I’m back. I know you missed me, probably not, but still, here I am. Nearly a month strong in the dark, watching the world of sports go by. Except, as many know, July is a wasteland. NOTHING GOES ON. Yes, baseball is in the dead heat of summer, where the games are about to reach the point of each being crucial, but not quite. NFL starts in early August, and all the winter sports are in hibernation.
Alas. Sports still went on. In some form, they will never stop. Before we move onto the beginning of fall and the NFL, College Football and the MLB playoffs, let’s take a quick look back.
So without further ado sports world, let’s catch up.
Although it was not needed, the NBA once again secured its place as the most entertaining league in the world, and after this summer, it shouldn’t even be a debate. I know for a fact that no league will ever have the free-agency period the NBA just had. A whopping $1.4 BILLION, WITH A B, was committed to players during
the first week day one. With the salary cap on the exponential rise over the next few years, to a possible mind-boggling $108-million by the 2017-18 season, many players saw fit to cash in while NBA teams looked at those deals as bargains.
For instance, DeMarre Carroll, formerly with Atlanta where he had a breakout season with the one-seeded Hawks (12.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG) and was a complete monster on the defensive end this season, garnered a eye-popping 4-year $60 million deal with the Raptors. Except, in a few years, Carroll might have gotten $10-million more with the cap to rise, giving front offices incentive to “over-pay” guys now.
Guys like Jimmy Butler, Greg Monroe, Wesley Mathews and Marc Gasol also received much deserved pay raises, while Detroit seemingly paid Reggie Jackson just because they had money to spend, coughing up a 5-year $80 million contract. For those counting at home, Reggie Jackson is now making about the same amount of money as All-Star John Wall, who happened to notice.
“People talk about me getting $80 million, now you got people getting $85 million that haven’t made the All-Star (Game) or anything like that,” Wall told CSN Washington on Tuesday while watching a summer league game. “I guess they came in at the right time. That new CBA kicked in and they’re good now. Reggie Jackson gets five years, $80 million. I’m getting the same as Reggie Jackson.”
Jackson wasn’t the only move where the numbers made many scratch their heads around the league. $54 million to Robin Lopez in New York, a collective $110 million for the front court of Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez and the Pelicans hashing out $80 million for Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca, not so long after extending super-human Anthony Davis’ contract by a record $145 million. Times, they are a changin’.
Yet, we can’t forget to recap the greatest day in free-agency across any sporting league EVER. Here is your quick guide:
The emoji day in the NBA was rapid fire. Players, coaches, former players and even MJ tweeting emoji’s of what they were doing, and of course Kobe took the time to troll twitter by tweeting about his 5 rings. Here is the best infographic I could find on the internet to summarize the day, courtesy of Grantland:
It was a mad-dash to Houston. I envisioned this entire day going down like the movie It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, similar plots, both ending with large amounts of money being handed out in an extremely comedic way, except Blake Griffin and Paul Pierce were the comedians on this wild night.
If you love Twitter and the NBA, it was a day for the ages. The Clippers retained Jordan, and strengthened their non-existent bench with veterans such as Pierce, Wes Johnson, Josh Smith and rookie Branden Dawson while resigning Austin Rivers.
But that doesn’t really matter. Because the Spurs, as usual, won the summer without winning a title. Re-signed Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Manu Ginobli, while inking the signatures of David West (who took an $11 million pay-cut, noting “I just want to win games”) and of course, the sign of the summer, LaMarcus Aldridge from Portland. Speaking of the Spurs…
Becky Hammon and the Rise of Women Coaches in Professional Sports
I know 10,000 things other than the NBA went on during the summer, but October is just too far away, so one last thing.
This is awesome, Becky Hammon becomes first Woman coach to coach in the NBA Summer League, and she leads the team to the Summer league title. Now, the story really isn’t about winning the summer league, which is a cross between a rookie showcase and the pick-up game going on down your street at the park right now, but how the players reacted to her coaching, is the real story.
There was nothing but praise for Hammon, at the highest order.
For those who are quick to point out and say that this is all a publicity stunt, remember the organization. The San Antonio Spurs and coach Greg Popovich are the antonym of publicity stunts. They don’t do things just to do them. They are about winning, they are about doing whatever it takes for that Larry O’Brien trophy.
Becky Hammon is more than qualified to do this job. Hired back in ’14 as the first female assistant ever, to first female head coach in Summer League, Hammon has a track record better than most. 6x WNBA All-Star, 2x All-WNBA First Team, 1 of 7 players in WNBA history to score 5,000 career points, all within a 16-year career. She runs a pick-and-roll better than most point guards in the NBA.
Watch that video again, watch how she commanded that locker room and had those guys competing. She isn’t just a woman who coaches basketball, she’s a damn good coach period. It wouldn’t surprise me if she was the successor to Popovich. Becky Hammon is a winner, and that’s what they do in San Antonio, win.
Also, Jen Welter, new Arizona Cardinals Linebackers coach, she is doing pretty well, too.
Sorry old guys, this has become a young man’s game once again. If you have been even paying the slightest of attention to baseball this summer, you’ll realize that A) Derek Jeter is actually retired for good and B) the next generation of talent is already here. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, the two guys who lead the 25-and-under revolution, are the type of guys who come along every 20 years.
But they are not alone.
Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Jose Fernandez, Kris Bryant, Manny Machado, Sonny Gray, Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, Joc Pederson and Salvador Perez. Those are just a few, there is an entire army of them.
20 players combined from both the NL and AL All-Star teams were 25-years old or younger, the first time that has ever happened in the 85 years the All-Star Game has been played. They aren’t just promising young guys either, they are the faces of franchises RIGHT NOW. In case you aren’t familiar, let’s roll the tape of some of the best.
SS Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
3B Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
SP Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins
I could go on. They are coming from every team, good or bad. Jason Stark wrote about how incredible this golden age is back during the All-Star break.
And then there is their leader, Mike Trout. His legend continues to grow by the game. On Friday, he turned just 24-years young. He has already amassed 130 career home runs and 689 career hits. In comparison to the career leaders in both categories (Barry Bonds and Pete Rose) on their 24th birthday, Bonds had only 59 home runs and Rose had 311 career hits.
Premier League! Premier League! Premier League!
Finally, It’s back. The beautiful game has finally arrived once again. And GoatSports is more than prepared for this season. Introducing GoatFC, a category solely focused on the world of football. From Premier League to Champions League, GoatSports will dissect Match Week 1 to 38 and the biggest games in between such as the legendary Derby’s and title clashes.
With the Premier League kicking off this weekend and into the following week, GoatFC will have it all covered all the way until a champion is crowned in May.
In the meantime…
Deflate-Gate Will Never Die
The League and Goodell have finally given their verdict. The suspension upholds and Brady still gets 4 games. This story may never die, and at this point, I’m completely okay with it. One thing I’m still not so okay with though…
Ray Rice received a 2-game suspension for violating the “Domestic Abuse Policy” and Brady gets 4-games for “more probable than not” over deflating a football.
That also gives us a nice segue into our next topic to look forward too, football, both College and NFL, is finally back. Later this month a release of Goat’s Top-25 will be released in sections (as well as predictions of the College Football Playoff) along with Division-by-Division previews of the NFL, including playoff and Super Bowl 50 predictions.
Enjoy what little down time you have for the remaining of the summer.
Fall class and football are almost in session.