennett was drafted recently number one overall in the NBA’s 2013 draft class.  He had a solid season in his only year in college basketball at UNLV, were  he averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds a game despite only averaging 27.1 minutes a game. He shot 53.3% from the field overall and 37.5% from 3-point range. He was extremely efficient in college, averaging a PER of 28.3. Now on the contrary in his early career in the league has shown that scouts might have gotten it wrong as he has struggled to show the same level of consistency and efficiency. This is where the age limit rule change can be beneficial.

The problem with this age limit is obvious, what happens to those players who don’t want to stay that long?  Or those who get injured while being forced to stay an extra year? I fear if the age limit is increased we might see more players go the route Brandon Jennings of the Detroit Pistons went. Brandon Jennings rather than go to college decided to go pro in the Italian professional league.  Jennings decision helped him because it taught him how to be a professional basketball player and make money at the same time.

Personally I think the age limit is stupid, we already know those good enough to go straight to the pros from high school or those who don’t need to stay 2 years at college.  In order for this amendment to have a chance Adam Silver will have to be an excellent salesman as I don’t see the players association agreeing to the rule change.

 

 

Russian Who Lit Olympic Cauldron Tweeted Racist Picture Of Obamas Last Year

CBS DC

SOCHI, Russia (CBS DC) — A three-time gold medalist who lit the Sochi Olympic cauldron Friday tweeted a racist picture last year of the Obamas.

Irina Rodnina, who won the gold in women’s figure skating in the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Winter Olympics, posted a doctored picture on Twitter last September of President Barack Obama, who had a mouth-full of food, and Michelle Obama staring at a banana that is being waved at them.

The Guardian reported at the time that Rodnina immediately deleted the tweet but never apologized for posting the picture.

“Freedom of speech is freedom of speech, and you should answer for your own hang-ups,” she said, according to The Guardian, adding she got it from friends…

View original post 78 more words