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Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

Time to trade Ricky

The Minnesota Timberwolves should trade Ricky Rubio. Now.

The Wolves shouldn't wait on trading Ricky Rubio (Photo credit: Getty Images)

In in the interest of blog brevity, I’ll get right to my points. They’re good, so they won’t need much explaining:

  • His value is up — Even though his numbers weren’t overwhelming, he did lead his team to the Euroleague championship recently. And by most accounts, he is getting stronger and improving his game while overseas.
  • The Wolves might get the No. 1 pick — Doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, but that pick almost certainly means the team lands John Wall, the consensus best player in the draft (I should note that I prefer Evan Turner. But that’s another thought for another post). If the Wolves end up with Wall, I do not see him meshing with Rubio. They’re both immensely talented, but they both need the ball in their hands and neither shoots that well. In other words, I don’t see either being an “off ball” player.
  • He’s not going to play in Minnesota anyways — Of course this is simply a prediction, but if it comes trues, all other thoughts on the subject are moot. If Rubio continues to turn down an opportunity to play in Minnesota (as he did very pointedly after last year’s draft), the Timberwolves will obviously have gotten nothing for their pick. Or in other words, Will Avery.

There. I’ve said all I have to say.

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The tale of Brian Cushing — the young linebacker who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug this off-season, not long after being named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year — raises a number of interesting questions. What did he test positive for? Why was he using that substance? And why have other rookies (Julius Peppers and Shawne Merriman come to mind) kept R.O.Y. awards on their shelves after similar incidents?

If Brian Cushing (above) loses his award, should Alex Rodriguez (below) lose his?

But the question I want to focus on here is the potential can of worms opened up in other sports, chief among those being baseball. America’s pastime, of course, has been tainted by performance-enhancing drugs, with the likes of Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens holding awards and gaudy stats amid clouds of suspicion. So, does the Cushing incident set a precedent for taking the awards back? The NCAA issues similar punishment (see “1997 Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball”) during academic scandals, wiping out any record that a season ever existed.

Baseball too has dabbled in rewriting the record books — Roger Maris lived with that nasty asterisk for years. The argument, of course, is to make sure future generations know (or, in the NCAA’s case, don’t know) the indiscretions of a given team or player, whether founded or not.

This approach, however, does more harm than good, especially in today’s media age where EVERY record is stored in a million different forms. Want to take back A-Rod’s MVP trophies? Go ahead, but the video of him being honored (plus the blogs, and Web stories, and audio, and T-shirts…) all still exist. Memories fade, but they don’t disappear. Want to strip Cushing of his award? Go for it, but people will still remember what he won…and how the second guy in line got his trophy.

Instead, let these guys keep their awards. But don’t let them (or the sport-fan public) forget the clouds of suspicion. Future generations SHOULD know that A-Rod hit 800 HRs and won multiple MVP awards. But they should also know that he admitted to using PEDs at least once and likely used them more often than that. It’s part of the record, of the story of sports. Yes, this generation of athletes is far from spotless. But Ty Cobb was a racist, Jordan a gambler and Mantle a womanizer. Just goes to show that every generation has its fair share of black spots. Instead of trying to cover them up by rewriting the books, let the record speak for itself — now and forever.

Photo credits: Cushing (TexAlley.com); Rodriguez (Reuters)

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Oh brother…

I’ll be brief. The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired Darko Milicic. Somewhere, Luc Longley chuckled to himself. And Paul Grant rolled his eyes. And Ndubi Ebi…

Need I go on? How about I just post this ESPN column from 2003…boy was Darko good. Before he played a game, of course.

In the words of Twitter, #fail. #EpicFail

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Dunk you very much

Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is JAM. J to the A-M.

In honor of tonight’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest (8 P.M. EST, on TNT), here are some of the best slams in the contest’s history. Watch. Enjoy. Vote on the best.

Isaiah Rider’s “East Bay Funk Dunk”

Vince Carter “Sends ’em home”

‘Nique vs. Jordan, ’88

J-Rich Baseline

Spud Webb Gets Up

Nate Robinson “Kryptonite”

Dwight Howard “Superman”

Gerald Green’s “Birthday Cake”

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