The NBA Mount Rushmore

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By Stefan Anderson

After the sound bite from an interview that was aired last night on NBA TV featuring  the league’s brightest star, LeBron James, where made a comment on NBA’s Mount Rushmore. After explaining the blueprint for his Mount Rushmore that included Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson, “The Chosen One” , during his  the interview  went on to say “I’m going to be one of the top four to ever play this game,”  and then went on to add  “For sure. And if they don’t want me to have one of those top four spots, they better find another spot. We’ve got to bump somebody. Somebody got to get bumped. 

James’s remarks who on who thinks belong on the NBA’s Mt. Rushmore stirred a lot of controversy and rebuttals from other players after his statement, including his arch nemesis.  

Kevin Durant replied and give his description of his Mt. Rushmore by saying, “If I had a four, it would be Michael, Larry, Magic and Kareem,” Durant said. “[Abdul-Jabbar is] the all-time leader in points. How many championships does he got? Multiple championships. MVPs. He’s got it all. As far as accolades and championships, he’s got it all.”

Kobe Bryant also had a opinion in the conversation by adding “Magic, Bird, Michael, and Russell. But it’s impossible to do four, come on, man.” – Kobe Bryant

If I were to make my own Mt. Rushmore, I would agree with all the league’s top stars by including the Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan. That trio of players would be included in my architecture because of their impact of the game and how they all mastered the swingman position ranging from the PG to SF even Center in Magic’s case. But I would disagree with James because you would have to include the Center and what they have contributed to the game. Even that task would become difficult to choose because of the greats that have come along at that position. But I would bring the list down 3 Centers: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and an honorable mention to the “Big Diesel “Shaquille O’Neal.

I would choose Wilt Chamberlain over Abdul-Jabbar and Russell for many reasons. I am well aware of Abdul- Jabbar career leading stats in Points, 6 MVP’s and Titles, he has never averaged 50 points in a season and only has only has averaged over 30 points for 4 seasons in comparison to Chamberlain who did an impressive 9 times.  Not to discredit Abdul-Jabbar for his great play, he played for 20 seasons and had great guards like Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson similar to Shaq who played with Kobe, Penny, D-Wade and LeBron James. Bill Russell, known for his defense, never averaged more 16 points per game in any of his season. If Blocks and Rebounds per game were accounted for during those times it would be a great argument for Russell but would an even bigger exclamation mark for Chamberlain’s stats as well. Therefore my Mt. Rushmore would be concluded with Jordan, Bird, Magic and Wilt because of his dominance of the game and how he transformed it as a big man.

If you were to make your own Mt. Rushmore who you include or exclude?? Leave your comments and remarks below. 

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The Greatest Yankee Ever?

Captain Clutch calls it quits after this season

By Stefan Anderson

After announcing his retirement after this upcoming season in a statement given from his Facebook page, Derek Jeter, will end his legendary career after 20th year in service a Yankee. The decision coming on the final year of his contract, turning the age of 40 and after experience a brutal year plagued with injury, the timing seems right. This will be a tragic and emotional year for the New York Yankees, following Mariano Rivera’s retirement, failing to reach the playoffs and then watching the rival Red Sox win the World Series, the Bronx Bombers look to send their captain off with a World Series as well.

Mr. November has been class act since entering the league in 1996. Winning Rookie of Year that year and capping it off with a world series win during his rookie season. Although many believe that Jeter was just a great piece of the Yankees dynasty, that help bring and 4 championships during the 90’s under the management of Joe Torre. How many other players off of those championship teams stick out more than Derek Jeter? Yes, he was on some of the most talented teams we have ever seen in baseball history but you cannot discredit what the captain has done for baseball and the Yankees.

Derek Jeter has been voted into the All-Star game an immaculate 13 times including winning MVP during the 2000 game. Jeter has earned 5 gold gloves, 5 silver sluggers, 3,316 hits and can finish his career in the top 5 all time with 200 hits. Jeter has been the model leader for the New York Yankees during the regular season and the postseason. A career .312 hitter, Jeter has remained a great hitter during the postseason averaging .308 including his .327 average during the World Series is one the reasons he was given the moniker “Captain Clutch”. Jeter defense has been a clinic on how to play to play shortstop ,turning 1,360 double plays while having a .976 fielding percentage throughout his career.

Jeter has remained a model player on and off the field earning endorsements from Jordan Brand, Ford, Gatorade and Gillette just to name a few. For young aspiring athletes, Jeter was who you tried to play like and your favorite actress or singers wanted to date. Jeter embodied the true meaning of a franchise player and superstar, remaining with the Yankees through his 19 year career and represents the Yankees as much as the pinstripes do.

Whether this a great example of PR and marketing or whether it’s the way the Yankees send their stars out of the game. This season should a great one to watch as we get to view one of the greatest players of our generation call it quits.

Michael Sam: First Openly Gay NFL Prospect

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By Maceo Lester 

On April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson became the first person of color to participate in a major league sports event. Robinson was clearly breaking a huge barrier as America was still home to segregated schools and public areas. Entering “America’s Game” as an African-American was truly going against the grain.

America in 2014 is a much different place; the “melting-pot” consists of several different races of people who are more socially accepted, including homosexuals.

But there’s something missing; that barrier-breaker who can catapult homosexuals to being accepted on a higher platform. Last week that person arrived. On February 9th, former Missouri Tigers defensive end, Michael Sam, told ESPN and The New York Times that he is gay. Sam’s announcement launched mixed responses via social media. Sam gained many supporters around the sports world, on the contrary, others aren’t so sure of how to react to a homosexual teammate or opponent.  Locker room situations can be made uncomfortable, “how am I supposed to respond,” Jonathan Vilma of the New Orleans Saints expressed his concerns of homosexuals in football prior to Sam’s announcement.

As Robinson broke the color barrier in MLB years ago, he was forced to endure hatred and racial slurs from fans, opponents, and even his own teammates. Sam should expect much of the same. The NFL is the epitome of a “macho-man” sport, and many may believe that homosexuals don’t belong. But in the year 2014, society is slowly but surely changing. Same-sex marriages are becoming legal in more states and it is clearly evident that some American citizens are more lenient towards people’s sexual preference. 

Don’t Worry About It Too Much

By Stefan Anderson

When Marcus Smart decided stay in college for his sophomore year, unlike other college freshman standouts, he was looked at as mature by many. Choosing the option of staying in college to work on his game, working on his skills and to stay with college teammates Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash. The Preseason All-American was seen as a role model for college players to continue their college career instead of foregoing their sophomore season to pursue a NBA career. But after last night’s incident during Saturday night game versus Texas Tech, but as of recent Smart’s judgment and actions has been questioned. But I believe that this all could have been avoided if the little things were not paid attention to.

In the video shown above, following a hard foul given by Smart to stop a layup, Smart ended up in the crowd from momentum of his motions. While getting back up a known fan of the Raiders’ Jeff Orr, said something really stirred Smart up forcing him to shove Orr after the comments. This is not the first incident where Smart has shown his temper during his team’s current 4 game losing streak. But as I stated previous, do not worry about the little things. Was Smart reaction’s outlandish certainly, but if the All American paid attention what was really happening he could of realized the damage he causes his teammates.

Fans have always been known to rowdy and raunchy to opposing teams from the beginning of time. It is something that you come to expect with college basketball game. With this is incident is certainly different from previous situations. Jeff Orr appears to an older man than most energetic, obnoxious and sometimes intoxicated college fans. So when you see him make his comments to Smart after the foul, it really had to be something offense, and has been speculated that he made a racial slur , which is totally out of the line. Whether it right or but is completely wrong if this speculations are true, Orr is entitled to his opinion as a fan and can say whatever he wants , which he did, to take the opponents players out of the game.

Smart’s heated decision ultimately puts his team in jeopardy for the next 3 games as he serves his suspension for his actions. For the next 3 games Oklahoma State faces, #15 Texas, (2nd in Big 12), #21 Oklahoma (3rd in Big 12) and Baylor. With the upcoming conference games it could pay a toll on Cowboys without their star player Marcus Smart as well as playing in the rigorous Big 12 conference. But all is not lost for the young star as he remains amongst the top prospects for this year’s draft and could get his best revenge as he returns from his suspension against Texas Tech on February 22nd.
I am not going stand for Marcus Smart’s actions and what he did, but I can understand his frustration and passion for the game of basketball but if his anger could have been channeled to a different outlet, he could be still playing with his team and competing for the Big 12 regular season title. But instead has to sit back and face the media attention along with watching teammates fight without him and should be a humbling situation for Smart that will propel his game when he returns. When it’s all said and done, Smart could have made a smart decision by just not worrying about the little things (fans, losses, etc.) and focus on what the positives are for this season.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

By Stefan Anderson

When Marshawn Lynch would not speak during this year’s media day, it made him like unprofessional and immature to the masses . But Lynch was certain in actions and had no second guessing as the Seahawks lived up to “Beast Mode” words in Super Bowl 48. The Seahawks dismantled the Broncos 43-8 in Sunday’s matchup.

Seattle’s as a whole came out from the start of the game and proved that they deserved to win the big game. Opening the game with a safety caused on a botched snap to repeatedly capitalizing on Denver errors. The Seahawks did what they did all season causing steady havoc on opposing teams offenses. After forcing nearly 40 turnovers this season, and with a 20 plus turnover to giveaway ratio this season, The Legion of Boom continued to their efforts. Initiating the record breaking Denver offense to have 4 turnovers in Sunday’s game. Forcing two fumbles and 2 Peyton Manning interceptions, including one taken the other way by Super Bowl MVP, Malcolm Smith. The Seahawks also reiterated the cliche that “Defense Wins Championships”.

On the offensive side of the ball, Russell Wilson led his offensive team on the offensive of the ball where he won the showdown that no one believed he could win against Peyton Manning. Wilson ended the game 18 for 25, 206 yards and passer rating of 123 for the big game. Russell Wilson did a great job of spreading the wealth by passes completed to 8 different targets. With the win, Wilson joins Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner as quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl in their second year in the NFL. The victory of the Broncos also propelled his coach Pete Carroll too. Carroll joined an exclusive club of coaches, being 1 of 3 coaches to ever win a Super Bowl and National Championship.

No one had Denver coming out looking like the young, inexperienced club that they had the Seahawks quoted as. Denver never at one point throughout the game showed any heart or tenacity toward playing in a championship game. This is another damper in Peyton Manning legendary career that will cemented as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and joining his rival Tom Brady, as one the greatest quarterbacks that made it to the big game lose twice and completing a fantastic season in horrible fashion. As good as the Broncos looked as the better team on paper with their record breaking season, the Seahawks showed and proved throughout the season they were the best team with their 6-2 record on the road and 7-1 record at home. Believing in Marshawn Lynch quote “I’m bout that action boss”.

Most Valuable Snubs

By Stefan Anderson 

On Thursday, The NBA selected the reserves that will join the starters at this year’s NBA All Star Game.  With that you have some great players that are on the outside looking in. Although the coaches did not award these players with the opportunity to play in the All Star Game this year, I would like to award those players with their own award MVS. Most Valuable Snub.

Joining the starters for the East will be: Joe Johnson, John Wall, Chris Bosh, Joakim Noah, Paul Millsap , DeMar DeRozan and Roy Hibbert.

For The West: Tony Parker, Rockets James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.

And The Awards for Most Valuable Snubs go to:

For The West

Ty Lawson: After adapting a system and new offense under Coach Brian Shaw, Ty Lawson continues to flourish and makes his argument for one of the best Point Guards in the NBA. Averaging 17.9 ppg and 8.9 assists (3rd in the NBA), Lawson continues to defy odds as an undersized PG but a great overlooked playmaker. Playing in the guard heavy Western Conference and in Denver might have you overshadowed but I believe Lawson deserves a chance.

Demarcus Cousins: Despite his outlandish statements and attitude, Cousins is one the premier big men in the NBA. Ranking in the Top 10 in PPG (22.6), RPG (11.6), Double Doubles (28), and not to mention 6th in Player Efficiency Rating, D. Cousins deserves to play in the All Star Game this year. Due to superstar big men in the league (Dwight Howard, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin), Cousins was also overshadowed.

Anthony Davis: Some would say if they would to create an ultimate basketball player he would look like LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but I were to create a Big Man, he would play like Anthony Davis. With all the skills needed to become a legendary Big Man, Davis continues to embark on a career. After missing 8 games due to injury, Davis still leads the NBA in Blocks Per Game with 3.27 per game. Along with averaging 20 and 10, “The Brow” still continues to consistently produce with 20 Double Doubles and 5 overall in Player Efficiency Rating. Davis should definitely be in this year all-star game as well.

For The Eastern Conference:

Arron Affalo: “I used to be jealous of Arron Afflalo, He was the one to follow, He was the only leader foreseeing brighter tomorrows” – Kendrick Lamar. Averaging 20 ppg while shooting a great 42% from the 3, not only is Affalo one of the worst teams in the NBA but faces the challenge of guarding the opponent’s best player each night. Affalo is one of the leagues most underrated players in the league and should be rewarded for his great play.

Al Jefferson– Jefferson has always remained amongst the best bigs in the league year in and year out. A consistent Double- Double guy every season. Although, he has missed some games due to minor injuries, Big Al, has been continued his efforts this season with his 21 Double Doubles this season, while keeping the Bobcats alive this season. Big Al deserves a spot on this year’s all-star team for keeping the traditional post player alive.

Lance Stephenson– My last candidate for Most Valuable Snub, Lance Stephenson. Although he still with the knuckle head issues from time to time, Stephenson has been producing a high level this season. “Born Ready” is player every team in the league would love having on their roster, his skill set and ability to do everything year has been on showcase. Averaging 14 , 7.5 rpg, and not to mention his league leading 4 triple doubles. Stephenson has proven to be the ultimate role player and sometimes the glue that keeps the Eastern Conference leading Indiana Pacers together. Although he was not chosen for this year’s all-star team he should earn his revenge at the end of the season being named the Most Improved Player of the year.