Skip to content Skip to footer

Are the New York Knicks really the most trash team in all of pro sports?

Have you no shame?

The New York Knicks fired head coach David Fizdale last week after only 104 games as head coach. The Knicks got off to a 4-18 start this season, and the front office made it clear they expected more. But the rest of the NBA world, including other teams, analysts and fans, knew the Knicks were not going to be good.

They also know something the Knicks will not admit: there is a structural problem in the organization, and until it is solved, the team will continue to be mired in basketball ineptitude.

The Knicks, at .400, have the worst winning percentage in the NBA in the last 20 years. What are the only constants in those years? Owner James Dolan, front office executive Steve Mills, and a propensity for unaccountability, insecurity, and questionable decisions.

After an NBA-worst record in 2018/19, The Knicks went into the offseason hoping to secure the number one pick in the NBA Draft, and get two superstar free agents. In fact, the Knicks traded their best draft pick since Patrick Ewing in Kristaps Porzingis just to clear cap space (a move they wouldn’t have needed to do if they didn’t give out horrible contracts in years prior) to sign top-tier talents. The Knicks, and Dolan, were confident they would get Zion Williamson, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving.

Instead, they ended up with none of them.

So the Knicks pivoted and decided to sign a plethora of power forwards, not sign a floor general, and have no floor spacing for their team, ultimately setting Fizdale up for failure.

What once looked like a promising young core in R.J. Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson under young Head Coach Fizdale, now looks like the same old Knicks. Fizdale is going to get paid his remaining salary, and chances are he’s a whole lot happier not being a part of the most-losing franchise in this millennium.

It was reported that before the Knicks job was offered to him, Fizdale declined offers from the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, and Phoenix Suns. Fizdale, a bright young mind and a champion as an assistant coach with the LeBron James-led Miami Heat, didn’t even meet with the Milwaukee Bucks, home to superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo. That’s how much he wanted the Knicks job.

It is hard to imagine another smart coach making the same mistake.

The Knicks, at the behest of their thin-skinned owner, hold impromptu press conferences slamming the coach when they think the team should be better, instead of meeting with him to discuss such things privately.

The Knicks hold press conferences to acknowledge that the team did not sign the superstars fans thought they would, instead of staying silent on the issue like a regular franchise would. And then after a few weeks, the franchise claims they would not have even offered said superstar a max deal because he is dealing with an injury.

The franchise reeks of insecurity, and it all starts from the top. After all, a fish rots from the head. Now the Knicks are 4-20, after losing to the Portland Trail Blazers and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks’ best player in recent memory, who they ran out of town. How’s that for irony?

After calling out and then abandoning the young coach that should have led the Knicks into the next decade, the Knicks are in no man’s land.

Actually, they are in a minefield, as every step the franchise takes has the potential to be catastrophic, and usually is. So there’s only one question left to ask, James Dolan, have you no shame?

Is this going to be the hottest NBA season ever? What to get hype for

The NBA season is finally upon us.

This summer felt as short as any summer I can remember, while simultaneously also feeling like the longest break between NBA seasons ever. Weird.

But alas, with the championship ceremony of the Toronto Raptors last night before their game against the New Orleans Pelicans, the NBA season was underway, and for a night of only two games (the other being the LA Lakers vs. LA Clippers), it did not disappoint.

This season is one that has most fans and analysts more excited than they have been in a long time. There is no dynasty that teams need to overcome, no four-headed monster like the Golden State Warriors of the last three years.

For the first time in a while, there is real parity in the league, and not without its excitement. Superstars are on different teams, young players are entering the league or looking to make a big jump, and some of the biggest markets in the league are on the rise again.

But of course there is much more to the league than that, and this season especially has a plethora of underlying storylines spread throughout. If you’re not hype yet fam, get hype. These are the main things to look forward to this season:

The dynamics in New York

Lets Go Applause GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

New York is, and will always be a Knicks town. The Knicks are a historic franchise, and even after some inarguably miserable recent years, the old faithful fans are not going to switch over now. But after striking out hard in free agency to the team across the river, are the fans on the fence going to feel more inclined to root for the Brooklyn Nets?

The Knicks have young players to be excited about. Mitchell Robinson is a very intriguing big man prospect, Kevin Knox has a ton of upside, and R.J. Barrett was just drafted third overall.

Veterans Marcus Morris, Wayne Ellington, and Julius Randle are veterans that give this team experience and possibly more draft capital if they are traded. All hope is not lost for the Knicks, but after such grandiose talk of getting Zion Williamson, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant, it’s pretty easy to have a laugh at the Knicks’ expense.

The Nets on the other hand, did sign Irving and Durant and have a much better front office and culture in Brooklyn. Even with Durant out for the season, the Nets are projected to be a playoff team while the Knicks are not. The Nets have young talent themselves in Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen.

How Kyrie rebounds from his poor leadership in Boston will be a big thing to look for with the Nets. This is also a team with a ton of new pieces, and it may take awhile for them to mesh.

Just as interesting as the on-court play though will be what comes off the court. New York is the hub of the Western world and the epicenter of basketball.

The Knicks are the historic brand of New York, and the Nets are the new shiny toy. Look out for if the dynamics between the two teams and fans of the team change at all this year.

Young stars looking to make a leap

Every year, there are young players who make big leaps. Some ascend to be quality role-players, some stars, and some even superstars. For example, last year Pascal Siakam came out of nowhere to be a legitimate star in the league and without him, the Raptors don’t win the championship. So who are the Siakam’s of this year?

Zion Williamson hasn’t played a minute of NBA basketball yet this year. He has been listed as out for 6-8 weeks due to a meniscus injury, so we won’t even see him for some time. Still, he has the talent and dominant frame to be a star in this league right away. Keep an eye out for when he comes back and what he can do.

Zion Williamson Nba GIF by ESPN - Find & Share on GIPHY

Jayson Tatum experienced a down year last season after his extremely impressive rookie season. NBA fans debate whether he has the ability to be a superstar, or is just an overrated, inefficient player without a ton of room to grow.

With Kyrie and Horford gone from the Celtics, Tatum will be asked to carry more of the workload on offense and defense. Is he capable, or will his regression continue with the pressure?

Kyle Kuzma is also injured right now, delicately recovering from an ankle injury he suffered with team USA. The Lakers played last night, and what we were able to see is that the Lakers need another playmaker, someone else besides LeBron and Anthony Davis that can create their own shot.

Kuzma has shown his ability to do this, but his defense and three-point-shooting were poor last season. He has the ability and apparently has worked very hard this offseason. It will be very interesting to see whether or not Kuzma can take a leap and give the Lakers a chance at winning another ring.

Donovan Mitchell led his team to a first-round playoff victory his rookie season. In his sophomore season last year, he struggled out of the gate but eventually found his stride. He is the most important offensive player on the Jazz and he has been ever since he entered the league.

However, for the Jazz to truly be a finals contender, Mitchell has to improve even more. His efficiency and shot selection are two areas he can really improve in, and both should help with the new acquisition of Mike Conley. Mitchell’s growth is necessary if the Jazz want to advance as far in the playoffs as they believe they are capable.

The Battle of LA

The Lakers and Clippers played each other last night, with the Clippers outlasting the Lakers 112-102. The Lakers looked very good at points and only lost by 10 in a game where LeBron was very poor offensively.

The Clippers, in turn, looked fantastic, with a hunger to win and a depth to their squad that is paramount to championship aspirations. Both these teams, if healthy, could be slated to play each other in the Western Conference finals, come this summer.

The game was a Clippers home game, but Lakers fans, as they are of far more abundance, filled the arena and booed Kawhi Leonard when he gave a pregame speech. Everyone knows LA is a Lakers town, but it was still surprising for the boos to poor down so uproariously in a Clippers home game.

These teams may respect each other, but by season’s end, it is pretty clear they won’t like each other. The Clippers and Lakers may be the two best teams in the entire league, and the battle of LA is my pick for the most fascinating thing to keep an eye out for this season.

This season is littered with storylines and things to look forward to. Steph Curry is going to bomb threes and put up crazy numbers weekly again. Westbrook is on the Rockets, but can him and Harden coexist on a winning team? LeBron is facing basketball mortality, but can he reclaim his crown?

The NBA is the crown jewel of hilarious social media content and talking points. And the games are pretty fire too. Pay attention, because all signs point to this season being the best one in a long time.

Lamar Odom is done with porn: Is his reasoning good enough for you?

Lamar Odom is done with porn.

As intrusive and, perhaps, overtly informative as that information may be, the 39-year-old former NBA star has had a whirlwind of a life the past couple of years and, apparently, abstinence from fapping has helped?

Earlier this week Odom was approached at the LAX airport by TMZ where he and his new fitness guru girlfriend, Sabrina Parr, we’re pressed about his recent ousting from Ice Cube’s BIG3 league due to reportedly being out of shape.

“We’re changing that,” starts Parr changing his pallets; he’s eating different things now; he’s drinking more water; he’s cut dairy out of his diet,” she continues. But when Lamar gets directed the same question he gives a much more color answer: “candy and porn.”

“I’m trying to be better,” Lamar went on to explain to the cameraman. “You can’t watch porn if you’re a sex addict or have a healthy life. Or be with me,” Sabrina added.

Now, before you say Odom is alone on this one or laugh at him, he and his girlfriend may be on to something.

One 2018 study and trusted Source found that participants were more likely to report feeling “out of control” over more frequent porn use when also feeling dissatisfied in their romantic relationships or sex life. In addition, there’s up to date research shows how porn harms the brain, damages relationships, and negatively affects society as a whole.

Porn creates perfect conditions and triggers the release of the right chemicals to make lasting changes in your brain that we’re unaware of. When overconsumed, one can become numb to the dopamine it initially gives, making craving escalate and can even expand appetites to uncharted areas.

While this sounds like an issue of moderation and discipline, porn is an escape disguised as entertainment. Many people don’t even realize they’re addicted or how the need for it has changed.

Like Lamar Odom, if you’re struggling, maybe it should be something to quit.

Without question, it’s safe to say that Lamar Odom has had one of the most unique basketball voyages that we’ve seen from the NBA in a long time.

From New York, high school basketball phenom to winning sixth-man of the year and eventually an NBA championship with the L.A. Lakers, the veteran forward’s life did a 180 when he was discovered unconscious in a brothel in 2015.

Since, however, Lamar has been vigilant and incredibly proactive with winning his life back, battling to get back to playing form and even writing a book — Darkness to Light: A Memoir. 

The road back hasn’t been easy, though. Remember when Odom first tried to ingratiate himself into the league with the Knicks and spoke with popular ESPN talking head, Stephen A Smith? The event went viral after Smith exclaimed Lamar was “on crack.”

It was so real that Odom’s lawyer had to release a statement.

Then, Lamar and his girlfriend alluded to, his dismissal from the BIG3. The former NBA star was deactivated from Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league for being out of shape and, initially, he didn’t like it one bit.

Odom was not only upset by Cube’s decision but also bothered by the way he received the news. According to Odom, he found out he was no longer active in the BIG3 via social media. Lamar talked about his disappointment on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

As most of you have heard, the @thebig3 decided to deactivate me for the remainder of the 2019 season. I respect @icecube & the other league executives, however, I am extremely disappointed with the way that this has been handled. Besides the embarrassment, it’s disappointing to read on IG that this decision had been made, especially without sharing it with myself or my manager. Only after I heard from the media, I was then told that the big boys cutting checks decided that they had to deactivate me with no real specific explanation. TMZ apparently did manage to get a clear answer from Ice Cube, “my health was their concern.” I have been 100% transparent about my condition before signing the contract, but at that point it wasn't an issue. I was told after game #1 that I had been given extra time to get stronger. I have been working hard daily to get in better game shape. The willingness & intent has always been there to play. The Rhode Island game that is happening tomorrow was the game I have been looking forward to the most as many people know that this is where it all started for me. I am aware that at some point in life we have to accept & surrender to what God has planned or not planned for us — so I am staying positive. I worked very hard to make a comeback in my life & no rejection can stop me. Thank you @TheBig3. I would love for you all not to express any negativity towards the Big3 as I am proud & rooting hard for Ice Cube to build this league to the next level. He is the only black male owning a sports league in the USA, just let that one sink in for a moment. We must always think about the big picture, supporting our brothers & sisters. Let's all be open to live with the concept of feedback because this can help us to improve. I hope that we can use this situation as a lesson to grow, heal and become better people. I salute all of you, thank you for the love & energy. S/O to Ed Brown for letting me wear his jersey for the Slam photoshoot. Much love! -Lamar. #GO #TEAM #ENEMIES !

A post shared by Lamar Odom (@lamarodom) on

Lamar now calls the BIG3 debacle a setback, telling TMZ this past July he stills plans on pursuing playing professional ball.

“I’mma play professional basketball again. Maybe in the Philippines or something like that. But, that’s just another setback. When one thing gets taken from you, another beautiful thing pops up.”

Redemption is something our society gives sparingly, so to see Lamar continue to fight the good fight is motivating to see. Even if that means giving up porn.

Why do WNBA players still get paid so little? Here’s why it’s time for change

The WNBA could be heading to a change.

Athletes already have short lifetimes to make their money. When they are in their physical prime, they make their money off of salaries, endorsements, and more. But when their careers are over? The options quickly shrivel up.

This is what makes the WNBA a curious league to look into. The athletes are working incredibly hard to make money for themselves and their families’ future, but the league is not doing a good enough job ensuring this future will be a bright one.

The ratings and revenue in the WNBA are nowhere near the NBA, but that doesn’t mean the WNBA can’t take lessons from its counterpart. It also doesn’t mean the WNBA hasn’t achieved significant growth over the last decade.

The rookie minimum in the WNBA is $41,965. That is hardly enough for one person to live on, much less for someone trying to provide for their family and putting their body on the line each and every night. The veteran minimum is $117,500.

Game 5 Women Playing Basketball GIF by WNBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

Breanna Stewart, one of the WNBA’s best young stars, recently got injured playing overseas during the WNBA offseason. This is the reality for these female athletes: play year-round so you can make enough money to support you and your family later in life. And in doing so, you risk your body and your entire career.

It is very bad for the WNBA that Stewart got injured. The first overall pick in 2016 was a marketable star, and by paying her so little, they forced her hand to go play overseas and now it’s hurting them. Hopefully, this will be a lesson.

Diana Taurasi, probably the biggest star of the WNBA, recently spoke out against the league, saying,

“We have the NBA as the best model ever. But the WNBA always finds a way to mess it up.”

The NBA markets its stars, and it does it so well that average NBA players are making tens of millions of dollars.

Whats Up Hello GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

One cannot fully compare the NBA with the WNBA because the level of play is evidently different, but the WNBA still has star athletes. The WNBA has women dunking and most importantly, the WNBA has people watching, more than ever before.

When asked about the pay disparity in the WNBA, Taurasi said,

“It’s just so sad to me. You know, 15 years in, it’s just a sad thing to talk about. We had to go to a communist country to get paid like capitalists, which is so backward to everything that was in the history books in the sixth grade.”

Taurasi is not advocating for her and her peers to make millions off base salaries, but an uptick in their wages is certainly warranted. In the last 11 years, WNBA players have only had a 1.5% increase in their salary.

If the WNBA fails in comparison to the NBA in terms of talent and athleticism, it also fails in regards to how it is run. As Taurasi notes, the NBA “has made rock stars out of their best players… and we just have not been able to capitalize on any of that.”

Happy No Way GIF by WNBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

The USWNT recently won the Women’s World Cup and called for equal pay from FIFA. They get far better results than the Men’s National Team, so they deserve to be paid more than them, but for now, we’ll have to settle with equality… Or nah.

Retired women’s basketball star and BIG3 league coach Lisa Leslie recently suggested a boycott of companies who won’t support equal pay for women. Leslie told the crowd at the Women of the BIG3 Power Luncheon this month in New York:

“I think we the people have to enforce and get behind the companies that support you. Figure out what companies support your communities, what companies are supporting the idea of inclusion of all people.”

She continued,

“It’s all about money, right. And if we stop supporting the companies that don’t support us, we will get their attention,”

The WNBA is producing higher-quality, and more entertaining basketball than it has possibly in its entire history since 1996. Take the Las Vegas Aces for example. They are a legit superteam that the rest of the league can rally behind defeating. The athlete’s wages should be increasing.

Stewart’s injury and Taurasi’s comments could be the rallying points behind a full-scale change in the way WNBA players are treated. With more and more basketball fans tuning in to games, especially with the NBA in its offseason, WNBA players will get more recognition and spotlight.

The money is there, the blueprint for marketing its stars is there, and the talent is definitely there. Pay these women.

Westbrook and Harden together again is so crazy… it just may work

Is there enough basketball for both of them?

Russell Westbrook and James Harden are superstars in the NBA, clear top-20 players, and in Harden’s case, top-10.

So why, once the trade was announced that the Oklahoma City Thunder were sending Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul and a couple of picks, did everybody immediately cast doubts and displeasure on the move for the Rockets?

Because both of these guys LOVE to hold the basketball.

Westbrook has a knack for holding onto the ball when he should dish it to a teammate. He is not a good shooter, hence the nickname Westbrick, and solid shooting around Harden has been the makeup of the Rockets during their successful runs these past few years. Westbrook also has a tendency to take awful shots at the end of games.

This is especially bad when a teammate of his is a better shooter and decision-maker. Some would say this is part of the reason Kevin Durant and Paul George left him to go to the Warriors and Clippers, respectively.

Now for Harden. He dribbles even more than Westbrook does, and while he has been more successful than Westbrook the past few years, his game is his game, and that rigidity looks like it could be a problem. Harden often dribbles out the clock just to take a contested, step-back three-pointer.

Sure, he makes this shot a lot of the time, but how is that gonna work with Westbrook chilling on the wing? Is he gonna be okay with this several possessions a game for the whole season? Both these guards also don’t have an affinity for playing defense.

After all the red flags and reasons for why this partnership won’t work, and all the sports analysts and “experts” putting their sour opinions on the new-look Rockets, there is a giant reason to be optimistic.

Come On Reaction GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

These dudes are boys. Harden lobbied for the Rockets to get Westbrook, and Westbrook’s first choice, once he asked to be traded, was to head to Houston. With this fact, Rocket fans can be less worried about how the two will coexist in their funky, unique styles.

Sure, your friends can get under your skin with their annoying tendencies, but you always remember why you’re cool with them, and see their positives at the end of the day.

And if you don’t want to believe all that shit, Harden is right in the middle of his prime. Westbrook is probably right at the end of his prime, but surely closer to it than Chris Paul was. They are both quick, crafty, and especially in Westbrook’s case, supremely athletic.

Russell Westbrook Dancing GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

P.J. Tucker and Austin Rivers are both great defenders who can make up for the blemishes on that side of the ball for Westbrook and Harden. If this goes well, it has the potential to go really well — I’m talking championship.

Now I don’t think it will happen, but I do know the Rockets are better today than they were a month ago. And a month ago they may have been many people’s pick to win it all next year.

The Rockets are James Harden’s team, and Westbrook has to understand this. The success that Houston has had, particularly coming within a game of the NBA finals 2 years ago, has solidified that using Harden as a ball-dominant guard can lead to success in the postseason. But can it lead to a chip? And can it work with Westbrook?

No matter what anyone says, we don’t know. The extreme excitement that NBA fans had going into the season is only elevated with the new backcourt of the Rockets. The storylines going into next year added one more for the count.

Bandwagon NBA fans won’t remember that Harden and Westbrook used to play on the Thunder together, and went to an NBA Finals in 2012. But real ones do. *Deep sigh* We do.

They are indeed different players now, with different egos. Harden especially, as OKC would not for a second have traded him if they knew he was going to be an eventual MVP.

Harden and Westbrook together is kinda nuts. Two ball-dominant guards, who don’t really play well off the ball and don’t make the best decisions when it matters most. It’s crazy, but a good crazy, because the potential for this pairing is very high.

It could just be so damn crazy and stupid that it actually works.

The Warriors are headed to the Finals, but not without Draymond’s good luck charm

The Golden State Warriors clinched the Western Conference Monday night, routing the Portland Trailblazers 119-117 in a four-game sweep.

There were tons of storylines to take away. Do the Warriors play better with or without Kevin Durant? What about the heightened level of Draymond’s play or how much of an all-time great Steph and this team is? Still, the storyline that seemed to stick was the impromptu good luck charm the Warriors found before game four: a reporter.

The Warriors found the reporter handy when looking for a prop to stand in for the injured Kevin, whom they usually rally around heading to the court. Because Durant wasn’t with the team, grabbed the nearest guy standing next to the team and put him in the middle of the circle.

After the game, Green noticed the reporter and this funny exchange happened:

“I gotta buy his flight to the Finals … I ain’t paying for your hotel though,” Draymond told the reporter who joined the team in the pre-game huddle.

Apparently, he was good luck for the Warriors tonight and hopes for the good omen to continue.

Still, the Warriors don’t need him. They’ve improved to an impressive 31-1 winning record for games which the star forward has missed but Stephen Curry has played.

That’s also without all-star center DeMarcus Cousins, who is also expected to make a return sometimes during the finals.

The Warriors are going to be fine, good luck charm or not, especially now that Draymond has a new approach to the game. Following his game three triple-double, he admitted his son mimicked his dad’s negative body language made him change his ways.

“Yeah, he plays on his little hoop and then he’ll stomp around. It’s like, I like the intensity but slow down, young fella,” Green told reporters on Sunday.

He continued, “I realize how impressionable the kids are at the ages they’re at. I just really want to be a good example for them and show them the right thing. My son was playing, he was shooting and flopping. I was like, ‘You’ve got to stop watching the NBA.’ He’d fall on the floor: ‘Oh, Daddy, help me up.’ What are you flopping for?”

“Just really impressionable at this age. I want to make sure I’m setting a good example for them as well.”

Draymond has been on a tear and arguably the team’s best player. If he’s looking for a good luck charm, it’s possibly a lot closer than he thinks.

Ice Cube took a huge risk with BIG3 and now it’s finally paying off

Founded in 2017 by Ice Cube and his business partner, Jeff Kwainetz, the professional league showcases former NBA stars and talent alike. Thus far, the BIG3 league has made drastic jumps in the three short years it’s been around.

In addition to juggernaut names like Lamar Odom, Gilbert Arenas, and Greg Oden the BIG3 will be broadcast on CBS and the CBS Sports Network. Plus it has expanded to two cities each weekend starting June 22 and will run for 11 weeks.

It seems like it was only yesterday when Ice Cube announced he was starting his own basketball league. There was casual interest but not much excitement despite featuring the Stephen Jacksons and Allen Iversons of the world.

I’m not quite sure what it was at the time, but a three-on-three halfcourt basketball game with a four-point line didn’t strike me as something that was serious, especially with team names like 3 Headed Monsters and the Ball Hogs as official mascots.

Not to mention the product wasn’t that great starting off.

Games took six hours to complete because players were out of shape and not as good. There was a point in the inaugural game in Brooklyn two years ago when Williams, aka White Chocolate, drove hard against Bibby. He came to a jump-stop and appeared to tear his ACL, screaming in pain as he fell to the floor.

Fast forward, and now they’re witnessing record viewership. The championship game last year on FOX/FS1 averaged 444,000 viewers. This was one hell of a gain, up an impressive +108 percent over last season’s viewership of 213,000.

A big part of the growing popularity is due to how competitive the games got over time. The players started fighting hard and are taking the game seriously.

Yeah, Jermaine O’Neal might not be like the guy we remember in Indiana, but I’d still like to see him bang with Chris ‘Birdman’ Anderson on the post or Baron Davis and Gilbert Arenas battle it out on the wing.

The BIG3 draft Wednesday night may not have made major headlines or deemed breaking news, but it held a significance that lies beneath the surface.

The mere fact that Ice Cube, as a Black man, owns and is commissioner of a professional sports league and has seen it out three seasons is not only a major feat for sports media but for people of color everywhere.

That’s why not matter how far the league goes from here on out, the BIG3 is already Ice Cube’s greatest work. “Today Was a Good Day” is a bonified classic and we can’t thank him enough for the Friday series. Plus, what would the NWA be without Cube, but going for a stake in the system is different echelon of boss shit.

Earlier this month Cube even tried acquiring 21 regional sports networks from the Walt Disney Company for the 3-on-3 basketball league and that former Laker GM, Magic Johnson was helping him with the bid.

Cube’s idea was to expand the Fox networks with 24-hour national programming geared toward young people with the hopes of leveraging sports and celebrity contacts to put together culturally diverse programming.

However, he lost the bid to Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest U.S. broadcast station owner, who reached a deal valued at more than $10 billion.

The BIG3 is what Nipsey has been preaching, what Dame Dash was ranting about, and Hov’s new subject matter all in one. Despite not winning the bid, the activity and BIG3’s occupancy of the sports and media space, represented by someone that looks like him, is a start.

Yeah, BIG3 may seem like a bunch of old heads playing 3-on-3, but it’s a piece to a larger puzzle in Black entrepreneurship, ownership, and influence.

The Virginia Cavaliers’ road to the NCAA title

This year’s NCAA final saw two teams that were both playing for their first ever championship title.

In the end, the Virginia Cavaliers overpowered the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Thereby compensating for a surprising and upsetting defeat during last season’s first round of the playoffs. Here’s a recap of the Cavs’ ascent to place a winning hand on the title.

Previous Season

The Cavs’ first title follows another “first” from last season, though an upsetting one.

During the 2017-2018 season, it was the first time a No. 1 seed team lost to a No. 16 after The UMBC Retrievers defeated the Cavaliers 74:54 in the first round.

During that game, the ‘Hoos didn’t show the stable defense they are known for. Surprisingly, they lost by a whole 20 points.

Up until halftime, the Retrievers managed to take the lead several times, only to be tied by the determined Cavs, ending the first half, 21:21.

However, Virginia’s efforts were no match for the Retrievers who kept pushing throughout the game. Proving their efforts, they ended up with a 50 percent success from the three-point line versus 18 percent for the Cavs.

The Maryland-Baltimore team also out-rebounded its opponents 12:7. Another indication that the Cavs were far from their top game even if they did manage to tie in the first half.

It was actually the second one that proved decisive for Virginia’s loss.

During the final 20 minutes of the game, the Retrievers scored 53 points versus 33 for the Cavs. Thus ending the game with one point more than what their rivals scored in only half the time.

A notable moment after the game was coach Tony Bennett’s gracious acceptance of this team’s defeat. “We got thoroughly outplayed, and that’s the reality of it. Very hard to guard offensively and they defended us well,” he said.

Season 2018-2019

Photo by tortugadatacorp

At 29 wins 3 losses, season 2018-2019 was a big one for the Cavs.

They kicked off with a home game against Towson who were no match for Virginia, losing to the ‘Hoos 73:42.

Another two home triumphs followed — against George Washington (76:57) and a serious upset for Coppin State (97:40).

Tony Bennett’s players outplayed Washington 17:42 during the first half and lost the second 40:34, with Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy each scoring 20 points.

The third win for the season was even more crushing with Coppin State suffering a 57-point defeat.

After the game, coach Juan Dixon said his team was focused on Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome. This allowed De’Andre Hunter to score 20 points in fifteen minutes.

The Cavs kept serving upsets and went on a 16-game win streak before their first defeat — a narrow 72:70 against Duke.

It was a tight win for the Blue Devils during the first face-off, with Tre Jones’ absence due to an injury.

Five games later, with Jones having recovered for play, Duke managed to take a second and more decisive win (81:71) on Virginia’s turf.

The third and last loss for the Cavs was also their final regular-season game against Florida State (69:59).


The Cavs opened the playoffs with a 15-point win over the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs.

However, the ‘Hoos narrowly escaped a second consecutive upset (after last season’s defeat by the Retrievers). At one point they experienced a 14-point deficit during the first half that finished 36:30.

In the end, the champions-to-be bounced back and won the second half 20:41. Thus ending the game at 56:71.

Next, the Cavs met Oklahoma for a 63:51 win. The rest of the postseason wins came with much narrower differences — 53:49 against Oregon, 80:75 against Purdue, and 63:62 against Auburn.

The game against Purdue ended with overtime as both teams managed to overpower each other only by one point during regular time.

As it was during the regular season, the high-scores went to De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome, and Kyle Guy, except during the face-off against Oklahoma when Mamadi Diakite scored 14-points for the Cavs.

Diakite, who was among the starting five for the game, told ESPN: “Starting is big to me, it’s a big challenge. [Coach] is telling you,`OK, you have the responsibility to help the team, and we’re trusting you’.”

Final Game

Photo by Markus Spiske

Virginia might’ve enjoyed a good season, but the final triumph didn’t come easy.

The last game was a true battle between two of the best defenses in the league. It was an exciting show for impartial viewers and nerve-shattering moments for fans from both teams.

The ‘Hoos maintained a lead throughout most of the game, twice they lead by more than 10-points. But as expected the Raiders put up a tough defense.

The first half went to Virginia. Still, the Raiders managed to come out at 39:36 from the second half, leading the game into overtime which the Cavs won 9:17.

The star for the winning team shone above De’Andre Hunter who scored a career-high of 27 points, while Jarret Culver for the Red Raiders finished with 15.

Red Raiders coach Chris Beard told ESPN: “In terms of my guys, I’ve never been more proud. This is real life. We’ll bounce back.”

What’s Next?

Despite being their first such triumph, the Virginia Cavaliers’ success was no surprise. Even with bookmakers suggesting the team would be one of the two most likely to claim the title.

The 2019 NCAA Championship is now behind the Cavaliers. Of course,  all eyes are set on what the winners will make out of their triumph.

Junior Kyle Guy already announced on Twitter that he is “declaring for the 2019 draft and signing an agent.”

Kyle also hinted he might make use of the new NCAA rule that allows players drafting for the NBA to go back to college.

Guy is the third star player from the Cavaliers to announce his attempts at the top basketball league. This was after De’Andre Hunter and Ty Jerome announced they will declare for the draft.

As for the Red Raider’s Jarrett Culver, he said he has not yet thought about whether he will participate in this year’s draft. He told the Dallas Morning News: “Now the season is over, I’ll take time with my family and coach and consider my future.”

Why Stephen Curry’s ‘Underrated Tour’ is his most inspirational effort yet

I don’t think you’d find anyone who’d say Golden State Warriors guard, Stephen Curry wasn’t a good guy with a feel-good story.

If he didn’t win you over as this skinny kid from Davidson knocking big-name programs out of the NCAA tournament, he did with how he battled back from ankle injury.

And if the on-the-court accolades, the unanimous MVP, championships, and three-point heroics don’t move you, his heart, standing up the President and helping his community surely has. These days you can count on one hand how many stand-up guys there are in the public light that has a magnified platform, and time and time again, Curry has shown he knows what to do with it.

Golden State Warriors Dancing GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

With all that being said, his latest efforts, starting a basketball camp for the “underrated” high school kids in the country with a rating of three stars or less, might just be his most inspirational effort yet. The announcement came this week (January 9th) via the Player’s Tribune in an article titled, “Underrated.” He writes,

“And so that’s the idea behind the underrated tour: to create a basketball camp, in partnership with Rakuten, for any unsigned high school players rated three stars and below. A camp for kids who love to hoop, and are looking for the change to show scouts that their perceived weakness might actually be their secret strengths.”

In the article Curry recounts his journey, being “5’5”, 5’6” tops — and maybe like 100 pounds soaking wet” and persevering though limitation despite them.

What makes the Underrated Tour so dope is that Curry’s right — there are kids overlooked for what may be real deficiencies. This tour, however, builds a culture that instead of counting them out, as they did to Curry and like he almost did himself, builds them up to become the next unique generational talent.

Steph Curry Cafeteria GIF by Davidson College - Find & Share on GIPHY

You’d be surprised how deflating not getting the four or five-star recruit is, and even more surprised at how many what would be really good talents hang it up because of it.

Both Damian Lillard (Weber State) and C.J. Mccollum (Lehigh University), who subsequently, are on the same team, did not go to big schools, yet have won First-Team All-NBA and Sixth Man of The Year honors, respectively.

Even in football, Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman in college and has the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes in a season, all while starting his career as a walk-on, twice — you can find stories of the underrated triumphing everywhere.  

Steph Curry Win GIF by Davidson College - Find & Share on GIPHY

Curry’s tour goes beyond sports. It speaks to all professionals no matter the background not to stop when others say so; it motivates everyone with a dream that one closed door doesn’t mean they all are that way and it brings Curry’s unbelievable journey to a relatable stage.

There are legions of underrated kids like Steph, Dame, C.J. that just might not give up now that Curry has this tour. Who knows what kind of talent he’ll find or what product his camp might produce? Curry’s long three’s and lightning-fast release are products of what veteran scouts saw as weaknesses. What ways then will the game evolve with other determined yet different talents?

For all we know, Curry’s camp could be the next big thing in basketball. For now, we’ll just call it his biggest gesture yet.

The Lonzo Ball effect: Is he the next elite point guard in the making?

LeBron going to the Los Angeles undoubtedly shook up the league and shifted the balance of power even more towards the Western Conference. It filled the vacuum in the Lakers organization that has not made the playoffs in five years and since LeBron’s arrival, they have been fundamental.

Currently, the Lakers are in fourth place in the west, ahead of the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Spurs, Rockets, Jazz, Clippers, and Timberwolves. Pretty impressive for a team that lost over 57% of its games last season.

However, the key to the Lakers’ success this season has not just been LeBron. It has been the development of its young Laker core — in particular, Lonzo Ball.


View this post on Instagram


Today was a good day

A post shared by Lonzo Ball (@zo) on

Lonzo Ball came into the NBA as probably the most hyped rookie since LeBron James. This is in part because of his father’s boisterous persona and willingness to fawn over Lonzo’s athletic ability.

However, to his father’s credit, Lonzo Ball was a beast in college and high school. As a high school senior, he led his team to a state title and were ranked number one in the nation.

Also, Ball averaged a triple-double and was named Mr. Basketball USA and USA Today Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Lonzo was considered by many to be the greatest high school point guards ever.

And not surprising, Lonzo broke the freshman UCLA assist record and was proclaimed to be one of the greatest point guards in the history of the school’s program.

Also not surprisingly, Lonzo was aggressively recruited by Magic Johnson early in his college season to help invigorate his young Laker recruits and to be a selling point to bigtime free agents (shh, don’t tell anybody that was LeBron James).

Similar to Magic Johnson, Lonzo is bigger than most point guards and is a better than average rebounder. He is also a pass-first player and has a good driving game to the rim.


View this post on Instagram


Bounce Back #newday

A post shared by Lonzo Ball (@zo) on

Because of his size (6’6), he is able to see over his opponents; giving him a better view of the basketball court. He is also strong and long enough to throw more direct passes than smaller point guards, making it easier for him to get players the ball when they need it.

Of course, Lonzo still has his haters. Last season, many critics lamented that Zo was not aggressive enough offensively for a starting point guard or a second overall pick. Often, skeptics said he did not take enough shots or that he shied away from big moments.

However, Lonzo, by any player’s standards, still had a fundamental rookie season; probably one of the greatest in Laker history. But his season was overshadowed because of the historic level that Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum, and Donovan Mitchell were playing at last year (btw, Jayson Tatum should have been Rookie of the Year).

Hows It Going Jayson Tatum GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

Early into his rookie season, Lonzo ball quickly established himself as an all-around point guard and even broke LeBron James’ record for being the youngest player NBA ever to record a triple-double.

Lonzo finished the season averaging 10.2 ppg, 7.2 apg, and 6.9 rpg and the Lakers won 9 more games than the previous regular season. Pretty impressive. But most importantly, his play and selflessness invigorated the Laker franchise.

It helped unlock the potential of players like Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram. Or as Julius Randle, Lonzo’s former teammate, describes playing with him:

“It’s great. It’s honestly contagious. Honestly, getting up and down, everybody throwing the ball ahead, moving, the fast pace, it’s contagious. So everybody’s really excited when you get on the court with him.”


View this post on Instagram


On the board

A post shared by Lonzo Ball (@zo) on

This sentiment also attracted comparisons to point guard greats like Magic Johnson, Steve Nash, and Jason Kidd. While Lonzo shares many similarities with these players, he has his own unique playing style and offense.

Jason Kidd statistically is very similar to Zo, but of course, J-Kidd was much more aggressive defensively. And that is where the comparisons to Jason Kidd fall short. Jason Kidd was also a lot smaller and less athletic than Lonzo.

For me, the player that Zo best resembles is a younger Rajon Rondo that played with the ’08 Boston Celtics. Lonzo, like when Rondo first entered the NBA, is a smart, pass-first point guard that really seems to bring the best out of his teammates.

Rondo, like Lonzo, got along with veteran players and played well with older stars like Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce — this was definitely key to the success of the Celtics during their championship run.

Form his rookie season, Lonzo has progressed greatly; even if his stats do not show it. While Lonzo is averaging fewer points, rebounds, and assists than this season, he is playing much better basketball; but do not tell the analytics people that!

Often, the stats reveal little about a players game or his ability to perform when it really counts. They also ignore how a player performs in various match-ups.


View this post on Instagram


Been a min #Good2BeBack

A post shared by Lonzo Ball (@zo) on

While Lonzo is doing statistically worse than last season, it’s because veterans like Rondo and LeBron are taking more responsibility away from Lonzo on the court.

However, you can just see that Zo’s ability to execute and play well when it counts has improved miles from last season. Playing with the King has definitely helped in this aspect.

Just last week Lebron and Lonzo became the first duo in over a decade to get a triple-double during the same game since when Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar did it years ago.

Recently Lonzo described his enthusiasm and gratefulness of playing with Lebron saying:

“Ever since he got here, it’s been a dream come true for me. I watched him my whole life — he was my idol growing up. Then we both get a triple-double in the same game. I don’t even know if I dreamed of that before. It was a good day today.”

This is quite contrary to what KD said about players wanting to play with LeBron James recently. Lonzo is definitely one of the most exciting young NBA players to watch and watching his growth this season proves he could be the next elite point guard in the next few years.

However, only time will tell if he will be “better than Stephen Curry” as his father once proclaimed before the 19-year-old ever played an NBA game.