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The Chiefs Won The Super Bowl, Now What?

As confetti falls on the great city of Kansas City, Missouri, there will be fans who look up to the heavens thinking of loved ones who never got to see this moment. There will be Chiefs players looking at the crowd with pride and joy. Then there’s people like me, staring at a computer thinking about where the Chiefs go from here. Sure, winning a Super Bowl is great; there are lots of teams in the NFL who haven’t even won one. But what comes after that? How does a team go from Super Bowl champion to a dynasty like the Patriots?

Step One is getting a top flight Quarterback, which I would say Kansas City has in a young Patrick Mahomes. Step Two is just winning one Super Bowl, so you can put a check on that box as well. Step Three is tough; staying at the top. We see these teams that win one Super Bowl and just fade away…the Broncos and Eagles come to mind. It’s so tough staying at the top of the mountain, but I believe the Chiefs can stay there with just a few steps.

Spending Money in Free Agency Wisely:

It’s so easy to get caught up in signing the best players in Free Agency to try and get the easy turnaround. For the Chiefs, they don’t have to worry too much about that because they don’t have a gargantuan amount of cap space. Kansas City will have about $20 million in space this off season at this point. Of course, they could move on from some players to create more, but that’s where they sit as of right now.

I would have to imagine the Chiefs will spend that money trying to re-sign some of their own guys. Chris Jones and Kendall Fuller are both free agents this off season, and I would assume KC would want to lock those guys up long term if possible.

The elephant in the room is the Patrick Mahomes extension. According to Spottrac.com, Mahomes’s market value is just above $36 million. I’ll break this news right now; he’s going to get more than that. He’s arguably the best young QB in the league, he’s going to shatter the ceiling on contracts for QBs. $40 million a year is what gets this conversation started. But if you’re the Chiefs, you have to do it. The alternative is to let a Super Bowl MVP and generational talent walk. Plus, we’ve seen with these QB deals that as the cap keeps going up, these deals look more and more friendly as the years go on.

Hitting on Draft Picks: 

You know the expression sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good? That’s the NFL draft in a nutshell baby! Hitting on those 2nd – 5th round picks are so important because you’re getting talent at an extremely reduced cost. That’s how Seattle and Dallas were able to remake their teams because they hit on their QB’s in the middle rounds of the draft.

The Chiefs currently have most of their own picks, except for their 6th and 7th round picks. Depending on what Kansas City wants to do in free agency and retaining their own players, KC could be looking at a defense heavy draft. Several early mock drafts have KC either taking a defensive lineman or offensive lineman.

Don’t be too surprised if the Chiefs draft another running back. I know Damien Williams was good this season, but he was rarely healthy. Bringing in a rookie could help ease the load off Damien.

Being in a Bad Division:

This final step is one that’s completely out of the Chief’s hands. You can’t control what the other teams in your division do, you just need to get lucky. That’s why a big part of the Pats dominance is because they play in the AFC East. It’s so much easier when the other three teams in your division are a virtual dumpster fire year after year. The Chiefs aren’t in a division that’s quite that bad, but they’re still in a very favorable position.

The Broncos are still reeling from their Super Bowl victory a few years ago, and shockingly, Joe Flacco was not the answer. Denver has some pieces, Bradley Chubb and Von Miller are still a force, but they just don’t have the firepower on offense right now to compete in the division.

The Chargers are…um…well they’re doing something! No one knows what it is, but they’re doing it. After not texting Philip Rivers back, L.A. is deciding to move on and find another QB. I could see them trying to make a play for Tom Brady if he doesn’t decide to go back to the Patriots. But I believe the most likely scenario is them drafting a QB in April. Would the Chargers try to trade up for one of the top QB’s? We’ll have to wait and see. A young QB, plus Melvin Gordon and that defense would be a force to reckon with. But let’s remember, they’re the Chargers…something’s going to go wrong.

And that leaves the Raiders. Hitting on Josh Jacobs was huge for Jon Gruden and the Raider offense, but they also have a QB problem to deal with. I would not re-sign Derek Carr if I was Las Vegas (boy that’s going to be weird). I would also try and draft a QB in the upcoming NFL Draft. For the Raiders, they can actually sit back at their pick and wait to see which QB falls to them. Or they can be aggressive and try to move up. Either way, when Jon Gruden is the wildcard in your division, you’re sitting in a nice spot.

Conclusion:

The Chiefs are in a great spot to build a dynasty. The QB is there, the Hall of Fame Coach is there…now they just need some smart transactions and a little bit of luck in order to keep this thing going.

Super Bowl LIV Review

 

Another season of football is in the books, and now we enter the dark period that is the off season. But let’s try not to think about that just yet because this NFL season was truly wild! Lamar Jackson became only the second player to win a unanimous MVP award, the Browns returned true to form with another laughable season, and we all saw the cracks beginning to form in the Patriots’ dynasty. And that’s even before talking about whatever happened with Antonio Brown this season. The NBA is known for its drama, but the NFL did a great job rivaling that this year.

But before we dive in to the off season, free agency rumors, and the draft, let’s take a look at the last game played, the Super Bowl! Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs for their first Super Bowl victory in over 50 years. After being such an innovative coach for a majority of his career, it was good to see Andy Reid finally win a Super Bowl. I know it’s something he will remember for the rest of his days, and this firmly cements his walk to the NFL Hall of Fame. With that being said, let’s dive into the game one last time, and review what actually happened in Super Bowl LIV.

The Chiefs beat the 49ers by a score of 31-20 in what amounted to be a fun Super Bowl. At the end of the third quarter, the 49ers were leading by a score of 20-10. San Francisco’s defense did a phenomenal job of containing the explosive Chiefs offense up to that point. But that’s the key, up to that point…the final quarter saw Kansas City surge for 21 points and the Super Bowl victory.

Kyle Shanahan will look back at this game and have a multitude of regrets because his team had a really nice game plan. The 49ers had to get some sort of rushing attack going against the Kansas City defense, and attacking the perimeter with Deebo Samuel on the edge was just the perfect way to do it. This opened up holes on the inside for Mostert and Tevin Coleman.

The big question going in was could Jimmy Garoppolo provide enough of a spark in the passing game to keep Kansas City honest. Jimmy G went 20-31 for 219 yards and 1 touchdown, but he had 2 brutal interceptions. Was that enough to keep his team in the game? Yes! But the second half game plan for San Francisco seemed to be just trying to not lose the game instead of trying to win. This strategy has been implemented time and time again at all levels of football, and it’s so frustrating to watch. I get wanting to rely on your defense, but when the other team has Patrick mother effing Mahomes, no lead is safe!

I also questioned the usage of George Kittle. I would consider Kittle the best tight end (TE) in the league, just because what he can do as a blocker. But for him to have only 4 catches for 36 yards in the biggest game of the season is bizarre. Kittle is a matchup nightmare that even the best of defenders struggles against. I would have force fed Kittle all game, especially in the second half when you’re trying to expand on your double-digit lead.

I would categorize this game as more of a 49ers collapse than a Chiefs victory, which doesn’t matter in the end because Kansas City is the one holding the trophy. Andy Reid made some great second half adjustments, but it also helps when you have arguably the best QB in football on your team.

Patrick Mahomes was incredible in the 4th quarter of Sunday’s game, throwing for around 150 yards and 2 touchdowns in order to get his team back in the fight. It really wasn’t a great game for Mahomes, who accounted for 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Part of that could be the nerves from being in his first Super Bowl, and also he was playing the best defense in the entire league.

Patrick may have won Super Bowl MVP, but Damien Williams was the key to the game for Kansas City. He had over 100 yards rushing, caught a TD pass and ran for the backbreaking score in the 4th quarter. Williams has played well when healthy for the Chiefs, and he came through in a big way on Sunday.

Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce all played well against the 49ers secondary. Hill went over 100 yards, Watkins almost met him there, and Kelce caught a huge touchdown in the second half. Kelce was in a similar spot to Kittle where I thought they would use him more in the passing game, but most of Travis’s damage came in that second half comeback.

Well folks, that’s about it. Time to go read up on NFL mock drafts and watch paint dry. It’s been real, it’s been fun, and ya know what, it’s been a real fun season. I can’t wait to see what the offseason brings us.

How The 49ers Can Rebound From A Horrible Super Bowl Loss

 

Kyle Shanahan is now 0-2 in the Super Bowl. That’s not unheard of. Heck, the Bills lost 4 Super Bowls in a row! But to lose two times in only what can be described as collapses…it makes it feel like more than just 2 losses. Teams losing the Super Bowl have not had great success the following season. Ironically the Falcons have never been the same after their historic collapse to the Patriots. The Panthers haven’t recovered from losing against Denver. The Rams didn’t even make the playoffs this past year after making the Super Bowl the previous season.

It’s a tough road getting back to the big game after a loss. Personnel changes, coaching turnover, and just the fog of the past season can hold a team back from reaching their full potential. All that being said, I believe the 49ers have the infrastructure to withstand that kind of slide. They are surrounded by great young players, a stable of veterans who have played in big games, and an innovative head coach who is great at getting his offensive players in a position to succeed.

Below are three easy steps that San Francisco can follow to try and not fall into the pit of recent Super Bowl runner ups.

Trust the Infrastructure:

It takes years to build a Super Bowl contender. A team has to be hit on multiple drafts, sign key free agents, and be wise on when to pull the trigger to go all in. The 49ers have done a great job over the past couple of seasons in all three phases. Nick Bosa looks like a bona fide super star on the defensive line, and he might be better than his brother Joey, sooner than later. Signing Tevin Coleman, Richard Sherman, and trading for Emmanuel Sanders all looked like home run transactions. Fred Warner is one of the best young linebackers in the league. All of those transactions have helped San Francisco make a run. There’s really only one thing that you can question.

Jimmy Garoppolo, Jimmy GQ, Jimmy Geezus as he’s been called. The 49ers’ QB is one of the more polarizing players in the entire league. You have to look at both sides of the argument. Jimmy didn’t really do a whole lot this season because he wasn’t asked to. The lingering question is, “Can you win a Super Bowl with Jimmy G as your Quarterback?” I think that answer is yes. Why? Because if a team can win a QB with freaking Joe Flacco and Eli Manning twice, you can win with Jimmy. If you’re committed to Jimmy, which San Fran is, then you need to have a good supporting cast, and a top 5 defense.

Take Calculated Risks:

When you lose a Super Bowl, sometimes you need to spice things up. There’s a ton of turnover in the NFL every year, but it’s especially important for teams that lost the Super Bowl to still be aggressive. The 49ers have three important free agents this summer: Kyle Juszczyk, Jimmie Ward, and Emmanuel Sanders. I would wager that they re-sign Juszczyk. He’s very important to what they try to do in the run game. The other two I could see San Francisco going either way. I would try to keep both of them, but the 49ers have just under $20 million in cap space and I’m not sure if that’s enough for all three players.

That being said, there are some great wide receivers in this draft, and Deebo Samuel looks like he could be a star in this offense. I wouldn’t be scared to let Sanders walk and take another WR in the first or second round. I could also see San Francisco taking another defensive back if they do let Jimmie Ward walk as well.

Don’t Re-invent the Wheel:

It’s easy for a team to panic after losing the Super Bowl. The 49ers need to remember what got them there in the first place; a great run game, and an even better defense. As long as the defense doesn’t drop off, there’s no reason that San Francisco can’t make another run at the Super Bowl next spring. The offensive line played really well throughout the entire season, and George Kittle is the best tight end in the league when you account for his blocking ability. Kyle Shanahan is one of the best play callers in the entire NFL. He’s really good at getting guys in different positions to succeed.

It’s easy to worry about your team after a Super Bowl loss. The 49ers should not. They have a great infrastructure, an excellent coach, and a clear game plan that will put the team in a position to win every game.


 

Do The Boston Bruins Have The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Number?

1st Period

When a team has another team’s number, it means that one team usually wins the head-to-head matchup. In the case of the Boston Bruins versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins own the Leafs’ number. Whether it is in the regular season or playoffs, Boston has routinely dominated Toronto physically and mentally.

Playoff History

With apologies to those in Leafs Nation who may read this column, there is no better place to start than in the year 2013, when chronicling the Bruins and Leafs rivalry. Toronto had brought Boston to the brink of elimination in their 1st round matchup during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Leafs were leading 4-1 in the 3rd period of the 7th and deciding game of the series. All indications were that if Toronto could hang on for roughly 8 minutes more, they would have eliminated Boston, and all the talk about being


inferior to the Bruins would never have started. Unfortunately, the Leafs coughed up the lead in that game 7, and lost the series in overtime.

The collapse of 2013 started an avalanche of losses in the postseason for the blue and white. In fact, 3 seasons out of 6, Boston has bounced Toronto from the 1st round of the playoffs. The Maple Leafs could not figure out how to win against their biggest nemesis in the postseason in 2013, 2018, and 2019. Should the fact that their team endured seven games in each of those series mean anything to the fans of Toronto? Probably not.

The manner in which the Bruins would eliminate the Leafs in every series is a bigger topic of discussion among fans and media than the results. In the playoffs, the intensity is ratcheted up ten-fold. Mistakes are magnified, mismatches are exploited, and the overall physical play increases in the playoffs. All the more reason to not take penalties.

In the 2019 playoff series, Boston scored 7 power play goals in 16 power play opportunities. Special teams was the deciding factor in an otherwise even series. Discipline between the ears was needed but was repeatedly ignored by various Leafs’ players in the last 6 playoff series between them. No player lost his cool more between the rivals than former Leafs Forward Nazem Kadri, who was suspended in both of the 2018 and 2019 playoffs series.


What about the regular season?

The playoff history is all that anyone seems to care about when discussing their rivalry, but there are no playoffs without a regular season. These original 6 NHL hockey teams have squared off 677 times with the Bruins winning 301 games. Nobody will ever accuse the Leafs of wanting to avoid Boston in the playoffs, but maybe they should. In 2019, Toronto was all but guaranteed a 1st round date with the B’s as far back as January.

The parody in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, where Toronto and Boston both play, has been constant. The leaders have remained constant, and the bottom-feeders have been climbing all over each other for a berth in the postseason. As soon as the Bruins lead the Leafs in the standings, both teams are basically locked in their positions for the 2nd half of the season. Winning and losing streaks have separated the teams and narrowed the gaps in the division standings throughout each of the last 6 regular seasons.


Boston also has a mental edge over Toronto. Eliminating a team from the playoffs in the 1st round, three times in the last 6 years can break any team’s spirit. Players have tried to ignore the chatter, but there is no escaping the media and fans in hockey’s largest market. Radio call-in shows, social media accounts, all are avenues for spreading the hype surrounding the Bruins having the Leafs’ number in the playoffs. The “experts” all agree that without a tougher approach to the game, a lack of any safe and puck-moving defensemen, and performances in net by the backup goalie (Michael Hutchinson) that are sometimes hard to watch, Toronto is in an uphill battle on their quest for the Stanley Cup.

Adding to the intrigue of the rivalry is that if the playoffs were to start today, they would face each other for the 3rd consecutive year. These are all things to consider as a member of either side. The Bruins know that they can overpower the Leafs, and Toronto has admitted to watching the standings, and hearing the chatter about their lack of grit. How can that not weigh on a player?

Overtime

Boston has Toronto’s number with respect to their historic rivalry. The Leafs should look no further than being bounced out of the playoffs 3 out of 6 years, 2 in a row, by the same team. Their 1st meeting was in 1924, they have faced-off 759 times overall, 83 times in the playoffs. The Bruins and Leafs are very familiar with each other to say the least. Toronto Maple Leafs’ fans should be wary of familiarity breeding contempt.

Is Kyrie Irving Toxic?

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving is known for his exceptional ball handling skills, artistry and creativeness of his shots and the game 7 shot against the Golden State Warriors that sealed the win for the Cleveland Cavaliers and brought the Cavaliers their first championship title.

While in Cleveland, he was known as an assassin. He was a scoring machine and most believe the biggest reason that LeBron left Miami return “home” to Cleveland. LeBron’s gamble was rewarded when his return to Cleveland culminated in a 2016 championship. The championship would not have been possible had it not been for Kyrie’s amazing 3-point shot in game 7 of the finals over Steph Curry’s extended hand to seal the championship for Cleveland. No one can argue that this was Kyrie’s finest moment of his NBA career. Since that amazing shot, it’s been all downhill for Kyrie.

When Kyrie requested a trade from Cleveland, most fans were understanding, with the exception of many of the LeBron James fans who saw it as a sign of disrespect. Nonetheless, the general consensus was that Kyrie was taking his future into his own hands and spreading his wings.

Boston Celtics, Here I Come

When Kyrie landed in Boston, it seemed like a match made in NBA heaven, and for a time it was. Then Kyrie got injured and the Celtics that were counted out ended up going to the Eastern Conference Finals only to lose in game 7 to the LeBron-led Cleveland Cavaliers.

Speculation of Boston’s future were sky high after that season. Fans and analysts alike felt that when Kyrie and Gordon Hayward returned, the Celtics could make the finals and possibly win it all. When Kyrie returned the following season, the chemistry that had been built up from the previous playoff run seemed to go out the window. Based on rumors, it seemed that Kyrie wanted to ignore the steps that the young core had taken and wanted to dominate the ball and have every play run through him. Kyrie seemed unable to hold his tongue and would throw his teammates under the bus at every opportunity.

It’s one thing to provide constructive criticism to your teammates in private when they do something wrong. And it’s a whole other matter calling out every flaw of your teammates in public. Kyrie made it a habit to constantly call out his teammates in public. It’s not difficult to see how this could rub his teammates the wrong way.

“Don’t Know What It Takes To Be A Championship Level Team”

Kyrie was on record saying that Boston’s young players “Don’t Know What It Takes To Be A Championship Level Team”. This comment came the season after the young Celtics team missing both Irving and Gordon Hayward due to injury, went to the Eastern Conference Finals. In that run, the Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers. Their inexperience showed in the ECF against the LeBron-led Cavaliers and they choked away their lead and lost at home in game 7.

During the Celtics playoff run while Kyrie was injured, there were rumors that Kyrie was unhappy that his teammates were playing so well without him.

When Kyrie returned in the 2018-2019 season, it was reported that he wanted everyone to go back to their original roles before his injury and this didn’t sit well with a young core that had played their hearts out and seemingly taken a step forward in their development.

There was a lot of grumbling from the Celtic’s locker room and Kyrie was always somehow involved. A great leader would have applauded the growth of the young players and then figured out a way to infuse himself in the lineup without disrupting the growth that his teammates had made in the previous postseason. Unfortunately for Boston, Kyrie always wants to be the focal point of all attention.

Can’t Wait For The Playoffs

After one of their losses during the regular season, Irving said, “I don’t think anybody in the Eastern Conference can really compete with us at a high level when we’re playing the way we’re supposed to be playing.” When asked about the playoffs, he often responded “Can’t wait”.

Unfortunately for the Celtics and Celtics’ fans, when the playoffs arrived, Kyrie forgot to show up. The Celtics swept the Indiana Pacers, whose best player Victor Oladipo was out due to injury. In the second round Boston had to face the Milwaukee Bucks. Boston beat Milwaukee in the first game, but lost the next four games and got knocked out of the playoffs.

Making Celtics Playoff History

In game 1 against the Bucks, Kyrie went 12-for-21 shooting for 26 points and Celtics won that game. It was all downhill from there. Kyrie shot 30 percent in the next 4 games. Kyrie became the first player in Celtic’s history to take at least 15 shots and shoot less than 40 percent in 4 straight playoff games since Sam Jones in 1966, as per ESPN Stats & Info.

In game 4 to the Milwaukee Bucks series, Bucks won and Kyrie was 7-of-22. Kyrie left the floor early. During the press conference after the game Kyrie said that he had left the floor because “The game was over”. When asked about his performance, Kyrie replied, “For me, the 22 shots, I should have shot 30. Really, I’m that great of a shooter.” These are not signs of a good leader or a team player.

Welcome To Brooklyn

Kyrie signed with the Brooklyn Nets and there were rumors about how happy the Boston Celtic players were that Kyrie left. There were rumors that some of his Celtics teammates said that they would gladly help him pack.

Even in preseason, there were rumors about Kyrie not wanting to remove his hat for a group photo with his teammates while in China. When he was asked if he could remove his hat for the photo, Kyrie told the Nets organization to photoshop the hat out. There have also been reports of mood swings.

“It’s Pretty Glaring We Need One More Piece Or Two More Pieces”

One would think that after the criticism that he endured in Boston that Kyrie would have learned a bit more tact when speaking to the media. However, based on his recent diarrhea of the mouth, team-killer Kyrie is back at it. This time his target is his Brooklyn Nets teammates.

Kyrie sat out 26 games due to a shoulder injury. After only 3 games in from his return, the Nets lose a game to the Philadelphia 76ers. In the game, Kyrie shot 6-for-21 and had a (+/-. In a postgame interview a reporter asks Kyrie how much work his team needed to do in order to compete while awaiting Kevin Durant’s return. Kyrie responded:

“I mean, it’s transparent. It’s out there. It’s glaring, in terms of the pieces that we need in order to be at that next level. I’m going to continue to reiterate it. We’re going to do the best with the guys that we have in our locker room now, and we’ll worry about all the other stuff, in terms of moving pieces and everything else, as an organization down the line in the summer. It’s just something that we signed up for. We knew what we were coming into at the beginning of the season. Guys were going down left and right. GT is out, DJ just got hurt tonight, Wilson is coming back. We’ve got complimentary young guys, as well, that have done a great job the last three years. Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces, but it’s pretty glaring we need one more piece or two more pieces that will compliment myself, KD, DJ, GT, Spence, Caris, and we’ll see how that evolves.”

How can a leader who had a poor shooting night himself, so easily throw his teammates under the bus while taking zero responsibility on his own failings? This further proves that Kyrie is a locker room cancer.

What’s The Solution?

While Kyrie Irving is an offensively gifted basketball player, it’s glaringly obvious that he is a terrible teammate. There is no questions that Kyrie can become toxic to any team’s locker room at any given moment. As terrible of a teammate as Kyrie is, when his team is winning, he tends to be happy and says great things about his teammates. When Kyrie scores a lot of points in a game, he also seems to be satisfied. It is when he plays poorly or his team is losing that he begins to throw all of his teammates under the bus.

The best solution is for the Nets organization to try to keep Kyrie happy for the rest of the season by letting him dominate the ball as much as he wants. Brooklyn should allow Kyrie to dribble as much as he wants, shoot as much as he wants and entertain the paying fans. We all know that the Brooklyn Nets aren’t going to make any noise in the league until KD returns to the lineup.

The moment KD returns to the court, the Nets will become his team. Because Kyrie and KD are such good friends, there shouldn’t be any issues with them playing together. With the added defensive and offensive firepower from KD, the Brooklyn Nets will become a top 2 team in the East if not the outright best team. The KD and Kyrie duo will make Brooklyn must see TV. Brooklyn will begin to win games and as the saying goes, “Winning cures all ills”.

Why Are NFL Players Retiring Early?

 

Winning the Super Bowl is a dream of every single player who makes it into the NFL. Health, Coaching, and Talent are the main ingredients when constructing a team to compete for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Salaries are almost as large as the egos that are competing on the gridiron. The NFL’s television ratings and overall fan attendance, leads the 4 major professional sports leagues in North America (NBA, MLB, NBA, and NHL). Life has never been better or more profitable for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners.

The league annually puts on the most exciting season and postseason of action that fans can handle. Yet, lately there have been a number of players who have walked away from the sport, retiring while still in the prime of their careers. Concussions and Injuries are the 2 major reasons for the current rash of early retirements by NFL players. In this article, we will deep dive into this phenomenon, beginning with the most prominent reason…Concussions.


Injuries

Daily Ice baths, massages, application of athletic tape, sessions in the hyperbaric chamber, sessions with physical therapists, sessions in the weight room; these are among the long laundry list of methods that players have used to cope with nagging injuries. Helmets hitting body parts that are exposed or barely protected, taking and delivering hits in practice, practicing long hours in the sun, cold, rain or snow, are normal workplace hazards that come with the job of being a professional football player.


The most shocking story of an NFL player retiring early is former Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck, who retired from the sport at only 29 years old. A torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and a lacerated kidney that left him peeing blood were the 2 most severe injuries that Luck suffered. The recovery from missing an entire season, rehab, combined with the mental


and physical exhaustion year after year of trying to get back to 100% health, finally broke Luck. Tearfully announcing his retirement, Luck said the constant grind of extraordinary measures that he had to apply daily simply to function were too much for him to handle. Luck walked away from the remaining $58.1 million left on his contract.

Rob Gronkowski is a former New England Patriots’ Tight End, who retired in March of 2019 after 9 seasons. Gronk knew his time was up when the toll of multiple injuries to his forearm, back, and knees, kept him from being able to keep up with rookies in practice. Gronkowski’s resume includes, but not limited to:

  1. 3-time Super Bowl champion
  2. 5 Pro-Bowl selections
  3. 4 First-Team All-Pro selections

With a spot in the Hall of Fame waiting for him, Gronk cited the numerous injuries taking too much happiness away from him and draining him mentally and physically, as the reasons for his early retirement.

Concussions

Concussions have jumped to the top of the headlines. The NFL has spent millions on research and lawsuit payouts in an effort to reduce the amount of concussions that are being suffered by their players. Studies have linked repeated blows to the head with the debilitating brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Players suffering from CTE can exhibit symptoms such as:

  1. Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  2. Temporary loss of consciousness
  3. Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  4. Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  5. Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  6. Ringing in the ears

That is not the end of a player’s issues once they have been cleared to return to game action.


There are several post-injury symptoms that follow a player and can reappear out of nowhere.

Post-concussion symptoms players continue to suffer after retirement:

  1. Concentration and memory complaints
  2. Irritability and other personality changes
  3. Sensitivity to light and noise
  4. Sleep disturbances
  5. Psychological adjustment problems and depression
  6. Disorders of taste and smell


Joshua Perry retired at the age of 24. This might rank as the shortest but best retirement decision made by a player. Perry suffered 6 concussions dating from his college years, to his 2 seasons in the NFL. Perry expressed a growing concern about his health long-term as the reason for his retirement.

The most recent case of an NFL player retiring early is the former Carolina Panther linebacker, Luke Kuechly. Kuechly called it quits on January 14, 2020, at the age of 28; after only playing for 8 seasons. Kuechly suffered 3 concussions in his career, the most severe was a grade 3 concussion in 2016, which left him crying and gasping for breath during a nationally televised game. It is largely suspected that the former Panthers’ linebacker had enough after his last concussion. He still wanted to keep playing, but he knew that it was the right time for him to hang up his cleats.

Luke Kuechly accomplishments include:

  1. 7-time Pro Bowler
  2. 5-time first-team NFL All-Pro
  3. Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012

Registration of children in football programs across North America has declined. Many experts attribute the drop to the violent nature of the sport. Parents are no longer willing to watch their sons being carried off of the field, bodies limp and concussed. Today, several NFL players have made the important decision to leave millions of dollars on the table and retire from the NFL early, in order to live longer and healthier lives with their families.

The challenges of recovery after dealing with injuries and concussions and the long term side effects of these of injuries have left many players more willing to walk away from the sport that they love while they still have their wits about them. Do you agree with this take? Are players making the right decision by retiring early or is this generation just soft?

NHL Trade Deadline Moves

 

Monday, February 24th, is the NHL trade deadline. Fans and media will gather around their televisions or mobile devices, hoping to witness all of the action. Which teams are buyers (teams in search of players), and which are sellers, (teams that are getting rid of high-priced contracts and talent)? Which teams are in the hunt and looking for that championship piece(s)? What NHL teams are trading away their talent, playing their young talent, essentially tanking their season, in order to land that high draft pick?

Teams have stockpiled draft picks and cleared salary-cap space, in hopes that they might be the team that secures the player(s) that will help them lift the Stanley Cup in June.

In this article we will attempt to identify:

  1. the buyers
  2. the sellers
  3. the latest trade rumors that are floating around the NHL


Buyers

So far, the Arizona Coyotes have made the biggest splash before the trade deadline. On December 16, 2019, the Coyotes acquired Taylor Hall from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for conditional picks and a few role players. Arizona is currently in 7th place in the Western Conference standings and looking to move up.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been seeking to avenge their 1st round playoff sweep at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last season, the Lightning won the President’s Trophy, an award given to the team that registered the most regular season points. Tampa started very slowly this season, but after making some minor moves, they vaulted themselves into a playoff spot.

The Lightning have traded for some role players from the lowly New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks, as well as stocked up on draft picks for the next few years. The Las Vegas Golden Knights currently occupy the 8th and final playoff spot available. The Knights are only in their 3rd year of existence; however, coming off of an impressive run


to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season, Las Vegas is not just looking to squeak into the playoffs, they want to get back to the Cup Finals, and prove that their rookie season was no fluke. The Knights surrendered a 2021 5th round draft pick so they could land Forward Chandler Stephenson from the Washington Capitals, and bolster an already potent offensive lineup.

Sellers

The New Jersey Devils are among the bottom feeders in the NHL, making them sellers at the deadline. The Devils have the 3rd worst record in the league (17-24-7) and sit 15th in the Eastern Conference standings. New Jersey is 20 points out of the last Wild Card playoff spot. As a result, the team has been getting rid of assets and taking losses in order to be in a position to draft high. Taylor Hall’s exit from New Jersey is the biggest move of the season so far. The Devils have made 10 trades since January of 2019.

The Detroit Red Wings are also sellers again this season. The Red Wings are at the bottom of the NHL overall standings with only 28 points after 51 games. If Detroit continues to lose at this rate, they will be put themselves in a great position to get the #1 draft pick in next year’s draft.


The Red Wings once held a record for the longest streak of postseason appearances (25) in all of North American professional sports, but that streak came to an end in 2016. 2019 came and went with Detroit being involved in 7 trades with more to come.


Spicy Trade Rumors

The Calgary Flames are believed to be interested in forward Tyler Toffoli. The 27-year old Toffoli is set to be an unrestricted free-agent this summer, and the Flames have cleared cap space for such a move. On January 2nd, Calgary traded away Michael Frolik’s $4.8 million contract to the Buffalo Sabres. The Flames are currently 6th in the Western Conference standings but have been grossly underachieving this season.

A lack of scoring is a key reason why Calgary would be interested in the services of Toffoli. Toffoli has had 20 and 30 goal seasons but has sputtered out of the gates early on in this season. Who knows? A change of scenery might be just what the doctor ordered for both the Flames and Toffoli.

The rebuilding New Jersey Devils have their name swirling around the rumor mill too. It is no secret that the Devils have been unloading contracts, but the latest rumor suggests that they are not finished dumping salaries. Even though he has expressed a desire to remain with the club, Wayne Simmonds, and his expiring contract are potentially on the move. However, Kyle Palmieri is New Jersey’s most prized trade asset, thanks in part to his almost annual 30-goal per season output in each of his first 5 seasons in the NHL. The only stumbling block could be that Palmieri is currently injured, possibly lowering his value.

Overtime

The February 24th NHL trade deadline is right around the corner. There are teams on the brink of securing a playoff spot that are looking for talent that will lead them to the 2020 Stanley Cup. Salacious trade rumors, accusations of “tanking” on purpose for higher draft positions, and teams either going all in or all out, make up the formula for what fans of the NHL will be salivating over in the coming weeks, and into the offseason.

Are The Los Angeles Clippers Having Chemistry Issues?

 

The NBA world has been going crazy after a report was released about “sources” citing that some Los Angeles Clippers’ players were unhappy with the star treatment that Kawhi and PG have been getting since joining the team. The media networks have been having a field day covering this topic. When you think of drama and dysfunction in Los Angeles, you tend to think of the L.A. Lakers. So the possibility that there might be any type of drama coming from the Clippers organization has NBA fans and members of the media going crazy.

“FAKE fake fake NEWS!!!”

Clippers’ guard Patrick Beverly responded on his Twitter account “FAKE fake fake NEWS!!!” His teammate guard Lou Williams also responded on his Twitter, “Out your source. Put a address on it lol.”

Can Sources Be Trusted?

The problem with sources is that they aren’t always reliable. How many of you remember when Chris Broussard’s sources told him that the Los Angeles Lakers were Kawhi Leonard’s first choice during Kawhi’s free agency? Thanks to his sources, Jalen Rose was “99% sure” that Kawhi would sign with the Raptors. How did those sources work out?

Miami Heat Are Tough At Home

Having just suffered a loss to the lowly Atlanta Hawks without Kawhi Leonard or Paul George, the Clippers were facing a Miami Heat team that had been very tough to beat at home. Paul George would also not be available for this game.

Rumors like this have a tendency to put extra strain on a team’s locker room. The Los Angeles Clippers had to field speculations of team members not being happy while trying to prepare for their game against the Miami Heat. The Heat were the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Prior to their loss to the Clippers, Miami had only lost once at home to the Los Angeles Lakers. No one expected Miami to be playing this well at this point of the season. The table was set for a potential disaster for the Clippers to suffer a loss at the hands of Miami.

A Tale Of Two Halves

The game started and Miami drew first blood. Miami went up by as much as 15 point in the first quarter. Kawhi only mustered 7 points on 2-11 shots in the first half. Being down a lot of points is not new territory for Los Angeles. The Clippers were down as much as 15 points in their second game against the Lakers and they came back to beat them. History would repeat itself again on this night.

It was a tale of two halves. In the first half Kawhi managed to only score 7 points. In the second half Kawhi went 7-11 for 26 points and scored the final 7 points for the Clippers. Not only did Kawhi put up points, but he became a distributor as well with 10 assists for the game. Kawhi’s motto is “The board man gets paid”, so you know that Kawhi had to grab some rebounds as well. He ended up with 10 rebounds for the game and in his 9th season in the NBA notched his first triple-double.

Kawhi’s scored 33 points (9-22 FG, 4-9 3Pt, 11-11 FT), dished out 10 assists, pulled down 10 rebounds, and recorded 2 steals and 1 block in 39 minutes of play. Most importantly, he led the Clippers to a 122-117 victory over a very good Miami Heat team.

Landry Shamet had a strong game with 22 points (8-15 FG, 6-12 3Pt), 2 rebounds and 6 assists. Patrick Patterson added 12 points (4-5 FG, 2-3 3Pt) and JaMychal Green added 14 points (6-7 FG, 1-2 3Pt). Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell had a solid first half but struggled in the 2nd half.

I’m A Player That Wants To Win”

When asked after the game if never having gotten a triple double was something that bothered him, Kawhi responded, “Not at all. That’s not my goal. My goal isn’t to come out and get triple-doubles or get stats. I’m a player that wants to win”.

Team Chemistry

The report by The Athletic has been generating waves. It is believed that the “lack of team chemistry” rumor came from Clippers’ Center Montrezl Harrell. After the Clippers suffered a blowout loss to the lowly Memphis Grizzlies, Harrell said, “We are not a great team!” He was obviously frustrated with the loss, as was all of Clippers Nation. No one expected a loss to the lowly Grizzlies, much less get a blowout loss. That was a hard pill to swallow. It is likely that Harrell aired his frustration to someone he knew and word got out from there.

Kawhi on the other hand had chalked up the Memphis loss to “No defense, no communication, no energy”. Then again, Kawhi never seems to get overly rattled by anything. He thinks of a loss or poor performance as an opportunity to learn and grow. This is what makes Kawhi such a great leader. No one wants a leader who is overly emotional and overreacts at every loss.

The Clippers prior to Kawhi were basically the laughing stock of the league. No one took them seriously even after making the playoffs and taking a fully stacked Golden State Warriors team to a game 6 in the first round of the playoffs last season. They have always had to claw and scratch just to stay relevant. The addition of a Top 5 player like Kawhi Leonard and a Top 10 player like Paul George elevated the status of the organization instantly. It also elevated the expectations of the returning players into the stratosphere.

During the Miami Heat game, there were a few times when Kawhi signaled for the ball from Lou Williams and Lou held on, shot it and bricked it. While he had a good first half, he struggled in the second half. It looked almost as if he was trying to show his value by waving off Kawhi and trying to score himself. Many of those attempts turned into bricked shots. If there was any aspect of chemistry issues during the game, this is where it was most obvious. Lou Williams misses and turnovers were the biggest reason that Miami Heat was able to come back from being down double digits. This could be problematic should Lou try this during the playoffs.

Missed Games

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have missed more than 30 combined games so far this season. This in itself has had a negative effect on the team’s chemistry. Kawhi’s load management has been the talk of the league. Paul George had surgeries on both shoulders during the offseason and missed the first 11 games of the season. He then sat out a lot of games due to hamstring issues. Patrick Beverly has suffered injuries, Landry Shamet missed 17 games, as well as other Clippers players. It’s as if the Clippers can’t catch a break this season with all of the injuries that they’ve had to endure. And yet, the Clippers are now sitting with the 2nd best record in the Western Conference. If this is what poor chemistry looks like, then every other team should be really nervous because eventually the Clippers will get healthy.

The Bottom Line

Is there chemistry issues in the Clippers’ locker room? It’s very possible. Does load management cause frustration with the players who play every night? Definitely! Does having your star player in an out of the lineup affect the play of the role players? Quite possibly! Do stars get preferential treatment over role players? ABSOLUTELY! Should this come as a surprise to anyone? Absolutely not! Just like stars get the calls on the court over role players, stars will always get preferential treatment because they are the ones who determine the fate of a franchise. The success and failure of a franchise hinges on the health of its stars.

The Clippers are on a mission to win a championship. Based on how much they gave up to get Paul George, they can’t afford for him not to be healthy for the playoffs. Based on how special of a player Kawhi Leonard is, the Clippers want to make sure that Kawhi is healthy for the playoffs. The entire league and NBA fans bore witness to what a healthy Kawhi Leonard could accomplish last season from his playoff run with the Toronto Raptors. It goes without saying that Kawhi being healthy for the playoffs is much more important than a few extra wins during the regular season.

Winning cures all ills. The destination of the Clippers organization is a championship. Anyone who is unhappy now will be jumping for joy “IF” the Clippers are able to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy in June. Until then, the jury is out.

5 Reasons Why Kobe Bryant Is Better Than Lebron James

Introduction

Who is better? Kobe or LeBron? This is a debate that has raged on for the last decade. Better at what? Better in the sense of who you would rather draft and build a team around or better when it comes to needing that last second clutch shot? There are very few categories that these two players can be compared to one another mostly because they did not play the same position on the floor.

It has been argued that Kobe had more support, namely Shaquille O’Neal that helped him to win 3 of his 5 NBA championships. Those that make that claim fail to mention that the Mamba went on to make the Finals 3 more times post-Shaq; winning two additional championships.

Here are 5 reasons why Kobe Bryant is better than LeBron James:

  1. Championships
  2. Anatomy
  3. Kobe’s On-the-ball defense
  4. Kobe is a more dangerous offensive threat
  5. Kobe was more clutch than LeBron in key moments


Championships

Men lie, women lie but the numbers do not. Kobe Bryant has a better record in his NBA Finals appearances than LeBron and he has also won more titles than. While it should be pointed out that Bryant is retired and James is still currently playing, James still has a chance to catch and/or pass Kobe in the number of championships.

The Black Mamba is 5-2 in his 7 NBA Finals appearances. LeBron has been to the Finals 8 straight times and 9 appearances overall. Despite making it to the NBA Finals 9 different times, James has only been able to win 3 times with 2 different teams (Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers). In addition, LeBron’s teams were able to reach the NBA Finals so many consecutive times because of the terrible level of competition in the Eastern Conference. Most notably, in James’ last appearance in the Finals, he took a team of unestablished players through the Eastern Conference to the NBA Finals and easily swept by the Western Conference Finals Champs (Golden State Warriors).

Kobe on the other hand has always had to battle through the tough Western Conference to make the Finals. While the media and LeBron’s fans never fail to repeat LeBron’s feat of consecutive trips to the Finals, there is absolutely no doubt that Kobe, had he been in the Eastern Conference, would have been able to accomplish a similar feat. The question is whether LeBron would have been able to accomplish a similar feat as Kobe in the difficult Western Conference?


Anatomy of a Killer

Kobe Bryant has always had a “take no prisoners” mentality. LeBron James has always had a pass first mentality. Both characteristics have their moments, but they can also have their downsides. Leading a team to multiple championships takes a special type of DNA.

Figuratively speaking, winning takes a tremendous amount of heart and balls. Both players have the heart to want the ball in their hands in crunch time, particularly late in the 4th quarter. However, only one of these players has had the “cajones” to take the game-winning shot time and time again.

Historically, LeBron isolates, drives, gets into the paint, and when the defense collapses in on him, he kicks the ball out to the open shooter. This is has generally been lauded as the right basketball play by most critics and analysts. However, there are times when LeBron should take the shot and he turns down the opportunity, opting to pass the ball to a teammate.

Even when Shaq on the same court, when the clock was under 10 seconds, everyone knew that Kobe was going to take the game-winning shot. Kobe was once quoted saying, “I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself…” That is the primary difference between LeBron and Kobe. Kobe wanted to be personally responsible for ripping out the heart of his opponent and watching it beat in his hands. You don’t get that type of satisfaction by passing off the shot and hoping that a teammate makes it.


Danger!!!

LeBron has always had a tendency to pass the ball. Unfortunately for LeBron, many of those end of game passes ended up being missed shots. In many of those circumstances, LeBron should have taken the shots himself, but was afraid of missing. This fear of failure is one of the biggest criticisms that has followed LeBron throughout his illustrious career. The fear of the big moment might boil down to the fact that he is only an average shooter. Every now and then he gets hot, but generally, there is no one who fears LeBron’s perimeter shooting.

Defenses tend to game plan on allowing LeBron to shoot jumpers. Where LeBron is dangerous is on the fast break or once he gets a foot into the paint. Otherwise, opponents are willing to live with the results on the rare occasion that they are beaten by a LeBron James jump shot.

Recently, the 12th anniversary (January 22nd, 2008) of Kobe’s 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors was celebrated. In that game, Kobe scored the 2nd most points scored ever scored in a game by a single player in NBA history. Kobe’s shot 28/46 in that game against the Raptors. That’s nearly 61% shooting. Jalen Rose took the brunt of the offensive abuse, but at one point, Toronto had a quadruple-team on him and he still managed to draw a foul.

In The Clutch

When you are the star of the team, the responsibility of shooting, whether it swishes or bricks, falls on your shoulders. LeBron has shown that even he is capable of hitting big shots every now and then, so why not take the biggest one in the game? No team has really felt the need to take the ball out of LeBron’s hands 30 feet away from the basket. Defenses have relied on the fact that when approached with a double team, LeBron will look to pass.

What statistic speaks louder than this? 36 career game-winners for Kobe, the MOST in NBA history. Yes, he has a lot more misses in those situations than makes, but that was a risk that Kobe Bean Bryant was willing to take. The greatest mind possibly among coaches in NBA history, Phil Jackson, rolled the dice with Kobe every time.

Kobe’s favorite player, Michael Jordan, had a quote saying that you miss 100% of the shots that you do not take. At no time ever during his fabulous 20-year career did Kobe have to leave the court wondering what would have happened if he took the final shot.


DEFENSE! DEFENSE! DEFENSE!

There also was a period of time when there could not be a night of highlights without a LeBron chase-down block on an attempted layup. While spectacular to watch, most people only remember his monumental block in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors (Disclaimer: Iguodala was playing injured in that series). Every other time, it was a been there, done that moment for fans watching game highlights.

Even with some of LeBron’s defensive highlights, Kobe was a better defender. Kobe’s mentality of wanting to be the best was displayed on both ends of the court. The Killer Instinct, the “Mamba Mentality” that fans and media associate with his name is not only reserved for his offensive talents.

Bryant took a sense of pride and accomplishment in stopping the other team’s best player. Kobe made the NBA First Team All-defensive team 9 times, a feat that only 3 other players have done (Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett and Gary Payton).

At the Buzzer!

In today’s NBA with all of the talk about analytics, most GMs would probably opt to draft LeBron over Kobe. However, how many players in basketball or any other sport do you see trying to be like LeBron James? How many players do you see talking about the “LeBron Mentality”? If there is a knock on LeBron’s legacy it comes down to his mentality. His apparent fear of embracing the big moment and owning it. In the case of LeBron, his mentality is to let someone else take that big shot and be happy with the outcome no matter what. If the shot goes in, his fanboys will shower him with praises for “making the right play”. If the shot misses, his fanboys will criticize the person that LeBron passed the ball to for missing the shot. It’s a win-win situation for LeBron.

This approach might be fine for LeBron, but it was not acceptable for Kobe. Kobe wanted that last shot to come from him. He wanted to be the architect of his own destiny. This is how “Mamba Mentality” came to be. Kobe had the belief that he could make any shot from anywhere on the court. He felt that if he missed the first shot the second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. would eventually go in. He had the ultimate confidence in his shot and in himself.

Thanks to Kobe, “Mamba Mentality” has expanded to every aspect of life, not just sports. His approach to the game, his mindset, his training, his belief, and his confidence all came together to create what we all know today as “Mamba Mentality”.

Kobe has missed more shots than any other player in the history of the NBA, but his failures are what make him so special. Kobe Bryant is also the holder of the record for game-winners at 36. Who are players wanting to be like? It’s Kobe Bryant. And that is the greatest compliment a player can ask for. LeBron may have the more efficient career statistics, but Kobe has more rings, greater defensive accomplishments and has motivated an entire generation of people from all walks of life, to approach life with the “Mamba Mentality”.

Buyers And Sellers At The NBA Trade Deadline

Every year, there are two seasons in every NBA season. One happens on the basketball court, AND the other is the TRADE SEASON BABY!!! It’s officially trade season once again, which means it’s time to fire up the ESPN trade machine and close your office door.

But who’s getting involved in this year’s trade season? I’m glad you asked. We’ll be taking a look at which teams should be looking to add pieces for a playoff run, and which ones should be looking to the future.

BUYERS: 

Portland:

    

Boy, it feels like a lifetime ago that the Blazers were in the Western Conference Finals doesn’t it? If the playoffs were to start today, Portland wouldn’t even be an 8th seed. The Western Conference is a blood bath again this year, and Portland is going to need some extra fire power if they want back in the post season.

It’s no secret that Kevin Love has wanted to come back home to the Pacific Northwest. It would be a match made in heaven. Once Jusif Nurkic comes back from injury, a frontcourt of him and Kevin Love would light the rest of the league on fire.

 

Miami:

    

What the Miami Heat have done to start this season is nothing short of extraordinary. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that no one thought that Miami would be sitting at #2 in the Eastern Conference at this point of the season. One could argue that Miami shouldn’t do anything and just roll with the guys they currently have. Despite how well the Heat have been playing, there is still room for improvement.

There are plenty of great players available. Jrue Holiday is one name that comes to mind. Jrue would be such a great fit on this Miami squad, especially playing next to Jimmy Butler. The defensive tenacity would make any backcourt in the league extremely nervous.

Houston:

    

When Russell Westbrook was traded to the Rockets, people were skeptical and for good reason. Could two ball dominant guards coexist on the same team? Most thought that they couldn’t coexist, but a few thought that they could, and those who thought that they could have been right so far. They’ve hit some rough patches, but it looks like Houston has found their groove.

The Rockets still need more fire power to contend with the likes of the Lakers and Clippers. That makes them a potential destination for Kevin Love destination or maybe even a guy like Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic. Gordon’s defensive ability next to Clint Capela would be electric.

SELLERS:

Orlando:

             

Poor Orlando Magic. Ever since Dwight Howard skipped town, it just feels like they can’t get it right. To their credit, they have tried to compete, but they just haven’t had much success. Their ceiling is being the 6-8 seed in the East, and getting swept by whoever they face. They now have a weird roster of guys who don’t really fit together. It might be time to tear it all down and start over. 

Thankfully, the Magic do have a few intriguing players they could ship off for draft picks. That way if they wanted to jumpstart on a rebuild, they would be able to load up their war chest with assets.

Aaron Gordon has been a name we’ve been hearing about for the past year as a potential trade piece. And Nikola Vucivic could really help a playoff team get over the hump. It’s doubtful that the Magic would consider trading Markel Fultz, but you never know. There’s always a chance that Orlando could convince a team that Fultz has totally gotten over the issues that he’s been dealing with since entering the league.

Chicago:


What really needs to happen for the Chicago Bulls is for the owner to fire the GM and Jim Boylin. They might just be the worst duo in the league. Chicago does have some great young talent, for example Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markinen. But none of that matters if the coaching is terrible.

If the Bulls are content where they are, they might as well just try and get rid of Zach Lavine and anyone else on the roster who has any talent. Plenty of teams would pay a premium for any of the players mentioned above and it would give ownership time to find a competent coach and general manager.

New York:


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, the Knicks are bad. The Knicks have a bottom 5 record. They fired David Fizdale and the team has been playing better. However, the Knicks are not a free agent destination. It seems that one wants to play in New York. Most people lay the blame at the feet of their owner, James Dolan.

The Knicks should really consider trading everyone that is 25 and older. There’s no reason Marcus Morris and Julius Randle should be on this roster. They could provide minutes for playoff teams and it would give the young guys more playing time and allow them to develop.

Ultimately, what Dolan needs to realize is that free agents are not going to come to New York, so the organization needs to focus on developing their own young talent. Until he realizes this, the Knicks will be in the same place they’ve been this whole decade, in the basement of the Eastern Conference. 

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