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Houston we have a problem

What in the world is going on with those Rockets. This team went from having the best record in the NBA last season to us just hoping they can make the playoffs for the 2018-2019 season. During the offseason the Rockets aquired Carmelo Anothony from the Oklahoma City Thunder. They also recieved Michael Carter Williams. Bringing in these guys would prove to be good for the team, but their is one trade that killed them. The team traded away Trevor Ariza to the Phoenix Suns for Marquese Chriss. This was a horrible trade, absolutely terrible. Trevor Ariza was the only glimmer of defense for that team. Now their best defender is Clint Capela who is one of the most unorthodox centers in the game. Capela does not have a post game. Most of his points come from cherry picking and fast break opportunities. The team is just dysfunctional. Who takes the last shot? You have CP3, Harden, and Anthony. All 3 have been known to choke in big situations. I do however like Carmelo coming off the bench. This provides a boost to the team when trailing. We also saw Melo drop 28 points in their win against the Brooklyn Nets. Harden did not play this game. What does this tell us? It seems Anthony plays better when Harden is off the floor. Now obviously you cannot get rid of Harden. However you can keep him off the floor when Anthony comes in. Same goes for Anthony when Harden is on the court. If you limit their times together both players can get more shots up. Another issue with Harden is how shot happy he can get. This is also because the team does not look like they have a set offense. It is just a whole lot Paul dribbling the clock out and finding an open guy for a three. The team needs more chemistry together, and they need “DEFENSE”. Im sorry I dont want to watch fast break after fast break because guys dont want to play defense. The Rockets are currently at a 4-5 record which is a little more convincing since they opened the season with loss after loss.

“Supreme Decision”

The NBA features the greatest basketball players in he world. These players come from different backgrounds and different personalities. Some of these players like to feature their personalities through tattoos. Tattoos in the NBA really did not become popular until the early 2000’s. In the 90’s we saw Dennis the worm Rodman feature some of the most bizarre tattoos and hairstyles. Today some players have most of their body tattooed. Players that come to mind can be Chris Anderson, J.R Smith, and Monta Ellis. Is there really anything wrong with this? According to the NBA tattoos that involve explicit terms and actions need to be covered up at game time. As a fan I agree with this. There is something I do have an issue with. Let us take a look at J.R Smith, one of my favorite players and a good all around role player in the NBA. Recently Smith got a tattoo with the brand name Supreme on the back of his leg. Most fans when they saw this thought nothing of it besides it being interesting. Supreme is a fashion brand based out of New York City. The flashy clothing is a favorite among athletes, rappers, and entertainers. The products are known for being over the top and expensive. The NBA has decided to fine Smith unless he covers the tattoo up. Upon the verdict being released fans were outraged with this. The NBA says you must cover up tattoos that involve explicit material. What in the world does the name Supreme do to offend anyone? The NBA does not have any affiliation with the brand. That can be one issue right there, but even if that’s the issue what harm does it do if it is just a couple players. The NFL has had a couple players where Supreme based cleats in games and they have not been fined. The NFL just like the NBA does not have any affiliation with the brand. So why is the NBA stressing this so much? If it is because of affiliation issues than this rule should have been in place a while ago. What if a player had Supreme tattoo for most of his career and all of sudden he was told he would be fined. Everyone knows that would not be fair. Something other than Smith having a Supreme tattoo had to of occurred. Hopefully this gets cleaned up so the NBA can just focus on basketball and not small things like this that hurt no one.

Is the Lake Show back?

It has been five years since the Los Angeles Lakers have made the NBA Playoffs back in 2013. This is a team that was once known as the greatest show on the court. They are also a team that has retired some of the greatest players to have ever stepped on an NBA court. If we go down the list of greats from the Lakers we have Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and of course, the most recent to retire, Kobe Bryant. The past four years have been a serious rebuilding project for this team and the retirement of Kobe Bryant did not help the process as well. A team that was dependent on a guy for twenty years now must now start all over. The Lakers scored big in the 2017 draft by acquiring Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. Although the Lakers failed to make the playoffs, the 2017 season saw much better improvement than in previous years. Not only did the Lakers win the 2017 Summer League Championship, but the rookies had an all-around consistent season. However, the 2018 draft really did not favor the Lakers well according to various NBA analysts. In my opinion, I thought the acquisition of Moritz Wagner from the University of Michigan was a good pickup. Now for the first time in a couple years the Lakers have a big man that is an outside threat. The Lakers also acquired Isaiah Thomas from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately, this was short lived. Thomas played a little over half of the 2017-18 season with the Lakers just to get traded to the Denver Nuggets in the 2018 Summer League. Probably the biggest news of the summer was Lebron James signing a four-year $154 million contract with the Lakers. Not only was this shocking, but the Lakers made some other trades to find players to build around James. At the point position trading Isaiah Thomas opened the door for Rajon Rondo. The Lakers also acquired JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson. With all the trades, the starting lineup is looking to be Rondo, Stephenson, Kuzma, James, and Ingram. This could be one of the deadliest line-ups in the league if used properly. Could this be the Laker team that we have been waiting to see since the retirement of Kobe Bryant? The League could be in for a spectacular surprise.

They are Humans too

The world of professional sports contains spectacular athletes. These athletes have been doing what they love since they were young children. Growing up, these athletes played kids in their communities as a way of having fun and learning the sport better. Some of those kids were able to develop better and play for travel teams. These teams still had the fun mentality, but the main focus was winning. Travel leagues got these athletes ready for college. After college only the best of the best go on to play professionally. Some athletes only play one year in college and go straight to the pros. This is something I don not agree with. These players get full ride scholarships for four years of school and only go for one. A lot of athletes that do this are not physically as well as mentally ready for the next level. This is very popular in basketball and football. Lets look at the NBA first. Your typical first round draft pics are one and done’s. These players were your typical stars in high school that went to a big name college that may have had a great season, but they were surrounded by players who possessed the skill level they had. A couple days after the draft the players typically sign a big contract. This is exciting for the players, but the NBA knows that they are gonna need a agent. Giving an 18 year old kid 5 million dollars can be damaging to that athletes well being. The NBA has to understand that money can change someone. for example lets look at Roy Tarpley. When drafted this guy was well on his way to becoming the leagues new best re-bounder. Unfortunately he did not use his money for the rig ht reasons. He became a coke addict, which caused him to miss games and blow his money on drugs. The NBA along with every other professional sport has to realize these young kids are still human. These players still wanna have fun, but by giving them all this money they can do the things they couldn’t do growing up. This could be getting drugs, buying expensive cars, and believe or not tattoos. Some professional athletes have actually lost a substantial amount of money due to all the ink they add to their bodies. I don not see professional sports looking into this more because its all about making money. If a player takes a turn for the worse, well another one bites the dust. It is tragic and it will be acknowledged, but in reality it is still just about making money.

Not even Home for Christmas

Being  a professional athlete can be very exciting and at the same time very stressful. These players are constantly traveling to different cities all across the united states and the rest of the globe at times. On television these players make it seem like they love doing it for their passion for the game, but deep down do they really like all the travel? Lets look at the NBA. There are 82 games in a regular season. You also have to factor in summer league and the playoffs. Some players are forced to go to off season games and just sit on the bench, sometimes not even in uniform. Now most will argue and say these guys are being paid. Should they really be complaining? If I was the player of course I would be complaining. I am being forced to go to games I am not even playing. I could be spending time with my family or doing something else to better myself for the regular season. I feel the only players that should be required to go to these games are players the organization wants to see play that summer.

Christmas is a time for being with family and celebrating the Holiday. The NBA has games scheduled on Christmas day. At first I did not see a problem with this. Every Christmas my father and I would watch the top teams go at it. The more I matured I realized that these games could impact the players families. This forces players to celebrate the holiday earlier than normal. This could be troublesome because your family members you typically see have jobs they have to be at. The players could take their wives and kids with them, but what if that is too much for the children? The NBA has to realize that these players have family that wants to be with them. As a young child it may be cool to see your dad on TV. As you age you start to realize your father may not be able to see you as often. I firmly believe that a Father Figure has to heavily be involved his family as much as possible. Now during the regular season it is understandable that players have to travel for away games, but on holidays those players should be spending time with their family. They should not always have to worry about work.

Athletes, Property or Humans?

The world of professional sports is fascinating. These guys get to do what they love to do and get paid millions of dollars. That is honestly the life everyone wants to live. This dream does come with some drawbacks. These athletes are getting paid big money and they are counted on to help win games for the teams they play for. Professional sports are strictly business first and players second. This can be bad for a teams image in a few ways. For example there is the trade deadline. This is where teams try and score big name players for a price that teams can afford. Typically players that are well known all stars don’t go anywhere, they typically stay with the teams they are on by resigning. Players that are only average or below average typically will bounce around in the league they play for due to trades. Ishmel Smith, an NBA player currently player for the Detroit Pistons has played for 11 NBA teams. Now he could like being the player that moves around this much. Personally I think that can cause way to much stress on a players body. These types of players also have to able to accept traveling and moving living spaces frequently. Also these players have to watch their money. I feel professional teams need to look at the long run for some players. When first drafted these players may sit for a little bit but these players typically progress well. Instead of waiting teams just trade players to other teams and the players deteriorate. I wish teams would think about futures instead of money. Now sometimes need to look at just money, but for those teams who have enough need to stop treating players like property. If teams acted like this think about how much better professional sports will be.

-players would be happier

-Fans would get to see the players they want to see

-Teams would make more money from attendance

This of course is just my opinion and it probably will not make a difference but at least people can try and see my side of things when it comes to player rights.


Former Lewis Student Shares Insight

Former Lewis University student Shane Gustafson spoke to a writing class of mine last week. He provided great insight on being a reporter. Shane spent his tenure at Lewis as a broadcast journalism major. He touched on the difficulties of the job. One example he provided was the first story he had to write for the company he works for. He had to do a package on a new ice machine the local town was receiving. He said it was mostly difficult because it was such a small thing. It was tough to find people to interview about the topic. He said no matter what you are given it is your responsibility to turn it into something newsworthy. I do not want to pursue a career in being a reporter but i do think it is important to still have the knowledge just in case you have no other option. Shane also touched on his favorite things about the job:

-You get to meet a lot of people.

-You can do most of the work on your own time, however there are still deadlines you have to meet.

-you gt to travel to a lot of places you did not know about.

-depending on where you move up the money cam be great.

I felt hearing Mr. Gustafson speak was very important too me as an individual and as a student. The information he provided not only helped learn more about the job, it also answered a good amount of questions I had for my media writing class. I feel everyone who is interested in being a reporter should watch Mr. Gustafson’s demo on you tube. You will see him in some very interesting situations. My favorite was when he was standing in a storm doing a live broadcast. I am very content he took the time to speak with my class and I hope to hear from him again with some more information on being a reporter and journalist.