By Greg Hudson
By Greg Hudson
By Stefan Anderson
Two #1 seeds nearly eliminated, almost every team playing in a overtime matchup we have been on journey as fans of the game. Shortly after witnessing some of the best first round basketball in the past few years, NBA fans have not been focusing on the great play of recent. With the recent drama that has unfolded between Donald Sterling and the Los Angeles Clippers organizations has sidetracked the playoffs this year.
The actions have led to all parties involved to make extreme, critical decisions.
V. Stiviano, in her best Kerry Washington impression has created the entire controversy; from the way it panned out it looked like it was bound to happen. Being Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s mistress for throughout the past few months, took a photo with “The King of LA” and former Laker Magic Johnson that made Sterling irate. Following her infamous Instagram photo, she went on tape a private conversation between herself and Sterling that hit the World Wide Web and caused an uproar. After hearing Sterling’s prejudice comments on African Americans and how he feels about the race led to what would be a exciting episode of Scandal , but terrible for the NBA.
The Los Angeles Clippers, in their best season in franchise history were up 2-1 in series versus the Golden State Warriors, were looking edge up one game and continue their run to the promise land of a NBA championship. But after the news struck, the team appeared to be in disarray. After players planning to boycott and showing their own symbolism by turning their warm-ups inside to not have any affiliation with the franchise. The news even led on the most generous and humble people in the NBA, Doc Rivers in question about his job and working under such conditions. Following the distraction the Clips watched Stephen Curry and the Warriors hand them a terrible 118-97 loss on Sunday.
Adam Silver, three months into his new tenure as NBA commissioner, was faced with his first difficult task on the job. After thoroughly investigating the issues at hand, Silver came down with the unexpected and unprecedented judgment. Silver handed down a lifetime ban of Sterling from the NBA and any of its allying parties. Along with the lifetime ban Sterling was given a maximum fine under of NBA bylaws of $2.5 million dollars and depending of Board of Directors of ¾ will force the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Whether his privacy was violated or not, what Donald Sterling said cannot be justified in any matter. Sterling’s past actions and treatment towards minorities have been brushed under the rug for so long that his mess built up and came back to bite him this time. Despite all the amendments and the constitutions that were created for us, we continue to break one of the most important one, All Men Created Equal. No matter how much money or power you perceive to have it cannot outlaws human rights. I believe that this is just a slap in a fight that will continue to be a slug fest in today’s society, and will not be stopped until us as humans begin to change that. Until we figure out that no matter the skin color, race, orientation, social status or monetary status, we all have to respect for the world and humanity.
The ban gives hope to the future and shows the NBA will be under great leadership under new commissioner Adam Silver, with conscious efforts to protect the integrity of the game. This also can bring a great deal of emotion for the Clippers as they go on their pursuit for the NBA title. As they say “controversy builds character”. Now that we can put this drama behind and continue to enjoy my favorite game and its most exciting moments as the NBA playoffs continue.
By Maceo Lester
If you haven’t heard the disgusting racist comments made by Los Angles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, you must be living under a rock. People of all ages and races have been stirred up by Sterling’s controversial remarks. A highly competitive and intense NBA post-season has been abruptly disrupted by offensive comments such as “Don’t bring black people to my games….don’t have black people on your Instagram.” Those statements were made during a recorded conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend, V. Stiviano [Maria Vanessa Perez.] Stiviano made a simple Instagram post as many of us frequently do in our spare time. Stiviano’s post just happened to be picture of her and NBA hall-of-famer Magic Johnson, someone who Stiviano says she “admires.” Sterling? Not so much, he doesn’t seem to favor Magic or any black people for that matter.
“Why are taking pictures with minorities?,” Sterling ask. “There’s a culture, people feel certain things. Hispanics feel certain things towards Blacks, Blacks feel certain things towards other groups. It’s been that way historically, and it will always be that way.” With this type of mentality, it is easy to assume that Sterling has been raised or has grown to be segregated from other races. The irony of it all, he owns an NBA team. The NBA consists of the most African-American athletes out of all the four major sports. Los Angeles, California is highly populated with Blacks. Doc Rivers, the Clippers head coach oh yeah, he’s black too. Chris Paul, their starting point guard and president of the NBA Players Union, you guess it, he happens to be Black too. So let’s put this all in perspective, this man is willing to take part and have ownership in a nearly all-black league, allow black coaches on the staff, and black players on the team. Not to mention, ALL of the blacks who work for or within the franchise. Let’s not forget about the black fans, the backbone of your franchise Mr. Sterling, they might not all have floor seats but they’re ensuring sold out arenas.
Enough with Sterling’s ill-advised statements, it’s evident that he has racist beliefs and prejudices. He is afraid that his image or reputation will be tarnished if he is associated with, interacting with, or even taking pictures with Blacks if it’s not basketball-related or making him money. The focus now turns to NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver. Silver is extremely new to his commissioner position, taking over the duties of his predecessor Donald Stern. Roughly three months into his tenure, Silver is faced with an extremely difficult task. Many players, and former players have let their voices be heard on this topic via social media, and sports media. It’s obvious that the NBA community and others desire harsh punishment for Sterling. Many believe he should be stripped from his team ownership, kicked out of the league. Several sponsors who partnered with the Clippers organization have already pulled the plug on their contracts. With such a controversial topic at hand, the discipline must be aggressive. If not, this will be an ongoing problem with hundreds of protestors taking to the streets. This is bigger than basketball; it’s bigger than the NBA, bigger than the Clippers. In this monumental event, Silver must be tough, he must be strategic, Silver…must be gold.
By Kelsey Miller
The NFL schedule was released last week and the fans are once again, ready for some football. Take a look at my must see games for the 2014 season.
The historic matchup between the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 will be one for the books. The Redskins are finally looking to have an elite offense compared to other teams in the competitive NFC East division. Redskins Quarterback RGIII, running back Alfred Morris, rising tight end Jordan Reed, and newly added receiver Desean Jackson will help the Redskins become more of a threat. The Dallas Cowboys, who parted ways with defensive anchorman DeMarcus Ware, will need more leaders to step up to the plate. Neither Tony Romo nor Dez Bryant is current top seeds in their positions which make a hard example for teammates to follow. These two teams always show up in full force to play each other at the end of the season. The classic rivalry has much more meaning than the ability of the players themselves.
My next pick will be America’s Game of The Week. The Week 1 match-up between the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos will certainly draw viewer attention. Peyton Manning ended the season with 55 touchdown passes and a quarterback rating of 115.1. DeMarcus Ware joins the Broncos this season and will benefit from having Von Miller playing on the same side as him. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has big shoes to fill and veteran receiver Hakeem Nicks has an opportunity to pair up with receiver Reggie Wayne and be offensive weapons.
The Super Bowl rematch will be better than the last time these two teams met. Last year’s game did not go well for the Broncos and the Seahawks defense made Peyton Manning look like a rookie. Besides the monstrous Seahawks defense, Russell Wilson is charging in as the leader of the team and coming to make a huge name for himself in the NFL. He continues to prove the critics wrong by being one of the shortest at his position and remain elite.
In Week 8, the Baltimore Ravens will face the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore needs to come out strong in their first game with a division opponent so far along in the season. They are coming off of a season shy of making the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl the year before. Cincinnati receiver AJ Greene is looking forward to having another great season after finishing last season with 11 TD, 98 catches, and 1400 plus receiving yards.
Last but not least, the New Orleans Saints will face off with the Carolina Panthers in Week 9. Quarterback Cam Newton is entering the season after his first playoff appearance and Luke Kuechly was named the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year. Without Darren Sproles in the backfield for New Orleans, the weight is going to be on Drew Brees shoulders to keep the offense afloat. This will be New Orleans second year back with Sean Payton following the bounty suspension. It’s safe to say, I cannot wait until the NFL show gets on the road.
By Jazmine August
On the Eve of the kickoff to the 2014 NBA Playoffs, the media outlets are buzzing with match-up predictions, potential upsets and possible title contenders. It is that special time of the year again and it sure feels like we are in for a special couple weeks. With the two-time defending champion Miami Heat on a quest for a three-peat, the aging but stacked San Antonio Spurs team seeking revenge after a devastating Game 6 loss and the runaway leader for the 2013-2014 NBA MVP award Kevin Durant in search of his first title the excitement for this year’s tip-off is unparallel.
So let’s take a brief look at our first round match-ups in. The number one seeded Indiana Pacers will face the eighth seeded Atlanta Hawks which has the potential to destroy some brackets. Since March 1, the Indiana Pacers have only won 12 of their last 25 games and in the month of April their All Star center Roy Hibbert has struggled; averaging 6 points 3 rebounds and 1 assist. It has been the total opposite with the Atlanta Hawks who turned it on late in the season to crush the playoffs hopes of the dismal New York Knicks. But I believe even with the Pacers limping into the playoffs mentally they will still come out the first round victorious but not without a good fight put up by the Hawks. Pacers in 6.
The two/seven match-up between the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Bobcats will not end in any surprise. Although Al Jefferson has had an All Star caliber season, the suffocating defense of The Miami Heat paired with the strength and greatness of the reigning league MVP Lebron James will prove to be too much for the young Bobcats team and they will fall at the champion’s feet. Heat in 4.
The young and slightly underrated Toronto Raptors may just shock the veteran Brooklyn Nets in the first round. Experts may be under estimating the squad led by first time All Star Demar DeRozan; ability to get up and down the floor which can tire out the older Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The Raptors will pull off the upset of the East. Raptors in 7.
The mighty Bulls, led by the man with a heart of lion, Joakim Noah will face one of the best backcourts in the East with the Wizards John Wall and Bradley Beal. This match-up may be the most intriguing of the first round in the East. The Bulls at times struggle offensively and on conversely the Wizards excel in this area; this will prove to be a true war between offense and defense. Not to be cheesy and quote one of the best movies of all time, Love & Basketball; “offense sells tickets, defense wins games”. Nonetheless Bulls in 6.
By Stefan Anderson
Now that the 82 games have been played and teams had made the last minutes adjustments it time to bring home what you play every season for, A NBA Championship. Although, the Eastern Conference packs a great value of entertainment, the best games throughout the playoffs are on the Western Conference playoffs. The first could knock off a potential powerhouse or help a good excel for a final push after competing with a team with the same potential.
Here are my first round predictions for the Western Conference.
With so much excitement and buildup, the 2014 playoffs will be a beauty to watch. I can’t wait to tune in and watch “Where Amazing Happens”.
By Stefan Anderson
Even in your wildest dreams, imagine playing the biggest game in your career at the age of 20. Not only competing but beating all the people you grew up looking to and aspired to be like. Well that was short lived reality for the PGA’s newest prodigy, Jordan Spieth.
In his first Masters appearance, Spieth held on to the lead of the biggest tournament in PGA for 7 holes until losing his lead to Bubba Watson , who went on to win his second green jacket in an impressive 3 years. On the brink of becoming the youngest winner of the major since 1931, Speith lost his composure after a few tough shots and couldn’t withhold the train of Bubba Watson.
Despite his loss Jordan Spieth’s emergence in golf is one that should paid attention to.
In only his second year on the tour, Spieth has gained a top ten ranking, currently ranked #6 in the world, and two top 25 finishes in majors. After a great college career at Texas, where he contributed to a National Championship, along with being named All-Big 12 Team, Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Player of the Year, and first-team All-American. The phenom continued his reign after being added to the U.S. Open team in 2012 as an alternate. Following an invitation from captain Fred Couples for the United States squad in the 2013 Presidents Cup, Spieth help contribute to the championship which ultimately led to him being selected as the PGA Rookie of The Year in 2013.
After his shortcoming Sunday during the Masters, Spieth showed that he was more than hype and lived up to the expectations that many had for him. Jordan Spieth career can end up like Tiger Woods, Rory McElroy or Sergio Garcia just to name a few, but we cannot put the jury out as he has a long golf career to write his history. His story is transcending and deserves the national attention that he is receiving along with 972,000 from earnings he received from placing second in the Masters. His career is one to keep an eye on for the upcoming future.