Tag Archives: Free Agency

“Food for Thought 12-14-10”


New York Jets Strength Coach, Sal Alosi (pictured above), has been making headlines all over the country for a tripping incident in Sunday's game vs the Dolphins. Should the man be fired?

What a Tuesday afternoon it is.  Talk about a wild past 24 hours in the sporting world.  You got major free agent signings.  The end of the “streak.”  A thriller in Texas where the Texans once again broke Houston’s heart.  And I could go on.

Here is a look at some of today’s main headlines.

Sorry New York

So Cliff Lee will be a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, again.  Rumors of the 5 year, 120 million dollar deal circulated like wild-fire last evening over the internet and Twitter world.  Even amid this wild and major news, Sportscenter still managed to have their first 20+ minutes pertain to Brett Favre and the infamous “Streak.”  Sorry, but I felt that the Cliff Lee deal was bigger news in my eyes.  Anyways though,  I will admit that I was at first surprised that the outstanding hurler did not decide to take his talents to the Big Apple.  After missing out on Lebron this summer, surely the city that never sleeps would at least land Lee right?..WRONG! 

 The Yankees hurt themselves on this one.  They even had Lee’s good friend CC Sabathia on the staff to help them out.  This time it was not the organization’s ineptitude.  It was the loud mouth Yankee fans who ruined it this time.  Mistreat a man’s wife, as the Yankee fans did during the playoffs, good luck getting a guy to come play for you.  Men listen to their wives for some reason which still baffles my mind.  Do you think Lee’s wife wanted him to play in New York to a place where fans heckled her?  Not a chance.  Treat people the way you want to be treated.  One of the ultimate rules in life.

Thank God it is over

The streak has finally come to a close.  Finally there is no longer a reason for ESPN to center all of its attention on Number 4 (until he retires/comes back again).  Ironically, during his press conference, Favre wore a #4 hat rather than a Viking’s hat to address the media.  So the real question is, how does this streak of 297 compare to Ripken’s 2,632? Obviously, they are both mythical streaks, but my edge goes to the 2,632.  Sure injuries are much more prevalent in the NFL.  But the MLB does not have a week between games.  These guys play nearly every day for 6 months.  Days off are common for players.  Not for Cal though.  In my eyes #8 is greater than #4.  Sure there may be a bias.  But Cal’s streak in my eyes was more of a difficult streak.  That is why he is called the “Iron Man.”  Brett should be called “The Flip Flopper.”

Houston Heartbroken Again

The Ravens were absolutely steamrolling the Texans last night in front of a sold out Reliant Stadium crowd.  Baltimore sure did not look like a team playing on the road.  Then Andre Johnson scored just before the half, and the Texans caught fire.  Following an amazing 21 point comeback though, the Texans as usual, came up just short.  This has become a growing trend for this Houston team.  They are extremely talented on both sides of the ball, but especially on offense.  How is a team that has Matt Schaub at QB, Andre Johnson, Jacoby Jones, and Kevin Walter at receivers, plus Arian Foster at RB not going to the make the playoffs.  Ask Gary Kubiak.  After winning 8 games 2 consecutive years and then 9 last year, this was supposed to be the year where this team got over the hump and finally made the playoffs.  Sadly, this will not be the year.  I am beginning to think the Texans are the NFL’s version of the Atlanta Hawks.  A team that is very entertaining to watch with a bundle of talent, but just can’t quite get over the hump.  Now sure Atlanta has made the playoffs, but making the playoffs in the NBA is equivalent to going 8 and 8 and just missing the postseason in the NFL.  Which of these two franchises will take the next step first?  I truly have no idea.

Maybe I took some Roids before the game..

Jets Strength Coach, Sal Alosi had to have been on steroids.  There had to be something off.  I have never heard of a coach doing something so blatantly dumb and getting caught.  In a year where player safety has been something that has been at the forefront of the entire NFL front office, this guy goes out of his way to trip an on the field player while on the sidelines?  Sure $25,000 is a decent size fine for a guy whose salary cannot possibly be much more than $50,000.  But tell me the Jets are going to fire this guy?  Integrity and character are keys to any job.  Or at least they should be.  This guy was lacking the moral fiber on Sunday.  I hope this was just a one time action.  Could it have been roid rage?  Either way, guy should be fired without question.

NBA Catches Fire

So the Maverick’s winning streak finally came to an end at 12.  The Knicks have still won 8 in a row.  The Heat have won 9.  And the Celtics have won 10.  Which of these teams are going to fall first?  Well I do know that both Miami and Boston travel to MSG this week.  The C’s come Wednesday to the Big Apple and the Heat come on Friday.  So somebody is bound to lose.  I do know though that all 3 of these teams have looked outstanding as of late.  The Celtics look to be the team to beat in the East.  While the Heat are finally figuring out how to play together.  And the Knicks are probably playing above their actual abilities, but are doing a great job in getting the city excited and making themselves much more marketable to the Melo’s and CP3’s of the world. 

So there you have a look into some of the main topics going on in the Wide World of Sports on this Tuesday afternoon.  Seize the day and watch some sports.

Let me hear your “Food for Thought.”

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.



“Weekly Nickel”

One of the NBA's All Time Greatest Coaches, Jerry Sloan (pictured above), has the Jazz at the top of the West. Are the Jazz a real deal contender?

The College Football regular season is all but finished.  People got their dream BCS National Championship which will pit Auburn versus Oregon.  Also, people got to see the Steelers go to work last evening and they once again showed America that all they do is “Win, Win, Win, Win.”  So I will admit, this week will be a little weird without a full slate of College Football games.  It is the first time since early September actually.

But here is a look into the excitement in store for this upcoming week.

5.  In the NHL, the season is slightly past the quarter marker, and the League’s two best players seem to be leading their teams to an epic Eastern Conference Finals Showdown.  Tune in this week and watch Pittsburgh and Washington continue to ride their stars toward deep playoff runs.

4.  Jayson Werth has signed with the Nationals.  Lance Berkman will return to the NL Central, but this time as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Captain will remain in the Pinstripes for at least 3 more years.  And the Red Sox are on the cusp of a major deal.  Could Adrian Gonzalez land in Boston?  This will be a huge pickup for the Bo Sox and really aid in picking up their offensive production.  The million dollar question still remains though.  Where is Cliff Lee, Mr. October himself, going to end up?  Also there is a guy named Carl Crawford that can run a little bit who is available out of Tampa.

3.  College Basketball is starting to heat up as teams continue to prep for big time conference play.  There are a good few major non conference matchups.  Here is a closer look.


Memphis at Kansas:  This duel between top 20 foes should be very exciting.  In this rematch of the National Title Game of a few years ago, each squad looks to make a major statement and pick up a big time non conference win.  It is a shame that Kansas Freshman phenom Josh Selby will not be eligible for this one.

Michigan State at Syracuse:  A matchup between two of College Basketball perennial forces.  Two programs that have really been at the forefront of the game for the past decade.  Also, these are two programs led by two of the best coaches in America.  Which squad will come out victorious as each not only fights for a big non conference win and to maintain their top ten ranking, but each are looking to make a statement about their conference.  This game should help in the debate about which conference is the best in America, the Big Ten, or the Big East.


Notre Dame vs Kentucky:  What a game this should be.  Notre Dame has been a pleasant surprise so far and looks to maintain their undefeated record vs their first ranked opponent of the season.  Sadly for the Fighting Irish, they get to take on a Kentucky team that is coming off a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Tar Heels.  This should be a very high scoring affair between two teams that can really put the ball in the basket.


Butler at Xavier:  A matchup between the two top “Mid Major” programs in America.  So what if both teams are off to a slower start out of the gates than most expected.  Both teams always find a way to sneak into March, and I expect nothing different this year.  Also last year, Butler beat the Musketeers on one of the most controversial calls I have ever witnessed in my life.  Will the Muskies have lady luck on their side this time and pick up a much-needed non conference victory over a solid opponent?  The home court advantage could really help XU in this one.


Tennessee at Pittsburgh:  A game that pits two top 20, undefeated squads.  The Vols have looked awesome thus far and already have knocked off a top 10 Big East foe this year.  Freshman, Tobias Harris, and seasoned vet Scotty Hopson have been simply awesome in the early going.  Can Pittsburgh continue to ride their very experienced group and amazing rebounding ability to another big time non conference victory?  This game should be close from start to finish.

2.  The NBA Bus rolls on.  The Knicks are over 500 and have won 4 straight games.  Plus the team that was “too old,” San Antonio, sports the League’s best record.  It is the NBA and you got to love it.

Some of the marquee matchups for the week.


Oklahoma City at Chicago:  Two of the League’s best teams go to war in the Windy City.  Who is a better young point guard, Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose?  Take your pick because both guys are capable of taking over a ball game at any time.


Miami at Utah:  The South Beach Show travels to Utah to take on a surprise Utah team that is really showing the power of team basketball.  Jerry Sloan is one of the League’s all time great coaches, and this year, he is putting on one of his best performances. 


Orlando at Portland:  Yes, I realize that Portland is under 500, but they are always dangerous.  The year is still young, and Portland could really gain some confidence in knocking off the team sporting the 2nd best record in the Eastern Conference.


Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago:  It is always fun to watch two first place teams get together.  Neither of these teams are off to as stellar of a start as expected, but both are definite contenders in their respective conferences.  Look for Kobe to provide some fireworks in this one.

Atlanta at San Antonio:  Can the talented boys out of ATL show the “old men” of San Antonio a lesson?  San Antonio has been outstanding all season and are really a remarkable story.

Orlando at Utah:  Two of the League’s best go to battle in Salt Lake City.  This is a definite game that I would love to tune in and watch.  Could this be a possible preview of the Finals?


Utah at Dallas:  Both of these mainstays in the West continue to win each and every  year.  It never gets old watching two of the best and most consistent franchises in basketball go head to head.

1.  We enter Week 14 of the NFL Season.  Real football weather is here.  And all teams are getting ready for the stretch run.  Next week’s lineup features two great matchups. 

New England at Chicago:  Two of the best teams meet at Soldier Field.  I will tell you that I would much rather watch this one from the couch.  It will be bitterly cold.

Kansas City at San Diego:  The amazing AFC West race continues.  Can the Chargers rebound and pick up a must win vs KC?

So there you have events to look for regarding the sporting stratosphere for this week.  Make sure to take it all in.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


“Food for Thought on 12-1-10”

Here are a few of my top thoughts on this Wednesday morning:

Would Jon Gruden (pictured above on the far right) really leave the booth to get back into coaching at the U?

Will Derek Jeter wake up and return to the Yankees?

I honestly believe that Derek Jeter and his agent will come to their senses.  The 3 year, 45 million dollar offer is a more than fair deal for the Yankee Captain.  I know it is hard for anyone to take a pay cut, but in the MLB, players age.  Derek is aging, which was demonstrated threw his .270 batting average this past season (34 points below his career average) and his career lows in On Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage.  But the Yankee shortstop does not feel that he is done yet.  Besides, he will still be the highest paid shortstop in all of baseball (Hanley Ramirez next highest paid shortstop at 11 million).  Also, do you really think another team will offer him more than 15 million dollars a year?

So I do think Derek Jeter will be wearing the Pinstripes come next April..

Will James Harrison need to alter the way he plays?

Coach Tomlin has mentioned that Harrison may need to alter some elements of his style of play.  But lets be entirely honest.  James Harrison is going to be James Harrison.  He has made a living off of his aggressive play.  Do you really think a guy like Harrison is going to bow down to the man?

Coach Tomlin was quoted as saying, “Man life isn’t fair.  I’m not concerned about fairness. I’m really not. I’m concerned about preparing for the Baltimore Ravens.” 

Harrison is also concerned about preparing for Baltimore.  But you better believe his style will not be altered when two of the League’s most physical teams go head to head for AFC North supremacy.  Football can be a brutal game.

Can the Lakers return to dominance even in the midst of a tough 3 game slide?

So the Lakers have dropped 3 games in a row.  Do you really think Kobe, Phil, and the LakeShow are panicking?  Give me a break.  Even with the recent skid, they still sit atop the Pacific Division by 4.5 games.  This team has won the Western Conference 3 consecutive years and is looking for a 3rd straight NBA Championship.  Great teams know when they have to get it together.

Also realize that the Lakers now go on a 4 game stretch where they play the Rockets, the Kings, the Wizards, and the Clippers.  Realize that none of these teams have won more than 5 games thus far.  The 4 bottom feeders have a total of 17 wins between them on the season.

 Look for the Lakers to reel off 4 straight wins and hush the critics.

You better believe that this Laker team is still the best team in the League.

Is the Big Ten now the supreme conference in College Basketball?

After being dominated by the ACC for over a decade, the Big Ten finally won the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge last season.  They are currently ahead 4 to 2 this year, and look to be bringing home the hardware again.  Currently, the mighty Big Ten has 5 teams ranked in the top 25.  Two of these squads are in the top 10.

The perennial top basketball conference, the Big East, has 6 teams in the AP top 25.  With 3 in the top 10.  I will admit that preseason I had the Big Ten as the top conference and the Big East as a very close number 2.  I still stand by this pick even with the Big East currently sporting 1 more top 25 team.

The difference is at the top.  I do not think the Big East’s top teams are as strong as the Big Ten’s top squads.  Do you really think that Pittsburgh, Nova, or UConn for that matter are better than Ohio State or Michigan State?  It is still early though.

A lot of this depends on what you define as the criteria for the best conference though.  Most Final Four Contenders?  Most overall tournament teams?  Most overall depth?  The best teams at the top?

But please note that the Big Ten has only 11 teams, while the Big East has 16.  I give the nod to the Big Ten at this time, but barely.

Will Lebron survive his visit to Cleveland on Thursday?

The NBA has provided heightened security for the Miami Heat wherever they have traveled all season.  They better up the ante in Cleveland big time though.  People in Northern Ohio are still extremely bitter towards their former “King.”  They will do all in the power to make sure that LBJ has a horrible stay in his former home state.

I do not see anything tragic happening.  But do expect this game to sport a playoff atmosphere.  The Cleveland team will play inspired basketball and do all in their power to please the crowd in probably the biggest game of the season for this Cavs team.  Miami on the other hand will also come out and play with a tenacity that we have not seen yet.  Lebron wants this game.  He left Cleveland to win titles.  You better believe that he will be highly disappointed if he gets beaten by his former squad.

Is Jon Gruden actually considering going to Coach at the U?

Gruden claims he loves his job as a Monday Night Football Analyst.  And can you really blame the guy?  He has every man’s dream job.  Sure the Head Coaching job at the University of Miami is one of the most sought after positions in College Football.  Yet they have not made a BCS Bowl Game since 2004. And, over the years, high-profile coaches moving from the NFL to College and vice versa has not been the most successful business venture.

I do admit that I think Gruden has a hint of interest.  But at this time, I do not see him leaving. 

So there is my food for thought on the days hottest topics in sports.  Let me hear your thoughts.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


“Weekly Nickel”

Mark Ingram (pictured above) and Alabama look to show the country what could have been on Friday, and spoil their rival Auburn's hopes of a perfect season.

And the beat goes on..

Football is heating up.  Baseball’s awards are being dispersed.  The NBA has taken flight and is now coasting.  College Basketball is heating up as teams look to show that their conference is the best.  Plus baseball free agency continues.

There is so much going on that it would be impossible to follow it all.  Here is my top 5 for the week though.

5.  The Yankees continue to play “Lets Make a Deal” with the “Captain” and playoff stud, Cliff Lee.  Joey Votto awaits a possible MVP announcement at 2PM Eastern time today.  The games are done.  Now it is time for recognition.  All of Cincinnati anxiously awaits to hear the announcement of their star as the NL’s best.

4.  The NBA is coasting now with great games every night.  Basically every night this week has a big time matchup.

-Monday (Tonight):  The Magic head to the Alamo to take on the 11 and 1 Spurs.   Many thought that the Spurs were getting too old.  Many were wrong.  Tony Parker may be getting a divorce, but he is still playing at a very high level.  This should be a great game between two of the top teams in basketball.

-Tuesday:  The Bulls head to LA to take on the Lake Show.  Both of these teams lead their respective divisions for a reason.  This could be a major statement win for the Bulls if they could shock Kobe, Pau, and Co.

-Wednesday:  The Battle of Florida commences for Round 2.  Can the Magic redeem themselves after an embarrassing loss back on October 29th to their in-state rival?  Dwight Howard will need to expose the Heat’s lack of an interior presence and have a big night for the Magic to grab a W in this one.

-Thursday:  Really a rain check night with two lackluster matchups on Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving Day has always been about football anyways.

-Friday:  One of basketball’s best rivalries commences as the Mavericks head to the Alamo to take on the Spurs.  Can the Mavericks redeem themselves after their embarrassing playoff exit last season at the hands of their in-state rival?  This will be their first crack at Tim, Tony, and the boys since last April.

-Saturday:  Lebron and the traveling Miami Show head to Dallas to take on Mark Cuban’s Mavericks.  These are two of the top teams in the League.  Can Dirk lead the Dallas boys to a big time home victory?

3.  Dick Vitale is back, and more enthusiastic than ever.  A big slate of games all week highlighted by a ranked showdown between Kansas State and Gonzaga tonight.  Expect Frank Martin to occasionally yell during this one.  Continue to keep an eye on Ohio State and their stellar group of freshman.  Outside of Duke, the Buckeyes appear to be the team to beat.

2.  Did you think Week 12 of College Football was exciting? Wait until you get a look at Week 13.  What an amazing slate of games.  Plus we get 2 full days of games between Friday and Saturday.  So enjoy the NFL on Thanksgiving, but strap in for some College Football for the following two days. 

Should Friday be called, “The D-Day of the Undefeated Teams?”

Friday’s Major Matchups:

Auburn at Alabama-This should be yet another SEC slugfest.  Alabama would like nothing more than to spoil Auburn’s perfect season and show people that they are still talented enough to beat any team in the country. I am putting this game on a Major Upset Alert Watch.

Arizona at Oregon-Though Arizona has struggled lately losing their past 2 contests, they also have an opportunity like Bama to spoil a conference opponent’s perfect season.  I do not see the upset happening here, but Arizona may come out and shock the country with some very inspired football.

Boise State at Nevada-Boise faces their last test of the season.  Nevada has an opportunity to not only ruin Boise’s National Championship hopes, but also their outright WAC Championship hopes.  This could be a tragic day for Boise Football if Nevada could pull of the unthinkable.  But sadly for Nevada, I do not think they have the horses to pull this monumental upset off.

Saturday’s Major Matchups:

LSU at Arkansas-  Both of these teams are still looking to make it into BCS Bowls.  It will be stellar matchup of great offense versus great defense.  Does offense or defense reign supreme in this one?

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State- The winner of this Big 12 regular season finale looks to have a great  chance to head to the Big 12 Title Game.  Who will win the Battle of Oklahoma this year?

1.  The Turkey Bowl that is Thanksgiving Thursday.  People across the country will get to sit on the couch, eat lots of food, and watch the Lions take another Thanksgiving Day beating.  I will state that the other matchups though should be a bit more exciting.  As two playoff bound teams (Saints and Jets) take on two very talented, but underachieving opponents (Cowboys and Bengals). 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy this amazing week of sports.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


“Weekly Nickel”

Thus far this season, Cowboy's Owner, Jerry Jones (pictured above), has not done much smiling or clapping. Is a fire sale on the way out of the Big D?

The “Weekly Nickel” is back and ready to provide you with the top 5 happenings in sports for the upcoming week.  What a week last week was. And what a week this promises to be.

5.  A fire sale in Dallas?  Keep a keen eye on “America’s Team” after a humiliating 45 to 7 loss at the hands of Green Bay in the Sunday Night game.  The heavy favorites in the NFC East now sit at 1 and 7.  The actions of Jerry Jones should provide for much entertainment.  Also keep an eye on Minnesota to see what happens to Brad Childress.  These should both be fun storylines to follow.

4.  The World Series is over.  And you know what that means.  Free Agency has begun! Some of the big names out there are Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre, and Jayson Werth.  Also there is a guy they call “The Captain,” Derek Jeter, that is on the open market.  Will Jeter remain in Pinstripes?  All eyes are always on the Yankees during free agency and rightfully so.  Make your move.

3.  The NBA treks on highlighted by 3 major matchups this week.  Tonight, the two leaders in the Southeast Division square off in Orlando for divisional supremacy.  Can the Hawks remain atop the Southeast over the Magic?  Then fast forward to Thursday.  The two favorites in the East, the Celtics and Heat square off for Round 2 in Miami.  Can the Heat redeem themselves after an embarrassing loss in the opener?  Then finally on Friday, arguably the two most exciting young teams in the League do battle in Oklahoma City.  The Trailblazers take on the Thunder in a matchup that nobody will want to miss.  I love this game.

2.  Gridiron play continues at the Collegiate Level. Though there are not too many marquee matchups between ranked foes in the Week 11 College Football stratosphere, this is the time of year where there are upsets galore.  So pay close attention and expect ranked teams to go down. 

1. The NFL is entering Week 10.  There are two big time matchups in my eyes.  The week starts with a bang with the first Thursday night game of the year in Atlanta.  AFC North leading Baltimore heads down to Georgia to take on the NFC South leading Falcons.  These are arguably the two best teams in their respective conferences.  Super Bowl preview?  It’s a possibility.  The other major matchup occurs in the Monday Night Game.  In an NFC East rumble, the Eagles fly to the Nation’s Capital to take on their old savior Donovan Mcnabb.  Can Vick provide more fireworks?

So there you have it.  What a week we have in store.  Great football, great basketball, and of course the business of baseball unfolding before our very eyes.  It does not get any better.

Let me hear your thoughts.  What is your version of the “Weekly Nickel” or do you agree with mine?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


“From a King to a Prince”

The Miami Heat, with the additions of Lebron James and Chris Bosh are an early favorite to bring home the 2011 NBA Championship.

There are 7 seconds left in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.  The Heat have the ball at half court.  The game is tied with an NBA Championship hanging in the balance.  Who takes the final shot?…

Lebron has chosen the road less traveled.  He has chosen this fate.  From being the unquestioned “King,” to now being a “Prince” in Dwyane Wade’s South Beach Kingdom.  As Dwyane Wade has said many times before, “This is my house!”  Well welcome Lebron to the residence of Mr. Wade.  I am still utterly shocked at the choice Lebron made on “The Decision” last evening and admit I thought he was going to the Knicks.  But also do realize, that no matter where he went, there would be critics and doubters.  So I am very happy that he finally made his storied “Decision.”

This whole story in a way reminds me of both of the Alex Rodriguez offeseason sagas which started with the free agency sweepstakes at the end of the 2000 season.  A Rod was beloved in Seattle and one of the most up and coming players in the League.  Then he signed the most lucrative contract the League had ever seen, and all the sudden was no longer beloved.  He was still liked by many, but he was no longer beloved.  This was different from Lebron’s free agency frenzy though, in that he went for the money.  Lebron left to “win.”  After a few years in Texas, A Rod decided that he wanted to “win” as well.  Just before the 2004 season, Rodriguez decided that winning was more important than being the “guy” in Texas, so he went to Derek Jeter’s Yankee Kingdom in a big time blockbuster trade.

Does Rodriguez regret this decision?  Nobody knows except the star himself.  But he went from being the unquestioned best player in the game and “King” of his former team, to a “Prince,” on Derek Jeter’s Yankees.  He now is not even considered one of the top 5 players in baseball and is not even well liked by the city he plays in.  Not to mention he had to reduce his role from the shortstop and leader of the infielder to a 3rd baseman.  Not too many superstars have to move to 3rd before their skills even begin to wane (A Rod did).  But the guy did win a World Championship though.  So you decide for yourself if he is happy.

Lebron has chosen a similar fate to Mr. Rodriguez.  Now lets hope that he never used steroids or that there is no big time media war forthcoming between him and Dwayne (like Rodriguez and Derek had).  But I will tell you this.  The Heat are Dwyane Wade’s team.  He has been there for 7 years and brought them a championship.  He is the unquestioned leader and “King” of Miami.  Lebron will now be working for Dwyane.  Since this is not baseball, he will not have to make the move from shortstop to 3rd, but in a way he will make the move from unquestioned leader and the franchise, to another star on the team.  Which is still a big time role, but a reduction from what he has become accustomed to.  Also Lebron for the first time in his career will have to deal with fans booing him all over the country.  This whole free agency bonanza has made a lot of people dislike Lebron.  Though I will not fully blame Lebron, in that it was the media’s fault too, he now has “haters.”  And you better believe that Cleveland will be at the top of his “hater” list.

Now I give Lebron props for wanting to “win.”  It was not about the money.  This is good in that it has always been a hit on the former “King” that he just cared about his global status and becoming a global icon.  That he lacked the killer instinct and desire to win like a Kobe Bryant.  Though this whole free agency insanity has definitely increased his recognizability whether it was for better or worse.  But now him (LBJ), Wade, and Bosh set out to bring Miami another championship.  And many are already saying that the Heat will be the NBA 2011 Champions.  And I say not so fast partner.

They have 3 stars.  Then they will probably only be able to afford 9 minimum salary players.  Talk about it being the right year to be a 2nd round selection for the Miami Heat.  Guys like Da’Sean Butler, Dexter Pittman, and Jarvis Varnardo.  Your chances of making the squad just went up immensely.  And you get to play alongside 3 of the League’s biggest stars.  Not a bad deal.  Now the Celtics proved that a trifecta of stars can bring home a title right away as they did in 08.  But that team had guys like Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins step up in big ways.  And role players like James Posey bring the intangibles needed for a championship.  Does this Miami team have guys ready to do that?  It remains to be seen.  So I am not crowning the Heat champions for the 2011 season yet, though I do think they will be a very tough team to beat.

And I will leave you with this.  No matter where Lebron would have landed, there would have been people criticizing his decision.  Had he stayed in Cleveland, people would have said, “He will never win a title there and is staying on blind loyalty.”  Had he have went to Chicago, people would have said, “Enjoy Jordan’s shadow for the rest of your career.”  Had he have gone to New York, people would have said, “You are now entering a situation that will not be fixed for at least another few years.”  By going to Miami, people are saying, “You can win a title now.  But it will not be your title, it will be Dwyane Wade’s.”

So this was no easy decision.  But I do know this.  If he wins a title, he had to go to Dwyane Wade’s house to get it.  I did not ever see Jordan have to go to another superstar’s city to team up and win a title.

Lebron has officially gone from the “King” of Cleveland, to a “Prince” in Miami.

Best of luck to the former “King.”

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.


“Lebron a Knick”

Though Lebron is switching to number 6 next year, he could be sporting a Knick's jersey and calling Madison Square Garden his home.

I know that I have complained about entirely too much media attention being given to the ridiculous spectacle that is “The Decision.”  I have accepted that the “King” is bigger than the game itself.  It is hands down the hottest story going on in sports.  So I am going to give my final thoughts before the big television special tonight at 9:00.

Through all of this insanity, I think Lebron is going to end up where people 2 years ago started speculating he may end up.  Yes sir, I think he is heading to the Big Apple.  People will be going to Madison Square Garden to see the New York Knicks featuring the Lebron James Show.  Now I could obviously be wrong, but who hasn’t been during this insane journey.  All of the experts that we know and love have changed their opinions at least a handful of times that we know of.  Nobody has stuck with the same team in the Lebron sweepstakes whether they claim to have or not.

And if tonight at 9:05 somebody says, “I knew he was going there along.”  They will be lying through their teeth.  Nobody except Lebron has known all along (and he may not have for that matter).

At 9:00, if “The Decision” goes as I expect it to, we may be witnessing the end of Cleveland as we know it.  I am a Ohioan, and my condolences go out to the Northeast part of the state.  Just call Cleveland heartbreak city.  Because if Lebron decides to leave, the city will be in mourning for a long time.  Not only from an athletic standpoint, but their economy will suffer as well, which opens up whole other bag of worms.  There doesn’t look to be too much light at the end of the tunnel.  The Indians are down.  The Browns, though they did defeat the Steelers last year, do not look to be turning into a contender anytime soon.  The Cavs were the city’s chance to get a title.  And unfortunately, in typical Cleveland fashion, their hopes and dreams were squashed the past 2 years.  The wait will continue (if Lebron leaves)..

Many experts are saying that Lebron is headed for Miami.  Boy would this be a mistake on so many different levels in my eyes (I will not go into this now though).  They are saying that  it is a done deal.  Just like Cleveland was a “done deal” a week ago.  Just like Chicago was a “done deal” a few days ago.  This whole frenzy has reminded me of  the television show “Gossip Girl.”  And though I have never had the pleasure of seeing this television show, what has gone on this July must be something similar.  It has been a he said, she said fiasco.  I have felt like a young school girl during this entire process, constantly in the unknown.

Well I am saying he goes to New York.  Lebron will be able to wear that Yankee hat he loves with pride as he roams the streets of the greatest city in the world.  The city that never sleeps.

Though tonight, it looks like Cleveland probably will not sleep sadly.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.


“When a Man Becomes Bigger than the Game Itself”

Lebron James has turned into the Brett Favre of the NBA and is now bigger than the game itself.

The NBA Free Agency frenzy this past week has shown me many things.  It has shown me what chaos is like.  It has shown me the power of coattail effects (power of mouth).  It has shown me the power of money.  It has shown me that NBA analysts can act like John Kerry and constantly flip-flop their opinions by the hour.  But the main thing it has shown me.. 

One man has become bigger than the game itself.  The man who proclaimed himself “King James” from a young age is the NBA.  The NBA should now be answering to the “King.”  Lebron has single-handedly turned this offseason into the Lebron show.  And sure there has been other players involved in this, but it all has been about James from day 1.  All the buildup of what the other players would do was all secondary to what the King would do.  And wouldn’t you know it, Lebron will be the last big time player to decide his fate tomorrow evening.  Do not forget to tune in to the hour special tomorrow night of Lebron’s big “announcement.”

Give me a break..

Now I will be the first to tell you that Lebron is probably the best player in the world at this time.  He is an exceptional athlete who has really redefined the game with his amazing size, grace, and skill.  But I think people are forgetting one major thing.  The kid, and that is what he is a kid (25 now), has not even won a title.  He has 0 rings and the world has gotten on its knees to worship this guy.  I mean if Michael Jordan was a free agent 15 years ago (and mind you he had rings),   would there have been an hour-long special on ESPN for his “announcement?”

I love the NBA.  And I will admit that I have enjoyed playing with the scenarios of what would happen during this highly anticipated free agency period as much as anybody.  But enough is enough.  There has been a super buildup for really a lack of movement.  Joe Johnson stayed put.  Dirk Nowitzki stayed put.  Paul Pierce stayed put.  Dwyane Wade stayed put.  Lebron may even stay put.

All the hype for what?  Sure it has been exciting, but not all that much has happened.  Other than Amare going to the Knicks, Bosh going to the Heat, and possibly Lebron heading to NYC, not much else out of the ordinary has occurred.  Now I do understand the significance this summer has played in molding the League for the next decade.  Even guys staying put is key to the future of the League and who will be its main contenders, but really not all that much has happened.

So Lebron James will really put a close to the main part of this free agency frenzy tomorrow night.  And I for one will be happy to see it end and be able to move on.  It will most likely be Cleveland or New York as the self-proclaimed “King’s” destination.  And that brings me to another point that has been bothering me for some time now.  Did Michael Jordan ever have to refer to himself as Air Jordan?  Well Lebron James has to refer to himself as “King James.”  Is this symbolic?

I would love to see Lebron end up on the Knicks in that I am a Knick’s fan.  But Lebron has turned into the Brett Favre of the NBA. 

A man who is bigger than the League and bigger than the game itself.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.



It is July, and the majority of the sporting world has been focused on the World Cup, the NBA Free Agency Frenzy, and Wimbledon.  Well if you were wondering, the MLB is still going on.  And the All Star Break is … Continue reading

“The Dawning of a New Day”

We are all witnesses to the Free Agency period of the summer, 2010.

 It is less than 24 hours away.  The scope of the NBA will be completely altered and fans will “witness” a new day for the League.  For the past decade, the NBA has been dominated by the Western Conference.  For the decade before that, the Eastern Conference reigned supreme (Michael Jordan era).  Now it is up for grabs.  As the world braces itself for the Free Agency period of a lifetime, we have 24 hours left to reflect on the NBA that was.  Because it will be no more.. 

I know most of you are probably sick and tired of hearing about the NBA Free Agency period of 2010.  I will admit it is turning into a Brett Favre type saga.  The only difference is this story actually has a valid excuse for being talked about every day for over 2 months.  This is not about one player’s selfish cry for attention.  This is a story that involves the entire League.  It is a story that is honestly bigger than the game. 

Now I will admit that I have no idea what is going to happen during this Free Agency period.  I can speculate like all of the other experts and analysts.  And I have my opinions and theories on who will go where and why.  But let’s be honest, nobody is sure about what will transpire over the next few weeks.  People can hypothesize, but there are no sure-fire take the bank type facts.  The only way to actually get a better idea would be to sit at the player’s roundtable, which sounds similar to a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen type event.  And wouldn’t you know it, 2 more marquee names added themselves to the Free Agency pool last evening (Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki). 

So heading into the final 24 hours before the insanity begins, lets take a look at what players are on the market.  You have both your Superstars and your All Stars in this class (and of course other solid players that are getting no mention this offseason).  I will also put in parenthesis next to each player where I think they will land (no analysis will be provided though). 


-Lebron James (Chicago), Dwayne Wade (Miami), Chris Bosh (Chicago), Dirk Nowitzki (newly added name) (Dallas) 

All Stars: 

Paul Pierce (newly added name) (LA Clippers), Joe Johnson (New York), Amare Stoudemire (New York), Carlos Boozer (Miami) 

This is just a small crop of the marquee names available.  There is much more out there, but these are the guys who have been getting the majority of the press. 

In a way, all of this buildup, preparation, and hype, could be compared to a Presidential election.  Teams have been cutting salary in any way possible over the past 2 years in preparation for this July.  This is sort of like fundraising for a campaign.  It has all been about positioning.  In addition, teams have been wooing players in any way possible that falls within the rules for well over 2 years.  The same way Presidential candidates try to woo people to vote for them by touring the country making speeches.  Lastly, the entire NBA is involved in this.  This is similar to how the entire country is involved in a Presidential election.  The only difference between this and a Presidential election really other than voting is that this will have an effect on the entire League for well over 4 years.  The Presidential election only results in a 4 year contract while most of these contracts will be for more than 4 year periods (and their impacts on the League will extend for well over a decade). 

So there you have it.  I would love to give you further analysis and reasoning on my predictions on where everybody is going to land and what is going to happen during the course of this bonanza.  But my predictions, similar to the experts like Bill Simmons, Tim Legler, Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon, etc are all void in that nobody really knows what is going to happen (as I stated before). 

This is truly an enigma and is the only reason why I and most people can tolerate all the attention it has been getting each and every day for the better part of 3 months. 

Get ready for the dawning of a new day in the NBA. 

Also, if you would like to see a conversation that I had with a fellow sports enthusiast/blogger (Bryan Setz) a couple of a days ago, who has a blog called 3 Cats 1 Nut, go to http://www.3cats1nut.com/  and check out the gist of the conversation. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.