Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Stuff!

Saturday October22, 2011

NBA Lockout

No matter how hard I attempt to evaluate the current state on the NBA can I find reason to side with the players union. This is the most unreasonable and selfish thing I have ever seen any group associated with labor do.  Np matter how many arena workers are taken to dinner, how many charity games take place, how many millionaire players donate to charity in the next few days, this is wrong, greedy, and selfish.

I wonder what type of money would these players earn if the NBA closes its doors forever. What would 80 percent do. Maybe go to Europe for $150,000 a season with a  few players earning $5,000,000 a year. But that is a far cry from they $20,000,000 type contracts most receive. Could you even imagine Michael Jordan forfeiting his last mega contract and losing endorsement money to venture abroad to earn $10,000,000 as opposed to the $35,000,000 he often earned in a season?

Well, even those who could demand 5 to 10 million a season abroad is a very small percentage of the current players. In fact most would be looking at $1,000,000 type contracts with housing, meals, and cars thrown in. Maybe the bigger stars would receive Mercedes and the lessor stars would receive Honda's. And to be honest even the amount they could earn abroad is way above the national norm of what folks earn here in the greatest country in the world.

How in heavens name can they even expect to earn a higher percentage of the revenue? Regardless of whether NBA Commissioner David Stern, who I do agree is a true arrogant egotistical man behind the phony smile and calm type voice according to what I have heard, is lying or not about the many teams who actually lost money in the past few seasons. I would not care if every team has turned a serious profit. They are after all  in business to make money or they would just be a AAU team. Oops I forgot AAU Guys are now making decent money as well. More on this another time!

What would these guys make if they could not play basketball? Or if they did not play in the NBA? Players with statistics such as 10 points and 7 rebounds a game are earning $10,000,000 per season! Guys averaging 7 points and 3 assists are millionaires! And they feel they are under paid?

Well, in this economy, one that we have seen national unemployment go up and down with people losing homes, families, careers, and health benefits, it is hard to be sympathetic to the NBA Players Union!

On another note Mr. David Stern. Have you forgotten you are from Teaneck, NJ and attended Teaneck HS? You must have since they cannot get you to even stop in every 5 years to encourage kids and faculty. Would not hurt if you even took some of your mega bucks and gave a few thousand to the HS yearly to help keep the freshmen sports programs up and running. Similar to what great guys like Mike Fratello does at Hackensack, NJ HS!

Big East Expansion

OK who is actually running the Big East? Daffy Duck with Elmer Fudd assisting? Are they dumb or just dumber? Looking at schools out of the area where the Big East has ties is just dumb and strange as evidenced by the TCU move without participating. Why not go after the University of Alaska? Maybe the Red Army National Team? Dumb stuff to say the least!  The way they are going seems to be a quick fix and nothing else. They are considering weak teams for the football side and strange teams for the basketball side who really would be using the BE as a spring board to a better fit conference with natural rivalries and better travel options. Please see TCU as a reference. Missouri? Are you kidding me?  Kansas? Why would they? The bottom line is the BE can remain strong based on Basketball and the current schools football programs. Here is my salutation.

For basketball bring in the following teams and only these teams. Xavier (strong Program and they will not jump in 3 years), Temple (natural choice and they have football), Dayton (Outstanding Fans and program), And Duquesne (Improving basketball programs in The Pitt market).  These are the teams that are needed. For football they can hold serve just as things are. Even if they lose West Virginia.  UConn's programs is getting better yearly. Rutgers is doing fine. I honestly do not even see the big loss in those who left if the BE gets the teams mentioned.

Lastly on this subject. Notre Dame is not really needed, especially since they maintain independence in Football. The days of having some teams in the BE and some in other conferences based on team sport is only an opportunity to fail in waiting. You do not see the Big 10, ACC, SEC, etc. doing such foolish stuff. All Teams in, or all teams out! I honestly would even ask Notre Dame to exit if the FB program does not become a part of the conference. Percentages could change but they need to be part of the BE in football. And honestly as bad as they have been in recent years they need to really think about this.

I know football brings in huge revenue but when mentioning the BE the next word out of 95% of people's mouths is basketball! Get those teams mentioned and forget about partial participants in football. Especially weak programs such as Army and Navy! If that's the case why not just add Manhattan or Monmouth for basketball? Same thing!

Four Big  HS Events

Went to IS8 last week and the place was crowded and jumping. Nice to see so many old friends and fellow basketball lovers. Unfortunately it was the same old thing with folks yelling at Refs from the sidelines, and Parents coaching from the stands. Hey wait a minute that was me years ago (smile). Also saw  Coaches on one knee thinking they would get discovered and offered jobs and little un-atheletic guys walking in with stud players and acting as advisors while they really are no more than exploiting adults looking for ego satisfaction or a payday. Sickening!!!!!!  I often wonder how certain folks act as if they are  so important that they can act a certain way. More on this at another time. Trust me it is coming!!!! Again it is coming!!! And it sure will not be popular!

Today is the semi finals at IS8. Might go depending on what I get done this AM. Later at Baruch I need to be at The Jim Couch Event. I LOVE JIM COUCH and SEAN COUCH and all the other wonderful volunteers with the Jim Couch Foundation. My son and I owe them so much. As I have told my son on a number of occasions. After his next big movie or TV job he needs to send them a CHECK! Also needs to send a check to TEANECK HS!  The Jim Couch event gates place at Baruch College in Manhattan today and tomorrow.

Later tonight is an All Star Game between NJ and NYC at Bishop Loughlin HS in the Clinton Hills section of Brooklyn NY. Both a girls and boys game will take place to benefit a scholarship fund established by Kamani Young in honor of his Wife, who passed away a few years back. This game will be exceptional with the best players regardless of class playing. This means there will be stud players across the board. I guess that means the little un-atheletic advisors will be in attendance as well.

Sunday is a huge day at Baruch College with some of the best young players in the country flying in and playing in an  undergraduate All-Star classic as part of the Jim Couch Foundation weekend at Baruch College. They have flown in players from all over the country and they will compete tomorrow in exciting games. You really do not want to miss this!

Well, thats about it for now. Watch out for my next post. It might just come sooner than you realize. And in the future I have some interesting observations to share with you. Even if I do not mention names you will know who I am referring to. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thank God For HS and College Basketball

Good day to all my fellow basketball fans and the many basketball junkies who have followed basketball in NY, NJ, Pa., and Connecticut over the years. A special good day to our areas wonderful and rich in tradition HS and college basketball programs for always providing us with something to cheer for and in a few cases something to cheer against.

Well,  I for one sure hope the NBA Players come to their senses over the contract issues that continues keeping the professional season from taking place. Come on players every one of you are making more money than 95 percent of the Americans who pay outrageous prices to watch you perform. Be real if you can and understand you could be working at The Community Center for $9.00 an Hour, or teaching School for $37,000 a year to start, or even practicing Law for around $130,000 a year if you have it going on. All three are good and needed careers but instead you are making millions yearly and more with endorsements.  Even guys averaging 6 points a game and playing less than half a game,  while playing a game you played at one time for the fun of the game are millionaires.  

I often wonder what many of these players would do if there was no basketball? I honestly think at least half of the current professional players might just  be playing in adult leagues and have careers we would not be saluting as we do the careers I mentioned above. I mean guys averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds are getting $35,000,000 contracts. Are you kidding me!

So please with the BS about the owners. These owners, many of whom might just be grimy, still put up and invested money in a product called NBA basketball and deserve to make money on their investment.

Eddie Griffin Challenge

Loved traveling the 90 miles from my home to The Haverford School which was right down the road from Villanova University. And what a wonderful area this is and it's no wonder they call it the Main-Line. It is right on the way to Philadelphia and if you travel Lancaster Avenue you are almost right at St. Josephs University.

Tree lined  streets with beautiful homes sitting back, wonderful restaurants, and gas stations with the highest prices in 100 miles which also told me I was in the high rent district. I would bet any young kid playing in the game somehow noticed Villanova University as they drove by.

The Haverford School is one of those prestigious HS prep schools located in the Philadelphia Area.  Located down the street from Haverford College, a great school and one that attracts a certain type of student, this campus was gorgeous. And the facilities were traditional prep school similar to the New England traditional schools such as Choate, Berkshire, and the others as well as NJ Prep schools such as Blair Academy, Pennington, Hun, etc. Not sure if they had dorms but the school itself was attractive. Oddly only one single player was listed on the rosters of any of the three games from The Haverford School. Did not get to watch EricAnderson play but hopefully he did a great job and represented well.

Great Job by Jim Salmon and his wonderful team. Always classy, always a great presentation, and always worth every dollar spent.  I also want to thank Jim for stopping the guy coaching the NJ Juniors from continuously dribbling a basketball during the game like he was in the park waiting for next.  Jim went over and took the ball only to have the guy now start making phone calls while coaching the team. Grass roots basketball at its best lol.

Also great to see Kyrie Irving, Wayne Ellington, and JR Smith coaching the teams. In fact Kyrie was really into it even debating the ref a bit over calls. One quick note was the fact all 3 PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYERS did not look like the players of past who would look like a star when they came into the building. They looked and dressed just like young guys from all over America with the capri type pants (JT), jeans down on butt just a bit (Wayne), and erg Jeans (Kyrie). I guess I am just getting older!

The games very good with NJ winning the Junior Game while Philly won both the Sophomore and Senior games convincingly. Did not get to see much of the Sophomore  game but what I did see was Quadri Moore, a 6 ft 9 true big man with a  great feel for the game and skills from Linden HS. Also noticed Rashad Figures from Hackensack HS do his thing although he has never met a shot he did not like. He could be called never going to give it up  Figures of even It Figures he was not giving it up! And he sure did not unless he could not get a shot off.

The Junior game was good and full of Talent as New Jersey showed it has a wonderful Jr. Class. Say what you wish about NYC and Pa. Yes,  very good players but NJ HS basketball will be great in 2012-2013.  Philly seemed to have a very weak Jr. Class but it just might have been NJ was just that much better. Reggie Cameron is a true big-time player and smooth as silk. Shoots, runs, competes, and wins! His teammate this season Mike "Where Did he Come From" Young could be a big-time stud player so good they might clone him to make an army. He really is a skilled big guy. I could have sworn prior to him being at St. Benedict's he was from Pittsburg. Fellow Hudson Catholic player Kavon Stewart is a very fast and quick point guard you will either love or hate depending on if your son is playing with him or not. He has talent and skills but seems to be on a mission to get his as the kids say and not see the court as well as he could if he tried harder. Also holds the ball far too long. He needs to look at tapes of Nate Archibald as Kyrie Irving did in his youth I am sure. But the kid has talent. His head will determine if he is a BE or A10 recruit of a MAAC or NEC recruit.

Of course Jaren Sina played in this game and was also outstanding. Kid can do more than shoot! Moves well and seems to be a tough as nails player who rarely backs down and when he shoots everyone including him expects the shot to go in. He is a huge recruit for people such as Seton Hall, and Rutgers, but I can see him at Syracuse as well if they recruit him, They can hide him on defense and they run an offense geared to him getting his shot off.  Joel Hernandez of Teaneck was only player in the game without his name on his jersey. Jim Solmon, the games director and organizer,  publicly apologized and Mr. Henandez went out and played in a way that made everyone watching know who he was when the game ended.

But here is my best player on the court award. It went to a kid many say has great grades, is a true good person and citizen, and can flat out play his butt off. I am referring to Daren Reed of Princeton Day School! This young man can do everything! Play defense, shoot, make Free Throws, pass, lead, dribble, create. jump, and work the concession stands at halftime before joining the band for the half-time show. He was so good I  could not stop watching him. In fact here is a prediction. This kid will play in the NBA! He is that solid and the colleges in the area need to really step it up. He does EVERYTHING WELL, not good, WELL!

Lets talk about the Senior game. Nice to see the entire Anderson family show up with UCLA gear on. I am sure the bookstore at UCLA was happy they visited based on everyone having something on with UCLA on it. Kyle Anderson,  who could be my best player of all-time, warmed up in his UCLA Basketball shirt. He seems happy and proud of his decision which is a great thing. Celebrate young Kyle because in September all clippings and rep start from scratch. But honestly this kids is and always will be the real deal in my eyes.

Let me point out something else about the great players such as Kyle Anderson. They play against the best and never ever run from basketball challenges. Last year I went to see Michael Gilchrist  play in a number of showcase games since he was the number 1 player in America. He did not show for  any of the games I attended. It was like he was hiding behind his rep and working hard to keep his rankings by not playing in games where ho might not look good due to a lack of team work etc. Well,  Young Kyle seems like he would play on the moon if invited even if he had to play against two headed men with 4 arms.  This kid has always competed from way back and played with the best against the best which is why he has developed so well.

Even with Kyle Anderson Philadelphia had a convincing win against NJ. NJ did have a nice team with Dallas Anglin playing like Seton Hall lost out on another Brevin Knight based on him being from Seton Hall Prep and not getting a sniff from SHU.  He wisely chose Hofstra University of the tough CAA and boy did they get a solid player who has improved leaps and bounds from a year ago. Chris Jones of Teaneck was also solid. I honestly feel he would be a wonderful player for a program such as Dayton, St. Joes, Temple, Delaware, Hofstra, etc.  if he gets a bit more of a swagger he could get noticed by even larger programs.

Melvin Johnson arrived late and announced he had committed to Miami. He went on to have a great 4th quarter. But I had to wonder why would any kid want to attend the University of Miami to play basketball? I understand its a great place to live, work, and be a student. But to play basketball? No one attends games, small arena, no one seems to care, etc. They seem to have the right guy coaching at Miami now. They have a guy who comes from George Mason, a team that went to the Final Four under him, yet rarely had a large crowd in that big arena on campus. He will understand playing ball in font of 2900 and your opponent is The University of North Carolina.  This kid would have been great locally at SHU or Rutgers if they had the space. Even SJU or Temple. Miami? Crazy and to me poor advising!

Ok now here is the scoop on the best player in the building the entire day. And this kid is also a great student from what I hear and an even better person. If there are 50 better players in America than him I sure would love to see them. I am talking about Amile Jefferson a skinny and tough 6 ft 8 impact player who is a smaller version of Kevin Durant but maybe just as good as Kevin was as a HS senior based on what I saw yesterday of him and what I saw when I watched Kevin in HS. Kid goes with either hand and finishes at the rim. Shoots from long range, handles like a two guard, competes hard,  passes to open man, and really defends. I understand he is a high level recruit but based on what I saw,  he should be easily top 25 or 30. By the way his school, according to many, also is one of those ritzy prep schools.

So the two best players I saw yesterday (Kyle Anderson is really the best but had an off game and even with that I would still average 10 a game at my age playing with him) were traditional Prep School Guys with grades and personality! I love it and I love the fact the HS Season is coming up soon.  It should be quite interesting.

Big East Split

I loved the joke one SHU Fan, who has often criticized me, put on the Pirate Crew Board a few weeks back. He said Rutgers has been accepted into the ACC with certain conditions. I and everyone else jumped to read what he had to say. He went on to say the conditions were a lump sum payment of $50,000,000 to the ACC to join and agreeing to play a JV schedule in basketball until the team gets better. Hilarious and as I told a SHU friend, I give credit where credit is due and that was funny as heck.

But really I think Rutgers remains a true sleeping giant in NCAA sports. It will only be a natter of time before Rutgers will be in a post season tournament in basketball and make one of the TRUE bowl games in football as opposed to such bowls as The White Castle Bowl, or The 7-11 Bowl. The football team at RU is one almost every kid in NJ considers when being recruited. It was not like that years ago. In basketball we can feel and see the momentum. I still say without some solid plans to improve and renovate the RAC, it will always be a serious up-hill battle. Kids want great facilities for the most part. The RU Football program has this but the  basketball team, though it has a great coaching staff, needs to support facility wise to keep up with the competition. This has to be a road block for them being admitted to the ACC.

I am sure Seton Hall is watching all of the developments while quietly working and making in-roads with a number of wonderful young players. In fact they seem to be in touch with every good player within a 500 mile radius.  Prudential center is quite Impressive and a kid still can have the best of many worlds. Nice and intimate college campus, huge basketball program playing in 20,000 seat arena, close to major cities, and maybe some of the best and most loyal fans in America.

Well, with Syracuse and Pitt headed out the door I see no reason why The BE does not peruse Xavier and Memphis. Both have great facilities and outstanding support. Memphis also has an up and coming football program. What is the wait?  In fact this should be done now and Syracuse and Pittsburg should be allowed to leave at the end of the season. It would be embarrassing to see one of them win the BE Tournament at MSG.

Basketball wise it would be a strong conference with the addition of Memphis and Xavier. Even add Temple as a 3rd team in anticipation of Rutgers joining the ACC.