It’s time to end the burning of the jerseys!!

                   In the NBA mostly, there is a “tradition” going around that needs to stop. That tradition is when a player changes team, then the fans who have that players jersey, set it on fire!! The latest occurrence of this was this past month when Isaiah thomas jersey burningThomas was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Cleveland Cavaliers. What made it awkward for those fans who burned the jerseys, is that the trade almost did not happen due to a concern on the Cavaliers side regarding Isaiah’s hip that he injured in the playoffs. I strongly believe that this should stop happening due to it being immature on the fans part and just idiotic since the fans pay so much for those jerseys in the first place.

irving jersey burning

                  Most of the times, when a fan burns a jersey, they do it because the player whose jersey they have has left that team. What makes the situation with Isaiah’s jersey burning worse, is that he did not choose to leave the organization. Other examples of this happening would be, earlier this summer when Hayward would leave the Jazz to join his former college coach, Brad Stevens, in Boston in hopes of hayward jerseywinning a title, and one of the most infamous examples of this would be when Lebron left Cleveland the first time to join Wade and the Miami Heat back in 2010. This “tradition” needs to stop. It makes fans come off as disrespectful. We as fans of any team and the NBA, need to show more class when it comes to the players changing teams when they feel like it is best for their careers or their families. I bet the Cavs fans who burnt Lebron’s jersey wish they could go back to stop themselves from burning it like the Celtics fan did when the trade was almost vetoed.
james jersey burning

 

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Redskins training camp interviews part 4: DJ Swearinger

         In the final installment of the Redskins training camp interview series, my sight is set on the tenacious hard hitting 5th year safety out of South Carolina in DJ Swearinger. Swearinger comes to the Redskins after spending a little over a year in Arizona with the Cardinals. He was drafted out of South Carolina in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft when the Houston Texans picked him. After two okay seasons with the Texans, Swearinger would go on to sign with the Buccaneers, but would only last 7 games with them and then moved on to the Arizona Cardinals, where he began to show promise of a good player.

How does it feel to be playing alongside your former high school teammate in josh Norman?

“It means a lot, man, it means a lot. We hold Greenwood high. You know, small normanswearingercountry town. We’ve got a lot of talent in Greenwood and to have two guys on the same team from Greenwood is amazing, man. I can’t wait to get back out there with Josh and do what we used to do.”

On if he could have imagined playing with Norman in the NFL:

“It’s kind of crazy because I got drafted with a high school teammate in Houston, Sam Montgomery. So, I don’t know how that can happen – I got drafted with a high school teammate and end up coming to play with another high school teammate, which is very rare. But, it happened and it’s a blessing that it happened this way.”

What motivates you to play as hard as you do dating back to your Gamecock days?

“I have to bring that because I’m a natural born leader. My mom always told me to lead, not to follow. That’s what I’m doing here. We’ve got an excellent opportunity swearingercollegeevery day, man, when we go out there on that field. It’s a blessing to be out there, so why not give your all, give it high energy and give the energy that feeds off others? That’s what I try to do, and I’ll keep continuing to do that.”

 

I want to thank Adam Winkler, of WTKR in Norfolk, for passing along my questions for Redskins Training camp. @Adamwinksports

 

Redskins training camp interviews part 3: Jay Gruden

                In part 3 of the training camp interview series, I passed a long a question to Adam to ask the Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden. Gruden begins his fourth season as the head man of this franchise.  In his first three seasons, Coach Gruden has lead the team to a record of 21-26-1 with one division title, a playoff loss to the Packers and two straight winning seasons. Over his tenure, Gruden has gotten this team to play at a higher level than they have played in recent years. Cough*Shanahan & Zorn Era*cough cough. In this season, Gruden has a new Defensive Coordinator for the second time in the last three years, and third coordinator over his tenure. Greg manuskyManusky has been promoted to Defensive Coordinator after being LB coach for the last few years. For the first time since he got here, Gruden will have a new Offensive Coordinator, in Matt Cavanaugh, after Sean McVay left to take over the HC position out in LA for the Rams. This team has changed so much under Gruden’s leadership, since Mike Shanahan lead this team.

 Do you feel confident with this year’s team on both sides of the ball with both coordinators being replaced and having to replace huge playmakers on the offensive side?

cavanaugh2

        “I think that’s what the offseason was for the new coaches to get acclimated to how we do things, how we practice, how we prepare, acclimated to the system and meetings with the coordinators and all that good stuff. I feel good that all the coaches are up to speed and confident in what they can do. We have a great staff, great new additions I feel good about, now it’s just a matter of getting the most out of the players, and that’s our job as coaches.”

 

     In the final installment of this series, the focus will be on one of the new members of the secondary in DJ Swearinger the tenacious, hard hitting 5th year full safety out of South Carolina who was with the Cardinals last year.dj

Redskins training camp interviews part 2: Terrelle Pryor Sr.

                In part 2 of my interview series, my spotlight is on the new Wide Receiver for the Redskins, Terrelle Pryor Sr. Pryor came into the league, as a QB out of Ohio State, in the third round of the supplemental draft when the Oakland Raiders picked him. He would spend three years in Oakland, where he would pass for only 9 TD’s and 12 INT’s. After his time with the Raiders, he would go on to be on the Seahawks, Chiefs, and Bengals, before converting to wide receiver for the Browns. In his first full season as a WR, Pryor would catch 77 passes for 1,007 yards and 4 TD’s. If he could put up a 1000-yard season with as many QB’s as the Browns went through, imagine what he could do with a Pro Bowl QB who is secured in the starting position.

             pryor

   What went into deciding to leave Cleveland and come to Washington?

           “Jay, funny, funny as hell. And that’s from being around his brother Jon, but I just knew, I was with Andrew Hawkins in Cleveland and all he did was rave about Coach Jay Gruden. And then you meet some [people], I had a couple Redskins buddies that I had on the team – not here now – that I talked to about him and they [were] like, ‘Man, Jay, he’s one of the best coaches I’ve played for.’ And now that I’m here, he’s up there in terms of mine. You know, I love talking to the guy. We talk a lot. I love… I just enjoy him. I enjoy being around him. I can’t wait to get to meetings to kirkterrellehear him talk because he’s just so funny. And, you know, you’re tired, your legs are tired, but it’s good to have a coach that’s amused and he’s a team’s and a player’s coach. You know, it’s a blessing to have a coach like that. In terms of Kirk, I just think he’s just an exceptional quarterback. I mean, there’s nothing much more to say. I mean, the guy, he’s been through some tough times as well. He sat a long time, really got to be able to view the game from a different perspective. To see him come out and the way he played, I was always a fan of him. I loved watching him play, even when he was playing for the Redskins. I just enjoyed watching him. So, I was like, ‘That’s the type of guy I want to be around, you know?’ And he does that crazy thing ‘You like that,’ but that’s that fire he has. And I want to be around a guy that has fire, a guy that’s a leader, a guy that wants guys to be accountable and wants to trust you, but you’ve got to earn his trust. I like guys like that. That’s why I like… I saw Kirk and from that standpoint, I wanted to join him and play with him.”

 

On playing for Cleveland and now playing for a team that is “set at quarterback”:

           “A lot of people ask me, ‘How was Cleveland?’ and ‘Did you enjoy Cleveland?’ I enjoyed Cleveland. I loved Cleveland, just from the standpoint of I loved playing football. It doesn’t matter where it’s at. It’s still a little kid’s dream. There’s no exception, just because you get to the NFL that you should down a team just because the team’s not very good or whatever or they don’t have many quarterbacks. But I enjoyed that. I tried to make the best out of the situation. I think they are going to be cousins2a good team over there. I don’t want to down them. They have a great organization, but at the same time, it’s good to play with a guy like Kirk, like I was just talking about. A guy that loves the game, a guy that has got fire, a guy that guys trust, a guy that guys look up to and want them to lead. It’s just different and when you have a guy set in place like that, there’s structure here. I can’t wait. It’s getting better and we’re getting timing down. We’re having a great time, a blast, having fun and talking a lot. I’m bothering him in meetings, sitting right beside me. So, it’s going to be a fun time.”

    In part 3 of the training camp series is the head man himself, Jay Gruden, and how he feels about this team going into the season with new coordinators.

Redskins training camp interviews Part 1: Kirk Cousins

           During training camp for the Washington Redskins in Richmond, I passed along questions for certain players to Adam Winkler, a reporter for WTKR in Norfolk Virginia. I will be breaking the questions and answers into multiple posts separated by who the questions were for. This series includes Kirk Cousins, HC Jay Gruden, Terrelle Pryor Sr, and DJ Swearinger.

           The first in my training camp interview series is “Captain Kirk” himself. Looking back at his season last year, Cousins completed 67% of his passes for 4917 cousins2yards, 25 TD’s and 12 INT’s, which culminated in an appearance in the Pro Bowl. So, the expectations are high for the 5th year QB out of Michigan St, and the whole team. Especially since the team has back to back winning seasons for the first time in over ten years.

 

Do you see any differences so far from throwing to crowderGarçon and Jackson last year to throwing to Pryor, crowder and everyone else.

              “Height is an advantage if you can use it to your advantage, I guess. You know, you’ve got to be able to put the ball in the right spot where your guy can catch it, and he’s got to be able to adjust to the football and make those tough catches at a high point. So, that’s what the reps in practice are all about is developing that rapport and learning how to do that very consistently against tight coverage. But, it certainly can be used to our advantage if we get better at it, and well see, you know, if we can do that over the next six weeks.”

 Do you feel like you and the offense are in a good place for this season with new weapons at your disposal, having Jackson and garcon leaving in free agency and having a new coordinator in place?

pryor

              “Turnover is a part of this league. I think about eight out of 32 head coaches get let go every year and players are constantly changing so you’re going to have a lot of attrition. We’ve been fortunate to have some continuity, but this year we do have some changes so we’re going to show, hopefully, that we’re a mature football team and that we handle those changes well and we’re able to keep moving forward in the right direction. I feel good about where we are in terms of talent that’s there on the field and I feel good about Jay calling plays and running this offense. So, there’s enough firepower there and there’s enough people in place that we just have to fine-tune and all get on the same page and use this time — these next six weeks behind the scenes — to build that so that come Week 1, we’re a well-oiled machine and ready to go.”

gruden cavanaugh

 

             In the next piece, I will be showing the interview with the new WR for the Redskins, Terrelle Pryor Sr, and what it’s like to play on team with a stable QB situation compared to the revolving door in Cleveland and what went into his decision to come to DC.

“Another cash grab for Danny Ainge”

            Over the past weekend, the Celtics and Danny Ainge traded the top overall pick in the upcoming draft to the 76ers for the 3rd overall pick and at least one future first round pick that the 76ers received from the Suns through the Lakers if that pick falls between pick number two and pick number five. If the pick is either the top pick or sixth or later than the Celtics will instead receive a pick that the 76ers received from Sacramento. With the pick that the 76ers will receive, they are predicted to pick fultzthe scoring threat out of the University of Washington in Markelle Fultz, a freshman point guard. The freshman scored 23.2 points this year to go along with 5.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists for the huskies. Per an article on New England Sports Net, it talks about how reports coming out saying that one of the reasons that the Celtics traded the pick was that they had serious concerns that Fultz is not a true winner since his team only won 9 games this past year.

                I believe that the Celtics made a good move with trading the pick away. This team is trying to acquire the services of a star in the league rather than drafting an unproven player. With them completing this trade with Philly, the Celtics have a bundle of first round picks that they can use to trade for a big-name star in the bosphillyleague. Following this trade, the Celtics now have seven first round picks for the next three years. Only time will tell if this trade works out for both teams, or will be another trade like the one the Celtics had with Brooklyn, when they sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry to the Nets.

                In the history of the modern era of the NBA Draft, the top pick has only been traded seven times, before the pick has ever played for that team, including this trade between Boston and Philly, with the last time coming in 2014 when the Cleveland Cavaliers sent Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett to the Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love. The other times it happened were in 1950 when the Celtics traded Chuck Share to the Pistons for Bill Sharman, the next time was in 1957 when the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) sent Hot Rod Hundley to the Lakers for Clyde Lovelette, in 1980 Boston sent Joe Carrol to the Warriors for Robert Parish and a draft pick that would land them Kevin Mchale, Brad Daugherty was sent from Philly to Cleveland in 1986 and Chris Webber was sent to the Warriors from the Magic in exchange for Penny Hardaway in 1993.  I guess you could say that the Celtics are not new to trading the top pick.

       The only trade that backfired would be the 1986 trade that had the 76ers sending the top pick to the Cavaliers in exchange for Roy Hinson. This trade backed fired since with the Cavaliers, Daugherty would be a 5 time all star in his 8 year career and daughertywould never average lower than the 15.7 points he averaged his rookie year. For his career, Daugherty averaged 19 points 9 rebounds and 3 assists. On the other end of the trade, the 76ers received Roy Hinson, this trade is one sided due to the fact that Hinson was out of Philly after 1.5 years with the team.

              This trade is a win-win for both teams, because for the 76ers, they get another young player to help with “The Process”, and for the Celtics, they get more assets to try to acquire talent to overthrow the Cavaliers and Warriors as the top teams in the league.

 

The Trilogy is Completed

                 As we all know, Golden State and Cleveland in the NBA Finals for the third straight year. So, it’s now three straight years of Steph vs Kyrie, three years of Lebron vs Klay and three years of Love vs Green. The big difference is Kevin Durant who left Oklahoma City for Golden State in hopes of winning his first title. Golden State showed the sports world they were not playing around with the addition of Durant. So, this budding rivalry could become a mainstay in the Championship series the same way that the Celtics and Lakers were throughout the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

        cavsvswar2        This rivalry has already managed to do something that no other rivalry or match up in NBA Finals has done, and that is appear in three straight Finals against each other. Teams have met in back-to-back finals 13 times including the first two match ups of Cleveland and Golden State. In every back to back Finals match up, the team that lost the previous match-up is 7-6 in the next match up. If you take that serious then, history is more on Golden State’s side than it is Cleveland.

                After the 113-91 thrashing that the Warriors gave the Cavs in game 1 on Thursday night, it looks as if history is truly on the Warriors side and they may be cavsvswar4able to pull out a championship by the end of this. I know that its only one game, it’s too early to tell and anything could happen, but if you look at how the Cavs played, that was their worst game this postseason and their worst game since they lost to the Clippers 108-78 back on March 18th.

             canvsdet   From an article by USA Today, this is the fourth time in all major US sports leagues that a trilogy has happened and the first in more than sixty years. The last trilogy was in the NHL where the Canadiens and Red wings matched up in the Stanley Cup Finals in ’54, ’55, and ’56. Looking through the eras in basketball, it is really surprising that there nflhas never been a trilogy before today with how many dynasties and rivalries there were, from all of the legendary Celtics and Lakers match ups, to the Lakers and Pistons in the ‘80s, to every other star-studded match up.

                In the trilogy for the Canadiens and Red wings, the Red wings wound up winning two out of three against the Canadiens. In the MLB, it hasn’t happened since the babethe 1920’s when Babe Ruth was playing on the Yankees when they faced The New York Giants and Frankie Frisch from 1921-1923 with the Giants winning two out of three against the Yankees. In the NFL, it has not happened since the 50’s, before there was the Super Bowl, when the Cleveland Browns, led by Hall of Fame QB Otto Graham and Head Coach Paul Brown, faced off against the Detroit Lions, led by Hall of Famers Bobby Layne and Doak Walker, from 1952-54 with the Lions winning the first two match ups and becoming only the third team in league history at that point to repeat as champions.