The Knicks might get the #1 Overall Pick and trade it…here’s why that’s an awful idea

Throughout history, there has been a variety of epically bad trades. Trades like Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $25,000 or Manhattan Island for $24 worth of trade goods. However, we could be adding another horrifically bad trade to the list if the Knicks were to follow through on the idea they’ve been flirting with.

According to various sources during the regular season, the Knicks were interested in trading their first-round pick, widely expected to be the #1 Overall pick and the ticket to pick once-in-a-generation talent Zion Williamson to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis. Before even discussing why taking on Davis would be a bad idea, let’s examine why trading Zion Williamson would be poor decision-making, to say the least.

There are many areas that acquiring Zion Williamson would help strengthen exponentially if he played in New York. For one, the team would be better, not only because of his dominating presence, but because he’d attract big-name free agents who want to have the chance to play with him. Also, from a financial perspective (the one owner James Dolan cares about), having Zion Williamson, a college player who had Duke charging $2,000 to watch play, would represent a huge rise in ticket prices and revenue. However, this isn’t the biggest reason why this trade shouldn’t see the light of day.

That “biggest reason” has to do with acquiring Anthony Davis. Following his failed attempt to force a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers, Davis and his agent, Rich Paul, have lost a lot of good faith within the NBA. To add insult to injury, Davis’ demeanor throughout the remainder of the season reminded onlookers of a petulant child who was upset about not getting what he wanted. For a team that’s been through all manner of struggles, having a divisive superstar in the locker room is the last thing they need.

Finally, what’s to suggest that Davis wouldn’t try to pull the same stunt in New York? If anything, the continued negative behavior he showed in New Orleans suggests that he has no intention of going anywhere except for the Lakers. So why waste the opportunity to select a game-changing talent in the Draft on something that’s far from sure? But it’s the Knicks; I’m not even sure they know what they’re doing.

Baseball’s a famous American sport. Why doesn’t anyone watch it’s collegiate counterpart?

Jim Thome, Steve Carlton, Jacob DeGrom, Branch Rickey, J.D. Martinez, Lou Brock. This is a who’s who of baseball past and present, and they all have one thing in common: they were all collegiate athletes. College baseball has produced a large portion of the best Major League Baseball has to offer. So why don’t people watch more of it?

Unlike college football or college basketball, college baseball suffers from fans’ indifference, only seeing elevated television viewership during the end-of-year College World Series, and even then, the viewer numbers come nowhere close to those of college bowl games or March Madness.

Considering that baseball is a sport that’s been played longer than either football or basketball, it would seem likely that people would care more about it because it’s more entrenched in the American psyche. But they don’t. And that’s extremely puzzling and frankly troubling.

Over the last decade or so, Major League Baseball has been faced with the problems of making the game faster and more entertaining to appeal to an audience with a dwindling attention span. And this, of course, has extended to college baseball. But the difficulty college baseball faces is not retaining the viewer’s attention, it’s attracting it in the first place.

To college baseball fans, all of this is puzzling because the sport is quite entertaining. During the season, it’s almost guaranteed that a player from Cal State Fullerton or Tennessee will make at least one appearance on ESPN’s daily Sportscenter Top 10 Plays. So the exciting plays are there and the fundamentally American sport is there. With that in mind, what’s the problem? In one word, it’s promotion.

College baseball isn’t promoted like its football and basketball counterparts are. This is a fault shared by various organizations, including the NCAA, the schools, ESPN and any other networks that broadcast collegiate sports.

But no matter what blame is thrown around, the fact is that it needs to change, or college baseball will become an afterthought, a fate that the quintessential American sport should not have to endure.

The Game’s worth a billion dollars. So why aren’t the players profiting?

Are you upset that college athletes don’t paid? Do you believe that this antiquated rule should be changed? Well, it will change sooner or later.

Compensating college athletes for participating in their sport of choice will bring joy to many college sports fans, but not to the NCAA, collegiate sports’ governing body. The NCAA has been staunchly against the practice, arguing that the simple act of letting these student-athletes get a college education virtually free of charge is payment enough. As of March 2018, 59% of Division I college athletes received some form of financial aid thanks to athletic scholarships. If collegiate sports were simply a form of healthy competition, this line of thinking would probably be fine, but the reality is far from that.

College sports have always been a hotbed of debate. Who’s the best college player? Who will stand out professionally? However, the past five to ten years in college sports has been dominated by a single question: Why aren’t these men and women getting paid? The argument’s raged for a long time, with compelling reasons on both sides. However, the NCAA has addressed this issue in a very stubborn and defiant way.

College sports is one of the most profitable sports competitions in the United States, plain and simple. For example, March Madness, officially known as the NCAA Men’s/Women’s Basketball Championship, produced over $1 billion in revenue in 2018, a number which certainly rose this year with the introduction of the sensational Duke forward, Zion Williamson, who famously sold out Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium with tickets starting at $2,000.

But Williamson didn’t see a dime of that money, while his coach, school and television networks made millions. The injustice of this is something that must change across all college sports.

The question that remains is how to do it. Herein lies the problem: How can schools compensate these student-athletes? Does everyone get paid the same amount or should it be staggered according to various criteria such as ability or class standing? If it’s staggered, how do the schools make those decisions?

These questions are going to be subject to heavy debate over the coming years. One thing that is certain is that these young men and women, these wonderful college athletes, will start getting paid someday soon.

The Zion Difference

Zion Williamson

He’s superhuman. He’s able to do things normal humans can’t. He’s seminal to the success of Duke University’s basketball team and his name is Zion Williamson.

After being away from the team thanks to an ankle injury, Zion returned against Syracuse to show what Duke had been missing. But it was his performance last night against arch-rivals University of North Carolina Tar Heels that may stand as the defining moment of his Duke career. To be clear, Zion has already has several of these “career-defining” moments, but this one is different. That’s because his performance against North Carolina to send Duke to the final of the ACC Tournament was the first meaningful contribution in a rivalry that has come to define college basketball for decades.

Zion posted 31 points and 11 rebounds, one night after his return against Syracuse where he dropped 29 points and 14 rebounds. First impressions are that he’s fully recovered from the sprained ankle he suffered less than 40 seconds into his first matchup against the Tar Heels in February. But there’s more to understand with this performance.

What I mean is that, for the first time in Zion Williamson’s college career, he demonstrated the ability to carry his team to victory (he did score over a third of the team’s points). This obviously bodes well for his NBA career. Everyone already knew that Zion would fit in perfectly in the NBA game. That said, a question that has been at the back of every analyst’s mind swirled around whether he had the leadership gene. That question was resoundingly answered last night.

So what’s next for Zion? Well it obviously is the ACC Tournament final and, more importantly, the NCAA Tournament. As the consensus best player in college basketball and the surefire #1 pick in June’s NBA Draft, Zion Williamson only has to prove that he’s able to lead a team and that he possesses that oh-so-important clutch gene that virtually every NBA star is judged upon.

Simply put, if he has it already, he has the potential to lead Duke to a national championship and make the jump to the NBA as a perennial All-Star off the bat. If he doesn’t, it won’t have any bearing on him getting selected #1 overall in June, but analysts will ask questions about his leadership abilities.

It’s Over for Julen Lopetegui/Es hora de despedir a Julen Lopetegui

Lopetegui

Everyone knew that this year was going to be a year of transition for the fabled Real Madrid, especially after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, but no one expected that new manager Julen Lopetegui, would bring the club down to such depths. Real Madrid have lost 3 matches in a row and 4 of their last 5. In a word, this is unacceptable. So does Lopetegui have any leeway left? To be frank, no he doesn’t, and he may not even last a week more.

Under Lopetegui, Real Madrid broke a dubious 116-year-old record by failing to score for an astounding 465 minutes in La Liga. To put that into perspective, Lopetegui’s Real Madrid failed to score for over 5 total games. That is absolutely ridiculous, particularly for a high-powered club like Real Madrid. What’s worse is that the club seem to have lost their fearsome aura of old under Lopetegui. That is to say that they aren’t looked at as a high-octane club who will force the opposition to make mistakes and then capitalize on them.

With El Clásico coming this Sunday, Lopetegui must win and win big in Barcelona lest he lose his job immediately upon exiting the Camp Nou pitch. It’s clear that the fans and the administration are already tired of his lack of performance only 2 months into his tenure. And without a complete 180º turn on Sunday in Barcelona, his tenure will surely be over.

 

 

Todo el mundo sabía que este año sería un año de transición para el legendario Real Madrid, especialmente después de la salida de Cristiano Ronaldo, pero nadie espera que el nuevo entrenador, Julen Lopetegui, llevara el club a tales profundidades. Real Madrid ha perdido 4 de sus últimos 6 partidos. Esto es inaceptable. Entonces, Lopetegui tiene crédito? Honestamente, yo creo que no, y no creo que sobreviva al fin de semana.

Con Lopetegui, el Real Madrid rompió un récord de 116 años marcando por un asombroso 465 minutos sin goles en La Liga. En perspectiva, esto es igual a 5 partidos. Eso es absolutamente ridículo, particularmente para un equipo tan poderoso como Los Merengues. Lo peor es que parece que el club ha perdido su aura temible con Lopetegui. Es decir que ya no son vistos como un club de alto voltaje que puede forzar errores y después capitalizar en ellos.

Con El Clásico a la vista, Lopetegui debe ganar y ganar convincentemente en Barcelona sino perderá su trabajo inmediatamente después del partido. Está claro que los fans y especialmente su presidente, Florentino Perez, ya están hartos de su falta de rendimiento en sus 2 meses de trabajo. Y si no le da la vuelta a la tortilla en Barcelona, el no llegará a Halloween.

How Will LeBron’s First Season in LA Pan Out?

Lebron Lakers

Now that the 2018-19 NBA Regular Season has begun, the biggest question of the offseason can now begin to be answered. Throughout the basketball world, everyone’s talking about the newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James. However, there’s a few issues concerning the amount of success that he’ll enjoy at the Staples Center. Most casual viewers of NBA Basketball believe that he’ll have no difficulty simply because he’s LeBron James, the world’s best basketball player. However, I’m here to tell you that James will have a lot more difficulty than you may think.

First off, let’s get the “he’s getting old” argument off the table. Normally this argument would be in play for a player who’ll turn 34 this season. But LeBron isn’t a player who’s subject to “normal” standards. However, something he will be subject to is the difficulty spike that comes with playing in the Western Conference. The NBA’s Western Conference has been much stronger than the Eastern Conference for most of the 21st Century, one argument that’s always been brought up as evidence that LeBron’s always “had it easy.” The level of competition he’ll see on a daily basis in the Western Conference will push LeBron to his limit, and there’s a question of whether he’ll be able to sustain his game-controlling play playing night in and night out with the NBA’s best teams.

Another issue that LeBron might have is getting his teammates to adequately help him out. Sure players like Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are good, but they’re young and relatively inexperienced. LeBron’s never had a team where he is the only veteran player, so the issue that he might run into is that, even if the Lakers make it to the Playoffs, the younger players may not be able to deal with the pressure.

Personally, I think LeBron will be successful eventually with the Lakers, but this first year with the team will be fraught with difficulty and making the playoffs in this first year, while more likely than not, is not a guarantee.

What Is it with the Way People Value Athletes?/Comó se puede valorar a los atletas?

Canelo Alvarez

Following yesterday’s news that Canelo Alvarez is now the highest paid athlete on the planet, the question of how players in different sports are valued popped into my mind. Not only why should one athlete get that title over another, but what goes into that evaluation that justifies in the mind of whoever’s paying?

The former holder of the title of “World’s Highest Paid Athlete” was the New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton, who signed a 10-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins 3 years ago before being traded to his current team, along with the contract. At an annual value of $32.5 million, many onlookers justified the huge sum of money by referencing Stanton’s sheer size and power (he’s 6’6” and can launch homeruns 500 feet). But now that Canelo Alvarez, Mexico’s best active boxer, will receive a whopping 5-year, $365 million contract (average annual value of $73 million), it’s time to justify this again.

However, this justification process is always heavily debated across sports. For instance, why should a football player receive $15 million a year while a hockey player of the same caliber receives only half that? This debate is likely one that will never fully be settled, largely because this debate rears its ugly head every time a league’s offseason rolls around and players receive new, bigger contracts.

I believe that the way to justify the amount of money an organization gives an athlete must take into account not only their athletic prowess and achievements, but also the value they add off the field, or their “marketing draw.” That’s why Cristiano Ronaldo makes over $60 million per year despite playing a sport where the cream of the crop typically make $30 million per year. And this is the same reason why Canelo Alvarez has received this record-shattering contract—his value as a marketing tool is second to none and he must be compensated as such.

 

 

Siguiendo las noticias de ayer y viendo que el boxeador Canelo Alvarez ahora es el atleta mejor pagado, la pregunta de comó el público se valora atletas en diferentes deportes se apropió de mi. Pero también me pregunto como se puede llegar a este valor para justificar lo que se está pagando?

El ex-poseedor del título de “El Atleta Mejor Pagado” era Giancarlo Stanton de los New York Yankees, que firmó un contrato de 10 años y $325 millones con los Miami Marlins hace 3 años antes de llegar a Nueva York. Con un valor anual de $32.5 millones, mucha gente justificaba esa cantidad en base a su tamaño y potencia (mide 6’6” y puede pegar homeruns hasta 500 pies). Pero, como ahora Canelo Alvarez, el mejor boxeador en activo de México, va a percibir en 5 años, $365 millones ($73 millones anuales). Como lo podemos justificar de nuevo?

Sin embargo, este proceso de justificación es siempre lo mismo para todos deportes. Por ejemplo, por qué un jugador de fútbol americano recibe $15 millones por año cuando un jugador de hockey recibe la mitad? Es un debate que nunca se va a resolver, en gran parte porque el debate se inicia cada vez que la temporada de una liga termina y los jugadores vuelven a firmar contratos cada vez más sustanciosos.

Yo creo que la manera de justificar la cantidad de dinero que un equipo le da a un atleta debe tener en cuenta no solo su destreza atlética, sino el valor que tiene fuera de la cancha, o lo que se llama su “valor de mercado.” Esa es la razón por la que Cristiano Ronaldo recibe más de $60 millones al año a pesar de jugar a un deporte en el que los mejores reciben no mas de $30 millones. Y esta es la misma razón por la que Canelo Alvarez merece su nuevo contrato—su valor como una herramienta de marketing es insuperable y el debe ser compensado por eso.

Jimmy Butler no se irá de Minnesota antes del comienzo de la nueva temporada

Butler Face

Cuando estamos fuera de la temporada de la NBA, nos encontramos con una epidemia de historias atractivas. Sin embargo, es frustrante cuando no salen bien. Pero lo que es peor es cuando están apunto de resolverse, y se malogran por la ineptitud de alguien. En este caso, la ineptitud es lo de los Minnesota Timberwolves porque no pueden decidir que van a hacer con Jimmy Butler. Aunque Butler ha pedido un traspaso, los Timberwolves no pueden acordar como honrar su petición.

Butler pidió el traspaso hace unas semanas, declarando que no iba a volver a firmar con los Timberwolves durante el verano que viene. Obviamente, esto pondría la carga en su equipo de intentar a cambiarle para recibir algo por él, pero los Timberwolves no pueden llegar a un acuerdo con ningún otro equipo. Los Miami Heat ha intentado varias veces cerrar un trato, pero la dirección de los Timberwolves ha dudado que hacer por su codicia.

Los Timberwolves siguen pidiendo más y más de Miami y, honestamente, esta es la peor manera de hacer negocios. Parece que están convencido que su entrenador Tom Thibodeau puede usar su cercanía con Butler para convencerle de que se quede aunque Butler ya ha dicho que no lo quiere.

Lo único que esto causa es señalar la ineptitud del la dirección de los Minnesota Timberwolves, y sin una voz capacitada, el equipo va a perder Butler por nada.

Jon Gruden no va a sobrevivir al tercer año de su contrato

Jon Gruden

Hay pocos franquicias en el mundo del deporte que puedan llamarse una comedia de errores. Una de esas ciertamente es los Oakland Raiders, y no se hicieron ellos ningún favor contratando a Jon Gruden por 10 años y creando la subsiguiente debacle que el solo se creó. Vender al mejor jugador defensivo de la NFL, Khalil Mack, no ha hecho nada más que causar un arrepentimiento serio por Gruden. Pero como los Raiders ya están en crisis, es la hora de preguntar cuánto tiempo el se va a quedar.

Primero, vamos a considerar que el equipo le debe $10 million por año por los siguiente 9 años, y debes entender que los Raiders no le van a despedir después de solo un año. También, los Raiders recibieron un buen trato por Mack de los Chicago Bears con las selecciones del draft y deben mirar como van a resultar. Sin embargo, la historia sentencia que las selecciones que no se aprovechan acaban pagándose. Entonces, Gruden tiene presión y necesita seleccionar bien.

Pero lo que preocupa mas con Gruden es que los Raiders son olorosos después de solamente 5 semanas de la temporada. Obviamente, la dirección le va a dar el beneficio de la duda, pero el necesita producir mejores resultados ya. Si continua fallando, probablemente será el fin de su carrera con los Raiders. Pero al final, todo va a depender de si el dueño Mark Davis quiere que el equipo tenga éxito o no.

Qué está pasando en La Liga?

Gareth Bale Disappointed

Cada temporada en La Liga, se espera que Real Madrid o Barcelona ganen el título, y todos los otros equipos pueden competir por el 3er lugar. Sin embargo, este año puede darse la rara ocasión de que ninguno de los dos gigantes ganen ya que los dos equipos han tenido dificultades mucho por los primeros dos meses de la temporada. El Sevilla va en cabeza de La Liga entrando en el segundo descanso internacional y los expertos ya están pensando si el Real Madrid o el Barcelona podrán corregir sus problemas.

El hecho del asunto es que Real Madrid ha perdido 2 de sus últimos 3 partidos y el Barcelona no ha ganado en un mes. Ambas actuaciones son preocupantes y sorprendentes, especialmente porque es raro ver a los dos equipos en crisis al mismo tiempo. Obviamente hay demasiado tiempo para corregir estos errores, pero el fútbol dicta que la forma en que empiezas determina la forma en que terminas. Si ese es el caso, ningún equipo tiene un buena panorama.

Otro hecho es que, después de muchos años de dominio entre Real Madrid y Barcelona, parece que los otros equipos españoles están empezando a reforzarse y están jugando al mismo nivel que los dos gigantes. Esto significa batallas más interesantes en La Liga, y cada fanático debe estar emocionado por eso.