The Everyday Man's Sports Blog

Follow Mike Patton aka The General as he puts his thoughts in on sports.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Dez Bryant Should Be Making Way More Money Than Demaryius Thomas

Bryant and Thomas both got paid. But one of these two got short-changed. (photo courtesy of www.cbssports.com)

Bryant and Thomas both got paid. But one of these two got short-changed. (photo courtesy of http://www.cbssports.com)

On the final day for deals to be done for teams that tagged players with the franchise tag, there was some question as to what some teams would do. Demaryius Thomas and Denver were reportedly not talking and Dez Bryant and the Cowboys were at odds as well. It seemed like both would be taking a hard stance against the teams that employed them, dead set on trying to force their respective teams to give them new deals. There was a buzz everywhere after Dez Bryant said he would not show up if he did not have a new deal. In Thomas’ case, there was deafening silence all around. But at the eleventh hour, it seems that both teams got it done and got their star wide receivers new deals. Both players agreed to five-year deals worth $70 million. But the difference in the guaranteed money had Dez Bryant making $1.5 million more than Thomas. Fans of the Cowboys and the Broncos can now breathe a sigh of relief as these two impact players are now signed for years to come. But when you take a look at both deals for both these players, there should be no way that Dez Bryant is making the same amount of money that Demaryius Thomas is.

Both Thomas and Bryant are very explosive players. They can run and catch with the best of them. But Dez definitely has the most to deal with in Dallas. Since he has been in Dallas, he has been looked at as the X-Factor for their team as a receiver. Of course it may have taken him two seasons to grow into the role, but he is now the best offensive player the Cowboys have. Standing at 6’2” and 220 pounds, Bryant has terrorized opposing secondaries the last three seasons. And every year, he has increased his touchdown production. But what makes Dez Bryant so impressive over the last two season is the conditions under what he has done it with. No one can name someone that takes attention away from Dez on the outside. In fact, if you take a look at last season, there was not many weapons that scared teams. Jason Witten is still a solid tight end, but his production has declined over the last three seasons. Other than Witten, the Cowboys have Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley. Neither one of these guys is good enough to at least draw some defensive attention on their own. But due to the favorable matchups they receive from defenses week in and week out, they are able to produce on the field. Both Beasley and Williams got favorable matchups each week due to the attention that Dez Bryant drew each and every week. And if it weren’t for him being such a factor, the running game would not be as effective either. Defenses have to shift their attention to Dez each game and bracket cover him. And despite that a Cowboys offense that focused more on the running game this season, Bryant still was dominant and he still put up great numbers. Imagine what Dez could do if he had a weapon on the opposite side of him that could scare opponents each and every week. He would be even more dangerous.

As for Demaryius Thomas, he is definitely in a great position. He is playing with one of the best quarterbacks of all-time and has the benefit of playing in the thin air of Denver, which opponents always have to adjust to when they get there. Thomas started off slow his first two seasons just like Bryant, but once Peyton Manning stepped into the fold, Thomas took off as a player. He has recorded three seasons over 1,400 yards receiving, including last season where he had a career-high 1,619 yards receiving. But when you take a look at his scenario over the last few years, he has definitely had it better. Thomas has been targeted more by Manning than Bryant has by Romo. With more chances to catch the ball comes more receptions and more yards as well. For example, last season, Thomas was targeted 184 times compared to Bryant only getting 138 targets. But other than the actual targets, Thomas also benefitted from having one of the most athletic tight ends in the NFL last year. Julius Thomas was an animal at the tight end position last year. The last couple of seasons, Thomas has had to be accounted for in the passing game. And even though he has not been lighting it up in the yards department (only one season over 700 yards), he has been lighting up the scoreboard with 24 total receiving touchdowns the last two seasons. And not to be forgotten, the Broncos acquired wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders last season and he made an immediate impact on the team. He registered his best season ever as a professional. He had over 1,400 yards receiving and he had 9 touchdowns. Witten, Beasley and Terrance Williams combined only had 300 more yards receiving than Sanders did by himself. That ought to tell you what kind of offense that Thomas was in. And with the weapons he had and the focus on the passing game, it was evident that Thomas was in the better position to succeed and did so. Imagine if Bryant was playing in an offense like the Broncos and had weapons that could take attention away from him. If he did, Dez would routinely get over 1,700 yards receiving if not more than that.

Bryant and Thomas both may have got their deals, but Dez Bryant got short-changed in this one. With limited weapons around him and a focus on the running game, he still was able to have a great season. Demaryius Thomas, on the other hand, is playing with one of the greatest quarterback of all-time and has way better offensive talent around him to help him succeed. Bryant has a tougher job to do each and every week and he undoubtedly deserved at least $50 million guaranteed. Thomas will be missing one of his receiving buddies in Julius Thomas next season, so it will be interesting to see how he handles receiving more attention in the passing game and how he fares statistically when he sees the best defensive back on the other team and potentially more bracket coverage than he has ever faced.

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

Who Wants JaVale McGee?

One of the league's most athletic centers, JaVale McGee remains jobless. (photo courtesy of www.bleacherreport.com)

One of the league’s most athletic centers, JaVale McGee remains jobless. (photo courtesy of http://www.bleacherreport.com)

JaVale McGee has been an interesting character in the NBA. He has made us all laugh on Shaquille O’Neal’s Shaqtin-A-Fool and he has also made some great plays with his athleticism. Last year he did not get to show that athleticism off, as he was injured for a good portion of the time he was with the Nuggets last season. And when he made it on the court, he was not as effective as he hoped to be. McGee played only eleven minutes a game while averaging five points and three rebounds in 17 games played. He was traded at the trade deadline to the Philadelphia 76ers, but that trade was only a means to dump his contract, which was set to expire after the 2015-2016 season. The 76ers eventually bought McGee out after only six games played with them and there was some interest in him from the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately for McGee, the two sides could not come to an agreement on a deal and it seems as if McGee has been a big man that many have stayed away from. But when DeAndre Jordan was making his decision between the Mavericks and the Clippers, McGee’s name was brought up. First it was with the Clippers as a potential replacement for Jordan and now the Mavericks are speaking with him in regards to a new contract. But what is keeping McGee out of the NBA right now?

Besides the brain cramps he tends to have on the floor, McGee has had some problems staying healthy. In the last two seasons, he has only played in a total of 28 games due to various leg injuries. With him seeking a multi-year deal, there has to be some concern about him being able to hold up. Most teams are only interested in his services on potentially a one-year deal and the injuries are part of the reason that they are only interested in that. But due to the reported persistence on a multi-year deal with whomever he signs with, McGee is still unemployed. One of the main reasons McGee is reportedly looking for more than a one-year deal is because he wants to develop his game more. He wants to be a part of a team that will allow him to grow his game outside of just being a shot-blocker, finisher and rebounder. McGee feels that if he is able to showcase what he can be, he can be even better for whatever team that chooses him. But unfortunately, self-belief will only get you but so far. The reality is that McGee is a rebounder, shot-blocker and finisher at the rim. After so long in the NBA, it would be foolish for him to think he is going to develop a consistent offensive game that he has been missing his entire career. So even though he may feel he can be that consistent offensive force, he has to realize who he is and what he can do for a team that signs him.

Because of the injury-riddled last couple of seasons, McGee would do best to only sign a one-year deal with his next team. Instead of wanting two years to develop, he would be wise to play one season and play well. In a sense, he needs to bet on himself. If he comes through and has a good season, then he will be wanted by many a team that is out there. And with the salary cap going to a whole new level next season, McGee could be looking at a payday of around $15 million at least. At his best, he could potentially have the type of effect as DeAndre Jordan. Now of course there will still be the moments where he falls asleep at the wheel, but when he was focused in Denver while playing under coach George Karl, he looked the best he looked in his career. But let’s also take a look at the worse-case scenario. If McGee takes a one-year deal and does not produce, then he could be looking at his last chance to make some things happen in the NBA. Although he is big, athletic and mobile, he can also be a guy that can make you scratch your head. And if that aloof player shows up more than the focused McGee, then the team he signs with is going to have a guy that will continually show up on Shaqtin-A-Fool. The choice of McGee is a crucial one in his career. He is getting closer and closer to 30 with each passing day and this decision could make or break his career.

McGee is a solid, athletic big man when he is focused on the court. But too many times he has had moments that make you wonder whether he seriously wants to play in the NBA. JaVale can help some team, but it is all up to him whether he wants to roll the dice or hold out for a multi-year deal. That will be the big decision going forward for him. McGee could definitely help someone but he could also hurt them salary-cap wise too. The teams that are thinking about him have to ask themselves one question: do they think they can get the best out of him?

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

It’s Time For The Dallas Cowboys To Pony Up For Dez Bryant

X marks the spot. But when will Dez sign and will he sign a new deal or a franchise tag? (photo courtesy of www.isportsweb.com)

X marks the spot. But when will Dez sign and will he sign a new deal or a franchise tag? (photo courtesy of http://www.isportsweb.com)

The NFL football season is closing in on us very fast. And along with that, one of the best wide receivers in the NFL is on the hunt for a new contract. And after today, there is cause for concern in Dallas. Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys has been two of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL over the last two seasons. Bryant has amassed 29 touchdowns over the last two seasons and been the dominant force in the Cowboys passing game. Each and every week he gives opponents issues and they surely lose sleep thinking about facing him. He has been amazing on the field and has helped Dallas make it back to current relevance with his abilities. But now that it is time for the team to ante up and pay him, there seems to be some hesitation. Dez has stated on Twitter Monday that if no new deal is done by Wednesday, he will be sitting out of training camp and games as well. Although he would be in violation of his contract once he starts missing mandatory things like training camps and games, he feels strongly about his claim to get paid. In the grand scheme of things, Dez is trying to get taken care of for all that he has done for the organization over his time there. And he honestly has every right to be mad about no new deal so far.

Dez Bryant and the Cowboys returned to the playoffs last season and almost went to the NFC Championship game. Some attribute that to the running game and their offensive line, but there is definitely some credit that Dez is due. Besides Jason Witten, there was not a guy on that team that struck fear in opposing defenses that lined up at a skill position. Dez drew the best defensive back from every team every week. And each and every week, he went out and proved that he could still get his numbers and help the team win when matched up with the top defender of the opponent. Because of Dez and the running game, the offense was as efficient as it has been in a few years. The Dallas Cowboys were finally finding their footing and getting it done week in and week out. Although there was not a huge outcry from Dez about his contract, it was evident the Cowboys would have to pay him at some point. He has proven to be a valuable piece of their franchise and a game-changer on the field. With him on the field, Tony Romo has a weapon that he can depend on each and every week. And not only has he been dependable for Romo, but he has been a guy that the Cowboys can depend on giving consistent effort each and every play. Many times Dez can be seen blocking and doing extra things to make sure and help his team. And not once did you see him really complain about the style of play. The Cowboys depended on the run more than they have in Dez’s entire career there, yet he was the model citizen and made plays when called upon. Losing that type of talent on your team could have catastrophic consequences for the Cowboys. And even though the franchise tag is still out there for Dez, it seems that he would not be the happiest camper in the world if he signed that as opposed to a new deal from Dallas. The Cowboys seem to be hesitant to give him a deal, partly because they fear for him and his potential to have mental lapses off the field (which are totally overblown by the way). But if the Cowboys want to continue to play about paying Dez his money, they may want to think about how the team would look offensively without him.

The Cowboys have a powerful offensive line. They literally pushed around teams with their young, athletic front line all the time. The argument can be made that the Cowboys running game will keep going on without the talents of DeMarco Murray running behind them. There seems to be the feeling that among the running backs that Dallas has, namely Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden, one of them will step forward and provide what Murray did for them. But when you take a look at the wide receivers of Dallas, there is not a ton there after Bryant. Terrence Williams played well last season off of Dez Bryant and so did Cole Beasley. But combined, those two barely got over 1,000 yards and neither came close to Dez’s 16 touchdowns on their own. But let’s be honest about both of them. They would not have even had the production they had without the presence of Bryant out there. His presence on the field allows them to get favorable matchups to even produce for this offense. If he is not on the field in their first game, the passing game will be atrocious for the Cowboys. And as for quarterback Tony Romo, he will not have his best weapon, even though his security blanket is Jason Witten. Bryant not being there would not only make the offense suffer but it would also make Romo feel more pressure to make plays. And we all know what happens when Tony Romo tries to force things on the field. Taking a look at the offense as a whole, the Cowboys would not be as dynamic and teams would crowd the line of scrimmage with no fear of any wide receiver the Cowboys have. And that kind of pressure would lead to the Cowboys offense not being as efficient as they were last season and would ultimately lead to them suffering on the field. In the bigger picture of things, the NFC East would change dramatically with the Cowboys not having one of their best weapons out there. The Eagles and Giants would have a better chance to make it happen in the division without Bryant and so would the Redskins. As it stands right now, the Cowboys are the best team right now in the division. But without Dez, they take a huge hit.

The Cowboys took a giant step forward last season, but without Dez Bryant, they would be taking a huge step back. For Dallas to make it happen, they must lock up one of the most dynamic receivers in today’s NFL. If Dallas messes this up, then of course this could have big consequences. Dallas seems to have been paying folks over all these years, but now they are hesitating with their best player. Newflash Dallas: get it done and get it done now. The growth of your franchise depends on it.

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

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 110 other followers