One Then Some

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By Stefan Anderson

Dallas owner Mark Cuban is far from shy and a little past outspoken on most of his comments, but his comment on Sunday led me to an epiphany. Cuban had some statements on college freshman who were standouts in high school, suggesting that they should just play in the NBA’s development league instead taking their talents to the NCAA and big universities.

Cuban went on to stay “The NCAA rules are so hypocritical, there’s absolutely no reason for a kid to go [to college], because he’s not going to class [and] he’s actually not even able to take advantage of all the fun because the first semester he starts playing basketball. So if the goal is just to graduate to the NBA or be an NBA player, go to the D-League.” The Mavericks owner ideas are great because with the idea of players required age going up to 21 instead of 19, makes the D-League a better opportunity for great talents to pursue their professional career earlier.

I personally enjoy the college game and love the opportunity watch NCAA Tournament each year, but I do believe some players are just in college playing a year of basketball where they do not learn and are not mature enough to play in the NBA. For the players that believe their talent is above average and want to get experience while earning the chance to play in the NBA, the development league is the right decision.

And if the idea comes into fruition, each team should have their own D-League team and create a farm system for the NBA similar to Major League Baseball.  The NBA has made its efforts the past years expanding the developmental league to now 17 teams, but if all 30 teams would become parent teams and have their own farm system, it would be hard to eliminate talent that the NCAA withholds currently with the one and done and system and gives the opportunity for the league to grow and players to become more mature.

The NBA’s expanded farm system of the D-League would not only benefit players in their maturity in basketball, it will also benefit the teams with revenue and globalization. With each team designating a place to make a D-League team, that would provide more entertainment for those local cities. For instance, if you live Elmira, NY and you are a passionate basketball fans and would like to give your family the opportunity see a live basketball, a D-League team in your area can save you the costs of going to a Knicks or Nets game, but gaining the same kind of opportunity. Not only will it the beneficial for the fans, teams can gain extra revenue and expand create NBA League’s internationally as basketball has become a worldwide sport.

The idea might sound far fetched to some and seem to be cheapening the brand of basketball, but so does talent that doesn’t equal in today’s one and dones. The NBA created the D-League for these purposes and the money should be put the right as the sport has become a billion dollar industry. Something to consider and I believe would be a great idea for strengthening the game of basketball for the player as well as the fans.

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.