Throwback Saturday Part II

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. One year ago to the day, I predicted Kemba Walker (pictured above) would win the Naismith National Player of the Year Award in College Hoops. I was wrong, but Kemba currently is outdoing Jimmer Fredette at the professional ranks.

By Josh Kramer

“To know your future, you must know your past.” Welcome to the second edition of “Throwback Saturday.”  It is always fun to look back and reminisce.  And if you are not a fan of looking back, well, this post is not for you I guess.  So what was happening in the wide world of sports on January 28, 2011?  What was happening on January 28, 2010?  Let’s take a trip back and find out.

Two years ago..

23=Amazing

Here is a little snippet.

Roger Federer last evening clinched a birth in the Australian Open semifinals.  He did not play his best tennis, but woke up when he needed to and took care of the very talented Nikolay Davydenko.  Federer was the only player ranked in the top 4 to take care of business and stay alive.  Djokovic and Nadal both were unsuccessful in their quests to make it to the semis of the first Grand Slam of the year.

But isn’t consistency Roger’s middle name?  The man has made 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals!  Now take that in for a minute.  That means that Federer has not been knocked out of a Grand Slam tourney before the semifinals for 6 years.  No wonder he holds the all time record with 15 Grand Slam titles.

So is the number 23 synonymous with greatness?  Arguably the greatest basketball player of all time Michael Jordan sported the number 23.  Arguably, the best basketball player on the planet now sports the number 23, Lebron James (To finish reading the post, click this link).

Present Thoughts:

Roger Federer just made the semifinals of yet another Grand Slam for a change.  Sadly though, his kryptonite, Rafael Nadal, was waiting for him.  We all know how that ended up.  Little did we know that the Australian Open of 2010 quite possibly could be the last Grand Slam title for the career leader in Grand Slams.  Also, talk about how things change in two years.  It seems that we cannot have a Grand Slam tournament these days where the “Fantastic Four” do not all make it to the semis.  In 2010, Federer was the lone wolf from the not yet formed “Fantastic Four” to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.

So it appears I was spot on back in 2010.  23 is most definitely synonymous with greatness.  Now Federer’s phenomenal streak of consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances ended later in 2010 at the French Open (so it ended at 23).  And let’s be honest, that streak was pure greatness.  The only part of this post from two years ago I question is whether LeBron is the best player on the planet.  He is playing like it this year.  But the best player on the planet also has to show up for the NBA Finals.  Just ask Michael Jordan about that.

One year ago..

The Hype is Real:  How Derrick Rose Can Win MVP

Here is a snippet.

When Derrick Rose posed the question “Why can’t I be MVP?” on day one of Chicago Bulls media day, not many people took him seriously. Rose, the young, humble superstar doesn’t talk much in the press, and when he says something you should believe him.

In an off-season dominated by LeBron James and the Miami Heat, it is Derrick Rose who is stealing the spotlight midway through the season. Rose has the Bulls in striking distance of the number one seed in the East and is averaging an impressive 24 points and eight assists. The kid from Chicago, “Poohdini,” has transformed himself from a star into a superstar. There is no player in the NBA who is more important to their team right now than to what Derrick Rose is to the Chicago Bulls (To finish reading the post, click this link).

Present Thoughts:

Well we all know how this one turned out.  I guess our Chicago Bulls expert Wesley Kaminsky knew what he was talking about.  Derrick Rose ended up becoming the youngest player to bring home the MVP award, and led his Bulls to the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.  Later in this post from a year ago, Wesley listed seven things Rose would need to do in order to ensure that he would take home the MVP hardware.  Rose completed six of the seven tasks with flying colors.  Unfortunately, he never really was able to complete number 6, “Getting Keith Bogans More Consistent.”  Bogans averaged a measely 4.4 points per game last season, and now is a free agent.  To Derrick’s defense, Keith Bogans is a lost cause.  The guy is a good player, but just not quite good enough to make a solid contribution for an NBA team.

One year ago..

Player of the Year Thus Far

Here is a snippet from the end of the post.

In my eyes, Sullinger does not have the raw numbers at this point to overtake Kemba or Jimmer. Not to mention his team is stronger all around than either of the other candidates, so he is therefore just a hint less valuable. As for Jimmer, if he was at UConn, he would be my frontrunner. Sadly for Fredette though, he does not get to play under the bright lights nearly as often as Kemba. He is having a phenomenal year, but so is Walker. Therefore Kemba is my pick at this point (To finish reading this post, click this link).

Present Thoughts:

This is one of those posts when you can straight up say whether I was right or wrong.  It was a forecast of who would take home the National Player of the Year in College Basketball.  I was close, but no cigar.  Jimmer Fredette, the man who I said would not have enough chances under the bright lights ended up taking it home.  In the process, he taught all of America “How to Jimmer.”  To my defense though, Kemba Walker did end up willing his team to one of the most remarkable tournament runs in the history of college hoops.  Nobody expected a Connecticut team that went 9 and 9 in conference play to bring home the National Championship.  UConn fans can thank the “Kemba Effect” for that.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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One response to “Throwback Saturday Part II

  1. Pingback: Throwback Saturday Part III | TheSportsKraze

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