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Why is it that now, more than ever, National Basketball Association (NBA) players are forced by the media to be overly concerned about their legacies? This doesn’t necessarily result from the media questioning the players directly during interviews; rather, it’s the consequence of legacies being such a hot topic amongst NBA analysts on television, Twitter and other forms of media and the need to fill the 24/7 sports talk and news cycle.
As a National Basketball Association (NBA) fan watching the playoffs, I want there to be intrigue, upsets and games that go down to the wire, but unfortunately most of that does not come until the Conference Finals and NBA Finals. Meanwhile, I overhear all the drama of the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs and wish I was a fan of the NHL so I could: 1) Enjoy the early round matchups and 2) Understand the history of what happened in the first round.
In a media atmosphere where the entirety of television is fighting for viewership from a week-to-week basis, it’s important to not fall behind in the ratings war. With the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the National Hockey League (NHL) Playoffs and the National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs all occurring at the same time, each night is a battle to capture the eyes of America.
I may or may not have come in last place in my high school’s NCAA tournament bracket pool last year. Either way, it is irrelevant because this year, I placed in the 99th percentile of all ESPN brackets. After some embarrassments in years past, I made sure that this year would be better, and now I’ve won just about every bracket pool I entered, including The News-Letter’s Sports section’s bracket pool. With so many teams competing, many people think it all comes down to luck, but I’m here to tell you that there’s a method to the madness.
Last week, I watched what may have been Kemba Walker’s last game in a Charlotte Hornets jersey. Now that he is a free agent, he has to choose whether or not to stay with the city that he has called home for his eight NBA seasons. Nothing could have summed up his eight-year career in purple and teal better than that game. Walker went off, going for 43 points with a 72 percent effective field goal percentage. It was as entertaining as it was dominant, with a slew of aerial acrobatics, mesmerizing handles and a jumper so sweet it would send you straight to the dentist.
The 162 game marathon known as the MLB regular season finally commenced this past week, and fans around the country rejoiced. Baseball’s offseason always seems to take an eternity, almost as long as the season itself takes.
With March Madness wrapping up this week, it’s time for a whole new group of seasonal fans to come off of the hardwood and onto the frozen pond as the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs begin a new iteration this week. Sixteen teams will begin their quest for the greatest prize in hockey, and with new faces and old faces ready to collide, the stage is set for a fun month of springtime hockey.
With only a few games remaining in the regular season, it’s time to predict the winners of the NBA’s awards. The League is always changing with new players breaking out each year and, as crazy as it seems, this is the last time in this article that I’ll be mentioning LeBron James.
Most fans of Major League Baseball (MLB) feel a mix of anger and dread when they hear the words “pace of play.” It’s the debate that’s been dominating baseball for the past few years and doesn’t show any signs of letting up.
Baseball’s best player finally got his payday. This past week, it was announced that centerfielder Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a contract extension. The terms? A record breaking $430 million over 12 years, the largest contract in the history of American professional sports. The announcement comes on the heels of Bryce Harper’s own record-breaking contract, overtaking his deal by $100 million. The massive deal puts Trout in his own echelon, daunting the contracts of Harper, San Diego Padres signee Manny Machado and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.
In the Round of 32 in this year’s National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Basketball Tournament, there was only one upset, and that was No. 5 Auburn University steamrolling No. 4 University of Kansas, so it was not even that surprising of a victory. While this means we may not have a Cinderella team coming from outside the Power Five conferences, it also means we will have some highly anticipated matchups in the Sweet Sixteen.
With free agency now under way, the NFL’s quarterback landscape is beginning to take shape. The Joe Flacco and Case Keenum trades to the Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins, respectively, can be made official, and Nick Foles has signed a four-year, $88 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Last week, the Cleveland Cavaliers were officially eliminated from playoff contention. That means for the first time in four years, we are guaranteed to see a new matchup in the NBA Finals come June.
A couple of players just got a whole lot richer and two fan bases are about to enjoy their season considerably more. The two most sought after free agents in recent history, third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado and outfielder Bryce Harper, whose negotiations dragged well into spring training, finally found a home this past week.
In my opinion, the rivalry between Duke University and University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill’s basketball teams may be the best in all of sports. The two teams play each other at least twice per year — three times if we’re lucky — and their matchups never disappoint. That was until last Wednesday, in the game when Zion Williamson, the Blue Devils’ once-in-a-generation phenom, was set to leave his mark on the rivalry at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
With about 20 games remaining for most of the teams in the NBA, the MVP discussions have begun to heat up, and three top candidates have separated themselves from the field as leading candidates for the award. The three leading the way are Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George and James Harden.
The NBA has officially hit the home stretch of its season with All-Star Weekend coming to a close. The three days of prescribed fun have finished and now teams are gearing up to make the final push toward the postseason. The playoff picture in both conferences is far from clear, with singular wins and losses separating seeds one through eight in the East and the West. This article will address the biggest things to focus on in both conferences as we march towards the NBA Playoffs.
The NFL offseason has just begun, but there are already a number of noteworthy storylines to discuss. From quarterback movement to highly public trade requests to the coaching carousel, there’s a lot to delve into.
Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training this week for all 30 MLB teams. By next week, all rostered players will have reported to either Arizona or Florida for the start of the MLB season, but barring major developments in the next week, there may be some superstars who will still not be on a team.