Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ron Artest Dating Chelsea Handler?

Okay so by this time everyone knows that Lakers forward Ron Artest is pretty much crazy. After the Lakers won the NBA Championship, Artest wasted no time thanking his psychiatrist for helping him keep his cool during the tight moments of the NBA Finals. Now that Ron Artest is a Champion and a hero for helping the Lakers get over the hump in game seven, he is out making the media rounds.

In the beginning Ron Artest did the usual rounds, ESPN, Dan Patrick Show, however he struggled to break through in the mainstream media. That is till Chelsea Handler came a calling, and Ron Artest was far too happy to answer her calls. The two sat down last week on Cheslea's show and they seemed to hit it off right away.

Talk about not your typical sports interview.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Washington DC Welcomes John Wall

Last night the Washington Wizards drafted John Wall with the number one pick in the NBA Draft. That was a no brainer. Today the city of Washington D.C. rolled out the red carpet (literally) to welcome the point guard to his new home.

The Wizards spared no expense as they had dancers, local celebrities, even the mayor out to mark the memorable occasion. While Wall has never played a minute in the NBA, DC Mayer Andrian Fenty has already declared it John Wall Day within the district.

As part of his welcome package, the Washington Wizards put together the following welcome video. Enjoy.

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NBA Draft Grades: Winners and Losers

The 2010 NBA Draft took place last night in New York City and every NBA team was doing their best to improve their status for the upcoming season. I am no NBA historian but from the looks of things there were more draft day trades than I have ever seen. This made for an exciting night, and with the biggest free agency period in history just around the corner, you can rest assured there will be plenty of movement in the upcoming weeks. However, before we get to free agency, let's break down the draft and see who won big and set their franchise up for the future, and who will continue to struggle.

Washington Wizards: A
Round 1: John Wall (1), Kevin Seraphin (17, obtained from Chicago), Trevor Booker (23, obtained from Minnesota)
Round 2: Hamady N'diaye (56, obtained from Minnesota)

The Wizards couldn't miss with with John Wall at the first pick, so that is good enough to give them a B at the very least. A lot of people are excited about Kevin Seraphin who is a big body, but he is young (20) and he has a lot to learn on the offensive side of the ball. However, the trade that brought Kirk Hinrich to Washington was a good move and it also gave the Zards the chance to pick up Trevor Booker who is a big bruiser and something the Wizards need badly.

Philadelphia 76'ers: B
Round 1: Evan Turner (2)

Much like the Wizards, the 76'ers had a gimme pick in Evan Turner. He was the best player in college basketball last year, and he has the size and skill to become an All Star in the NBA. The downside to the pick is the 76'ers already have a rangy scoring guard in Andre Iguodala, a player I was high on as recently as a year ago. If the two of them can mesh in the back court and share the ball this could be a great pick, if not, then it's another bad pick by Doug Collins. The overall grade would have been higher if the 76'ers had more than one pick.

New Jersey Nets: B+
Round 1: Derrick Favors (3), Damion James (24, obtained from Atlanta)

The Nets had the first controversy of the NBA Draft as it was difficult to tell what they were going to do with the third pick. New Jersey was rumored to trade out of the pick as late as last night, but in the end they decided to stay put and got a gem in Derrick Favors. The big man has all the upside in the world. He's 6'10 245 pounds, and none of the headaches that comes with DeMarcus Cousins. Favors skill set will be a great compliment to Brooke Lopez. Damion James is a four year college player who will be a work horse in the NBA.

Minnesota Timberwolves: B-
Round 1: Wesley Johnson (4), Lazar Hayward (30, obtained from Washington)
Round 2: Nemanja Bjelica (35, obtained from Washington), Paulo Prestes (45)

Once again the Timberwolves managed to confuse me with their draft day actions. Drafting Wesley Johnson was a good move, and he has the skills to fit into that lineup and make an imediate impact. After that the moves the Timberwolves made were confusing. Lazar Hayward is a solid producer, but they did not need to trade up to get him.

Sacramento Kings: B
Round 1: DeMarcus Cousins (5)
Round 2: Hassan Whiteside (33)

Some people were very happy with the Kings draft, I was not as excited about their picks. Obviously DeMarcus Cousins is a great player. If he can remain focused and keep his weight down he has the tools to become a dominate big man in the NBA. However, if he lets his lack of discpline take over he could be the next Rasheed Wallace. Good, but not great. In Hassan Whiteside, the Kings got the poor mans DeMarcus Cousins. Whiteside is a big body who is not sure how to use it or put it all together on the court. If he can receive the proper coaching and is given a chance to grow, Whiteside could mature into a solid contributer on the Kings roster.

Golden State Warriors: C
Round 1: Ekpe Udoh (6)

The Warriors had the opportunity to do something special with this pick and instead they dropped the ball. Ekpe Udoh is a good player, and a lot of scouts are high on him, however he was not a #6 caliber player in my book, especially given the current Warriors roster. They would have been better off with Greg Monroe.

Detroit Pistons: A-
Round 1: Greg Monroe (7)
Round 2: Terrico White (36)

It looks like the Pistons are back to making smart draft picks. Greg Monroe is one of my favorite players in the NBA Draft. If he continues to improve at the rate he did between his freshman and sophomore year of college the Pistons could be in for something special. Terrico White is a bit of a project but he is an amazing athlete who will be a fun project to watch grow up.

LA Clippers: A
Round 1: Al-Farouq Aminu (8), Eric Bledsoe (18, obtained from Oklahoma City)
Round 2: Willie Warren (54)

Yes the Clippers got an A for their draft because they knocked this one out the park. Aminu is an athletic big man who is a great rebounder, and he can run the court. If he continues to mature, the duo of him and a returning Blake Griffen will be one helluva front court to contend with. Eric Bledsoe is the best player that you forgot about because he is overshadowed by his teammates. If Bledsoe does not play for Kentucky he goes in the top ten. Bledsoe knows how to run a team, and with the weapons he has around him, the Clippers could sniff the playoffs once again.

Utah Jazz: B-
Round 1: Gordon Hayward (9)
Round 2: Jeremy Evans (55)

The Jazz caught the short end of the stick in this year's draft. They had their hearts set on Greg Monroe, and with him off the board they were forced to pick from a group of players who they all felt were fairly equal in terms of talent. In Gordon Hayward the Jazz have a guy who can step in and replace Kyle Korver who is expected to become a free agent next week. Hayward's offensive ability is solid however he will be a liability on defense.

Indiana Pacers: C+
Round 1: Paul George (10)
Round 2: Lance Stephenson (40), Magnum Rolle (51, obtained from Oklahoma City)

Typically Larry Bird does well in the NBA Draft, however even an All Star has an off night. Unfortunately for Pacer fans it came during the NBA Draft. The Pacers needed help at point guard, instead they get a swing man who looks a lot like the franchise player they already have name Danny Granger.

New Orleans Hornets: A-
Round 1: Craig Brackins (21, obtained from Oklahoma City), Quincy Pondexter (26, obtained from Oklahoma City)

The Hornets traded away the 11th pick, and as a result they failed to make a big splash in the draft. However, the long term affects of the trade are far more significant than anything they would have received via the draft. By trading away the 11th pick and Mo Peterson, the Hornets saved themselves over $7 million. This is important because if got the Hornets under the luxury tax and it will go a long way in helping them retain Chris Paul as he approaches free agency in the next year.

Memphis Grizzlies: C-
Round 1: Xavier Henry (12), Greivis Vasquez (28)

There is no shortage of shooting guards on the Grizzlies roster. From the looks of things they should average over 100 points a game next season. Xavier Henry is a scorer and a bit of a gunner. If Rudy Gay opts out of Memphis there is a chance Henry can step in and play the wing. However, there is no doubt he is too small to play the small forward. In Greivis Vasquez the Grizzlies get a guy who is gutsy and a leader on the floor. Again Vasquez is a tweener. He played point while at Maryland, but he is more of 2 guard. His shot is inconstant, but that does not stop him from taking his share of shots.

Toronto Raptors: B
Round 1: Ed Davis (13)
Round 2: Solomon Alabi (50, obtained from Dallas)

Chris Bosh is out the door this summer with free agency, Ed Davis can step in and replace his production, kind of. Many people had Ed Davis as the 8th ranked player overall in the draft. I am not as high on Davis, but time will tell.

Houston Rockets: B-
Round 1: Patrick Patterson (14)

I like Patrick Patterson a lot. He is the work horse type of player that I love to see. Nothing flashy, nothing special, but he goes to work in the paint and comes away with 10 plus rebounds every night.

Milwaukee Bucks: B
Round 1: Larry Sanders (15)
Round 2: Darington Hobson (37), Jerome Jordan (44), Keith Gallon

Small school big product, that's what you get with Larry Sanders. Yes, he has some work to do, and he will need to put on some weight to take the wear and tear of a NBA season. Despite that, Sanders is ready to perform right now. He is athletic and a great shot blocker. Two things the Bucks are currently lacking on their roster.

Portland Trailblazers: B+
Round 1: Luke Babbitt (16, obtained from Minnesota), Elliot Williams (22)
Round 2: Armon Johnson (34)

The Blazers had a great draft, but that was overshadowed with what happened before the draft. GM Kevin Pritchard was fired an hour before the draft began. He was then asked to stay on and complete the draft, not only did he do that, but he did a great job with it. Imagine sticking around the job you were fired from for an extra day. Luke Babbitt is an absolute steal at this pick. He has a 37 inch vertical and he is strong beyond his size. He has a great stroke when shooting. With Babbit's build he is a lock as an NBA small forward.

Chicago Bulls: Who knows
Round 1: Kevin Seraphin (17, traded to Wizards; pending completion of deal)

It's tough to give the Bulls a grade as it is unsure exactly who they drafted. The pick of Kevin Speraphin is slated to go to the Wizards pending the completion of a trade on July 8.

Oklahoma City Thunder: B+
Round 1: Cole Aldrich (11, obtained from New Orleans)
Round 2: Tibor Pleiss (31, obtained from New Jersey via Atlanta), , Latavious Williams (48, obtained from Miami), Ryan Reid (57, obtained from Indiana)

The Thunder were movers all week long and continued through the draft. Thanks to a trade with New Orleans the Thunder were able to acquire Cole Aldrich. This gives Oklahoma City a legit center in the middle. Tibor Pleiss is a great defensive presence. His offensive skill will come along, but he can make an impact on defense now.

Boston Celtics: C
Round 1: Avery Bradley (19)
Round 2: Luke Harangody (52)

The last few weeks have not gone the way the Celtics would like. Avery Bradley is a fine NBA draft pick but the Celtics already have an undersized guard who is scrapy, and no disrespect to Bradley but I doubt he play that role as well as Rondo. The Celtics are on the doorstep of beginning a massive rebuilding project and they did nothing to address any of those needs. In Luke Harangody, the Celtics did find their replacement to Brian Scalabrine.

San Antonio Spurs: B
Round 1: James Anderson (20)
Round 2: Ryan Richards (49)

Once again the Spurs managed to find quality players in the later part of the draft. In James Anderson the Spurs got one of the best shooters in the drafter. Thanks to a hamstring injury he managed to slip down the draft and fall into San Antonio's lap. Ryan Richards is a bit of a project, but lucky for the Spurs they don't need him to step in right away. There's a chance he is even sent to the D-League to gain some more experience.

Dallas Mavericks: C+
Round 1: Dominique Jones (25, obtained from Memphis)

Not a bad pick, but Jones is nothing overly special. He is a creative player who can get into the paint and get his own shot. However, he is a bit under size and may find the lanes in the NBA a bit more crowded than they were during his college days. Dominique Jones also has a jump shot that is suspect.

Atlanta Hawks: B
Round 1: Jordan Crawford (27, obtained from New Jersey)
Round 2: Pape Sy (53)

If Joe Johnson is on his way out of Atlanta they may have found his scoring replacement. Crawford has a non-stop motor and he has a great ability to put the ball in the basket. In addition to showing off his great vertical while in the lane, Crawford has crazy deep range that he is not afraid to show off. If there is a knock on Jordan Crawford it is his maturity level. If things don't go his way he can get down and make some stupid plays. In addition he is a volume shooter.

Orlando Magic: B-
Round 1: Daniel Orton (29)
Round 2: Stanley Robinson (59)

Despite picking late in both rounds, the Magic managed to find some talent in this year's draft. Both Orton and Robinson have a ton of upside and can become steady producers for the Magic. The downside to both players is they likely won't be able to help the Magic any time in the near future.

LA Lakers: C-
Round 2: Devin Ebanks (43), Derrick Caracter (58)

When you're picking late in the second round there's not a lot of talent left. The Lakers did an okay job with what they were given. However, let's be honest the Lakers are built to win now, and they will worry about rebuilding when Kobe Bryant decides to slow down.

Miami Heat B+
Round 2: Dexter Pittman (32), Jarvis Varnado (41), Da'Sean Butler (42)
Despite not doing much with their picks, the Heat did a great job in this year's draft. They managed to pick up a few quality contributers but more importantly they keep their salary cap numbers down. They are now ready to splurge in the free agent market.

New York Knicks: D
Round 1: Andy Rautins (8), Landry Fields (9)

Not really sure what the Knicks were thinking. At least in the past you could blame strange drafts on Issiah Thomas. In Rautins the Knicks get probably the best shooter in the draft. In Landry Fields the Knicks got a good athlete who has no really upside.

Denver Nuggets: F
Can't have a good draft if you don't draft anyone.

Cleveland Cavaliers: F
Maybe the Cavs know something about LeBron James coming back next year that the rest of us don't. For their sake let's hope that's true.

Charlotte Bobcats: F
When Michael Jordan is running your team there's really no hope.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Daily Erin Andrews: Babes of the World Cup

With the knockout stage of the World Cup fast approaching, I figured it was time to take a look at looming question. No, I'm not worried about the United States advancing out of their group stage. I'm wondering why do they call soccer the beautiful game?

After doing a little bit of research I believe I found my answer, and I think you will too.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lady GaGa Kicked Out of Yankees Locker Room

I can honestly say the above headline is something I never thought I would write, but alas never say never. Lady GaGa is not our typical topic of conversation here at Walker Sports, for that matter the New York Yankees rarely are, but when the two come together, then it's blogging magic.

Lady Gaga has been making the rounds for the New York City sports scene. A few weeks ago she was booed at a Mets game, and proceed to give the finger to the crowd in attendance. This was after Gaga asked to move from her seats behind home plate, and upgraded to Jerry Senfeild's luxury box.

Now we may know the reason Gaga did not want to sit behind the Mets home plate. Apparently Lady Gaga is a life long New York Yankees fan. In an effort to support her favorite team, Gaga ventured out to Friday night's game against between the Yankees and Mets. Unfortunately for Gaga and other Yankee fans the Yanks failed to pick up the win.

However, when Lady Gaga is involved the story is never that simple. After the lost, Gaga decided to use her celebrity status to venture into Yankees clubhouse after the game. Once there it is reported Lady Gaga was seen hanging around in a bikini bottom with her Yankees jersey half way buttoned and she was sipping on whiskey as she spoke with A-Rod and a few of the other players.

It turns out this did not sit well with the Yankees ownership, and Gaga was asked to leave the clubhouse. Some reports have gone as far as saying Hal Steinbrenner banned the pop singer from ever entering the locker room again. Upon further review Yankees GM Brian Cashman says Gaga is not banned. However, it was poor timing for her to be in the locker room that evening after the Yankees suffered a lost to their crosstown rival.

We shall see if Lady Gaga can work her way back into the locker room in the future, however judging from her past two New York sports experiences I'd recommend that Gaga find some new teams to support.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Daily Erin Andrews: World Cup Hotties

The World Cup is in full swing, all the world is watching. The majority of fans are watching all the action on the field, and believe me there is plenty of that. However, here at Walker Sports we've been watching more than the games. We have our eyes on the stands, where there is plenty to see. Of course we are talking about babes of the World Cup. Our girl Erin Andrews may not be there, but there is still plenty to talk about and even more to see.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Orania, South Africa: Where apartheid lives on

It is not often that we do this here at Walker Sports, but this was too interesting/amazing of a story to pass up. Thanks to Les Carpenter over at Yahoo Sports, we have gained access to an amazing village located in the remote corners of South Africa. With all the lights of the world focused on the RSA, it appears that the town of Orania has managed to remain in the shadows. And if it is up to the 700 residents, they will keep it that way.

ORANIA, South Africa - You come because there have been stories. Because around the World Cup the talk has been about peace and togetherness and the vanquishing of old racial wounds in the hope that the world’s arrival might stimulate new solutions. And you hear of a place that wants none of that. A place where white and black can’t live side-by-side in the rainbow nation. A place settled by the old South Africa who couldn’t cope with the new South Africa.

And you wonder why such a place should exist at all.

So you drive early one morning from Johannesburg, long before the sun climbs into the sky. You go past the flat-topped hills of mining country, through dusty towns and then across the long, open African savannah spotted with acacia trees until five hours later, near the banks of the Orange River, you find Orania.

And yes, it is true. In a country 80 percent black, there is a town that has made itself 100 percent white. Determined to preserve the Afrikaner culture 20 years after the fall of apartheid.
On the surface, Orania seems like a normal village. It has a grocery store, a gas station and a small bookstore that sells town T-shirts. A woman at a desk in the bookstore smiles and asks you to sign a guestbook. The primary language is Afrikaans, not English. The town’s public relations director, a former physician named John Strydom, comes out and shows a video. On the screen, children ride bicycles and the narrator explains that “there is a place where children can still have a comfortable childhood” and “residents can walk without looking over their shoulder.”

And it is clear that without even mentioning the words, this is all about black and white.

Driving around Orania, Strydom points out all the sights: the new houses built with bales of straw for insulation and solar panels on the roofs, the radio station, the small but lavish hotel and gleaming spa that overlook the river. He also explains the criteria for buying a house in Orania: one must submit an application, promise to uphold the Afrikaner culture and be approved by an administrative board.

“We can choose who lives here,” he says bluntly.

When asked if that was restricted by race he replied: “Most people in South Africa wouldn’t want to come here if they are black.”

Once the Afrikaners controlled South Africa, often brutally; this, despite the fact they were a white minority in a country that is predominately black. In the 1940s, they invented apartheid as an official form of segregation and ran the country almost as a dictatorship until black uprisings and the world’s scorn broke that rule. When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, it was only a matter of time before Afrikaner rule was over.

This is when a missionary named Carel Boshoff, the son in law of Hendrick Frensch Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid, banded with a group of 40 families to buy a mostly abandoned government construction camp and turn it into Orania. From the beginning, the idea was to separate. Orania had its own flag and its own currency (the ora, the first three letters of the town’s name) and set out to build something self-sustaining. Now, the 700 or so residents of Orania live as if it is their own country.

In fact, when asked who he considers to be his president, Boshoff’s son Carel (IV), who is now the community’s leader rambles for a moment, talking about how all people see government in different ways. When pressed on the question he finally says, “Right here,” and points to the ground at his feet.

Carel (IV) is an intellectual man, with large glasses and wavy long hair. He could be a young radical in Amsterdam if he wasn’t here in this small farming town explaining why he wants an Afrikaner state. He likes to talk in concepts and enjoys the show about international politics he hosts every week on the radio station.

He picks his words carefully but the community’s philosophy spills out nonetheless. Since the Afrikaner is white in heritage then the culture that is preserved must be white as well. The people of Orania don’t have anything against black people, he says, they just don’t share a culture. And if they don’t share a culture then they shouldn’t be living together.

In order to buy a house in Orania, one must submit an application and promise to uphold Afrikaner culture. (Photo by Alan Springer/Yahoo) Mostly Orania taps into white fear. Carel (IV) speaks a lot about how black rule has forced Afrikaners out of work because of Affirmative Action programs designed to get blacks jobs. An experienced white engineer could suddenly become a technical assistant to an inexperienced black employee, he says.

He also talks a lot about violence in other parts of South Africa. People in cities such as Johannesburg live behind giant walls and electric fences. In more rural areas, a panic has risen about what locals call “farm killings” in which young blacks have murdered a few Afrikaner farmers. The most notable was the killing of white supremacist Eugene TerreBlanche, a man who has advocated for several white republics in the country and was beaten to death by two of his black workers over a wage dispute.

“Very few people coming here are not affected by crime,” Carel (IV) says. “They have been robbed or hijacked or something. It affects their mindsets.”

South Africa is quickly becoming a failed state, Carel (IV) says. Any thought the World Cup is going to bring unity and help people confront two decades of growing pains is ridiculous, he says. The country’s future, with what he calls “corruption” in the mostly black African National Congress, is bleak.

“There’s no reason a country as diverse as South Africa should be united and together,” he says.

The best plan, he adds, is to “stand out of the tension.”

And yet that is the misfortune of Orania, this fact it wants to step back from the fight to build South Africa. It is a beautiful town with imaginative people, like Carel (IV)’s nephew, also named Carel who is a student in Pretoria, who loves the idea of the World Cup and yet dreams of returning to Orania.

“We’re building something for ourselves here,” he says.

But why? Why not for the country? Why hide a spectacular hotel and a spa on the edge of the river and not share it with the rest of South Africa? All around the country there is growth and building, even among the “tension” as Carel (IV) calls it. Just a few days ago in the black Johannesburg township of Soweto, a group of black residents gathered at a restaurant for the monthly meeting of their saving group. Together, they said, they give whatever money they want to put away to one member who deposits it in the bank. Then when enough has been saved to buy a car or a house or pay for school they can pull it out. The group serves as their support.

Imagine putting the saving group together with the Orania ingenuity that erected energy-efficient houses made with straw inside? What a country this could become.

On the drive back to Johannesburg and the World Cup that has come to be about unity, it was so easy to see.

The sadness as night fell and an autumn storm rumbled across the savannah was that Orania could not.

By Les Carpenter, Yahoo! Sports

Monday, June 14, 2010

World Cup Blunders

The World Cup is only a few days old, but there has been plenty of action on the field. There is always talk about the ball that is used during tWorld Cup and this year is no different. The ball, which is designed by Adidas, is known to take off in odd directions, and suffer from strange bounces. While there is plenty of reason as to why this happens, the bottom line is it creates for some crazy bounces, and funny goals. Now for what it's worth, not all of these goals can be blamed on a new ball, some were just fluky.

<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=e016c2ff-90dd-4ec3-8d11-efd7cad3d72e&amp;from=IV2_en-us_foxsports_articles" target="_new" title="Ticket to South Africa: ENG 1-1 USA">Video: Ticket to South Africa: ENG 1-1 USA</a>

Texas to Remain in the Big 12

Over the past few days there has been plenty of talk about teams moving conferences, and rightfully so. Boise State, Colorado, Nebraska have all jumped ship. There was even talk that the Big 12 would collapse with the possible lost of all their Texas based teams. However, word coming from sources close to the negotiations are reporting that will not happen. The reports emerging now state that Texas has turned down an invitation to the Pac 10.

It is increasingly likely that the Texas Longhorns will remain in the Big 12 (hopefully to be renamed with only 10 teams). In the end, it all comes down to money. It has nothing to do with rivalries, or tradition, it's just money. The current deal on the table for the Big 12 would afford Texas the opportunity to make $20-$25 million a year. That's money that no school to turn away from. In addition the Big 12 is also offering Texas their own network in addition to exposure on the soon to be formed Big 12 Network.

According to sources, Texas had no intention on leaving the Big 12. They simply addressed the Pac 10's advances to use as leverage in negations with the Big 12. Texas already has the other Texas schools aligned with them.

If all of this holds true, Texas will have pulled one of the great political moves of the modern NCAA era. It also means Texas is holding the chips and the future of the Big 12 in their hands. As if we didn't already know that.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wagons West; The Pac 10 is Ready to Expand

With Nebraska ready to accept a bid into the Big 10, things are about to hit the fan on the college football landscape. Let the Great westward movement begin.

It only took one domino to fall to begin the mass exodus of the Big 12. It is expect that Nebraska will announce on Friday they are leaving the Big 12 for the more lucrative pastures of the Big 12. However, that is not the only team that is ready to pack it's bags. The Pac 10 has made no qualms about it they are ready to expand and the Nebraska move has opened the doors for just that.

Rumors have it that an announce could emerge as early as today (Thursday)that would send Colorado packing from the Big 12 North and into the Pac 10. However, that is not the only invite the Pac 10 is ready to issue. Pac 10 official are ready to issue invites to five additional Big 12 teams by the week's end. These include Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. Texas and Oklahoma being the crown jewel of the acquisition.

This would transform the Pac 10 into the Pac 16. The teams would be split across two divisions. The East would comprise of the six new additions as well as Arizona and Arizona State. While the West becomes a throwback to the old Pac 8. It is expected there would be a conference championship game that would pit the winner of the two conferences against each other. However, there is some speculation that the new Pac 16 would stick to tradition and abandon a conference championship game and go as far as to petition the BCS to allow two automatic bids from their conference.

This new conference would go into effect in 2012. Each team would play seven division foes, and by keeping teams in the above mentioned format, traditional rivalries would not be harmed. In addition, the Rose Bowl would not be harmed as it is still contracted to take the winner of the Big 10 (er 12..14??) and the winner of the Pac 10.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Tom Izzo Accepts Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coaching Job

According to several media outlets, Michigan State men's basketball coach Tom Izzo has accepted the head coaching job with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. This news comes on the heels of several days of speculation about what Izzo would do.

The Cavaliers formally offered Izzo the head coaching position on Monday, but the MSU coach could not be reached for comment. It is reported the deal is good for $30 million.

Izzo had a lifelong contract thanks to his success as the Michigan State Spartans head coach which includes a national championship.

We will provide more news as it comes along.

Steven Strasburg Dominates in First Game

Admittedly this is not much of a baseball blog. For the most part I don't watch a lot of baseball, nor do I care about baseball. However, sometimes an event takes place and it simply cannot be ignored. The magnitude of the event is then intensified when it takes place in your own back yard. At that point you have to take note, or in this case blog about it.

The event that I am speaking of is the first MLB pitch of one Steven Strasburg, the great hope for the woeful Washington Nationals. Since Walker Sports is based out of Washington DC it was hard for myself or any of our other writers to avoid the Strasmass hype as it was called locally. As a result even I became caught up in the hype and yes, I did sit down to watch Strasburg's final few innings.

What I saw absolutely blew me away. Now I don't claim to be a baseball expert but I know talent when I see it and that kid has it. There is no doubt Strasburg could have pitched into the 8th or perhaps had a complete game. However, kudos to Riggleman and the Nats staff for not becoming caught up in the moment and sitting the youngster down before he caused any potential damage to his arm. Another impressive feat from Steven Strasburg was his ability to shake off adversity. He got out of an early jam to force a ground out. Then after giving up his first home run in over a year, he battled back to get the win. Some would even say Strasburg was better as the game went on.

One thing I do know is the Nationals found something special in Steven Strasburg and along with Ovie, and hopefully John Wall he can help rebuild Washington DC into a sports town.


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Monday, June 07, 2010

Woody Harrelson Becomes a Soccer Star

Woody Harrelson has made a solid career for himself on the big and little screen. The majority of his roles are memorable ones, some of them even going down in pop culture history. However, over the past weekend, Harrelson took up a new role, one of soccer star.

Woody Harrelson notched the game winning goal in a soccer match in front of 65,000 on Sunday, in a moment that will not soon be forgotten. The game winning goal came on the 11th penalty kick in a charity match that Harrelson and many other celebrities and soccer stars played in Old Trafford in Manchester.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Chris Rock Heckles Kobe Bryant

Part of the charm of watching a Lakers game in L.A. is taking a moment to survey the crowd and do a bit of celebrity watching. Even if you're like myself and not up on all the latest celeb gossip it's still fun to look through the crowd and see who's doing what in the stands.

With the NBA Finals tipping off on Thursday night at the Staples Center there was no hotter ticket in LaLa Land than game one of the series. Thanks to an upcoming summer movie, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Chris Rock all got front row tickets to the game. This meant plenty of face time on camera. However for comdian Chris Rock, he took it a bit further. Rock used his wit, and his great tickets to steal a moment with the NBA's best player Kobe Bryant.

The one problem is, when Kobe is on the court doing his thing, he does not care about anything else. Sure Chris Rock may be one of the funniest men on the planet, but during the game he is just another guy to Kobe. Rock tried his best, but no.24 never cracked a smile. For Rock it must have been a flash back to his earlier days on the standup circut.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Ken Griffey Jr. Announces Retirement

The Seattle Mariners announced earlier today that Ken Griffey Jr. is set to retire. This move should come as no shock to anyone who saw Griffey play this season. Age has finally caught up with "The Kid" and he was in the midst of one his worst seasons of his career. Griffey was hitting only .184 this season and recently went a week without playing.

Wakamatsu made the announcement before Wednesday night's game against Minnesota. Griffey's retirement is effective immediately.

The 40-year-old Griffey was one of baseball's greatest players before injuries began to take their toll. The perennial All-Star outfielder ranks fifth on the career home run list with 630.

The outfielder made the following statement concerning his retirement.

"While I feel I am still able to make a contribution on the field and nobody in the Mariners front office has asked me to retire, I told the Mariners when I met with them prior to the 2009 season and was invited back that I will never allow myself to become a distraction,"

Griffey would continue to say;

"I feel that without enough occasional starts to be sharper coming off the bench, my continued presence as a player would be an unfair distraction to my teammates and their success as a team is what the ultimate goal should be,"

Griffey is a sure fire MLB Hall of Famer. He ranks fifth on the all time home run list with 630 homers. In addition Griffey is a former MVP and Golden Glove winner.

In the end, Ken Griffey Jr. retires with a .284 career average, and 1,836 RBI's. He totaled 22 seasons in the big leagues, playing for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and two stints with the Seattle Mariners.

More details to come.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tyreke Evans Rested on Speeding Ticket

Tyreke Evans came from virtually out of nowhere this past year and claimed the NBA's Rookie of the Year title. The first year point guard was the one lone highlight on the Sacramento Kings, and now he is continuing the trend into the summer. However, now days Evans is making the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Evans was cited and released by the California Highway Patrol on Monday.

The air unit spotted the NBA's Rookie of the Year driving a 2010 black Mercedes S550 at more than 100 mph on Interstate 80. The CHP says officers will review air patrol video to see if more charges will be filed.

Police officers drew their guns and ordered the Kings guard and his passenger out of the car because the officers couldn't see inside past its tinted windows.

CHP spokeswoman Lizz Dutton says Evans was cooperative and wasn't driving impaired. He's due in court in August.

I guess the one high point in this story is at least Evans wasn't driving drunk, and there are no reports of drugs being involved. However, the lack of a controlled substance makes me ask the question what the hell was Tyreke Evans doing then? Seriously 100 mph?!? Believe me this author is no stranger to speeding tickets, but never have I been clocked anywhere near the triple digit mark. It surely sounds the the young point guard can stand to sit through a few driver safety classes.

On a side note, at least Evans doesn't have any interest in motorcycles. Think about that.

Ronaldinho Stops a Fan From Running on the Field

AC Milan is is in the midst of a tour of the United States, and playing a handful full of MLS squares. Considering that the World Cup is due to begin in two weeks, the AC Milan squad that is touring the states could be considered a true touring side, one devoid of the majority of their talent. Nonetheless there are a few big name players who made the trip to the States, and as a result there are a group of passionate fans willing to trek out to MLS stadiums to watch their favorite stars at work.

One star who made his way to the United States is Brazil's Ronaldinho. He was unceremoniously left off of Brazil's World Cup squad last month, and as as a result he has his summer free. One fan in Chicago took a special liking to the former FIFA player of the year, and took to the field. However, unlike wild fans in Philadelphia this fan meant well. And I have to give a special shout out to Ronaldinho for playing along with this and letting a fan, have his moment with his hero.

On the other side of the coin, Chicago please vamp up your security at sporting events. It was only a few years ago that the first base coach at of the White Sox was attack by a deranged father and son duo. What would have stopped this fan from attacking what was one of the great soccer players in the modern era?