Before we begin, I need to say it would be absolutely foolish to discuss anything related to sports this week without addressing the biggest story in the Wide World right now. There is a forward to this week’s Sleeper Cell results that contains the thoughts and opinions of those of us here at 3U3D, myself included. It would also be foolish to think that this story will be contained to one week or one sport, and for good reason. This will be a major story going forward as it should be. I will do my best to keep my thoughts on the matter brief and relative, but the whole point of these protests is to drive discussion in an effort to drive change. I cannot and will not refrain from all topics dealing with the current social climate we operate in. Before diving in to the other stories this week, I want to share Gregg Popovich’s comments from Monday’s NBA Media Day. He is a far smarter man than I and vocalizes my opinions on the matter in a far more eloquent way than I could hope.
Gregg Popovich: ‘We still have no clue of what being born white means.’ pic.twitter.com/whTL7y4ktu
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 25, 2017
Lions – Falcons
Fun fact: if the NFL has an obscure rule that many people don’t know about and is potentially controversial, it will end up screwing over the Detroit Lions. This happened for years with the Process Catch that became known as the Calvin Johnson rule as it seemed to only effect him until Dez Bryant emerged to take over that mantle a couple years ago. Now it’s the dead clock to running clock 10 second runoff that has people confused. First, the play in question should not have been overturned. There was not indisputable video evidence to overturn the call on the field. No way. And I’m not convinced he wasn’t in the end zone anyways. There wasn’t even indisputable video evidence as to how much time should’ve been left when he was “down.” But if the refs had “gotten it right” the first time then the Lions would’ve had a chance to run one more play. Would they have gotten one off in time? Doubtful. But it would’ve been in their control. I mean, if the Pats can get an entire platoon swap and field goal kicked with 12 seconds left, why can’t the Lions get a sneak run in 8? But this is nothing new to a Lions fan. Let me present, the most soul crushing 2:10 I’ve watched in a while:
— • (@ItsAntWright) September 25, 2017
Happy 30th birthday to me. Thanks NFL. Ugh
Things have certainly been happening in the NBA this past week. First, Carmelo Anthony’s exile in New York is finally over as he has been traded to the Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and the Bulls 2018 Second Round Draft pick. Unsurprisingly, both Melo and the Thunder come out of this trade way ahead of the Knicks. The Knicks are going to end up paying their duo of centers of Kanter and Joakim Noah a combined $35 million next season. And the Kanter has a player option the following year. McDermott hasn’t been effective in the Association yet. The draft pick is the best part of this as it should be in good position as the Bulls will be straight garbage this year, but more on them in a minute. ‘Melo finally escapes his purgatory for a team that now has a legitimate shot at making the Western Conference Finals. The combo of ‘Melo, Westbrook, and PG13 should put everyone else not playing in the Bay Area on edge.
Back to Chicago, the rebuild is in full effect. This week, after just one season playing in front of his “hometown,” the Bulls and Dwayne Wade agreed on a contract buyout. Essentially the Bulls are paying him to go away. What’s strange about this is the had Wade give them back roughly $8 million back, even though they are now effectively below the Salary Floor. The Bulls are going to have to sign someone just to get back above it but they don’t really want to make a run at anyone worthwhile, because they want to go into next offseason with a ridiculous amount of cap space. Which they will. It’ll be interesting to watch to see if they take a 76er’s style approach to a rebuild or throw all that money at stars next year. But by waiting so long into the offseason, they have already ensured their lottery standing for this year. Sorry Chicago fans. At least you had the GOAT.
Pretty sure this isn’t an official image, though SI did tweet it themselves.
Meanwhile, less than an hour before I started writing this piece it was announced Wade will be joing his good buddy LeBron in Cleveland for 1 year worth 2.3millon. He joins an interesting backcourt that has already added Derrick Rose and Isiah Thomas(whom won’t likely play until January) this offseason, while sending off Kyrie Irving to Boston. The Cavs are still by far and away the favorites to come out of the East this season, and this only strengthens them, even if Wade is very much past his prime.
NCAA Under FBI Investigation
FBI on NCAA bribery investigation: “Today’s arrests should serve as a warning… We have your playbook.” https://t.co/bUKDMbRmMr
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 26, 2017
I don’t have a take on this other than, holy shit are some programs in trouble. Assistant basketball coaches from Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State, and USC were arrested on Tuesday on charges of corruption. This is no small thing and I don’t have a grasp on the legal ramifications of everything at this time, but I do know this is just the tip of the iceberg as Louisville is rumored to be heavily involved in this investigation. The NCAA is seemingly always in hot water in some way, but this is by far the biggest scandal they’ve had to wether since Joe Paterno, and could arguably so more damage to them as a whole.
We are just a little more than a week away from the beginning of the MLB Postseason. While my team has long been out of it, there are some compelling storylines coming up. The only division up for grabs is the AL East, but Boston has a 4 game lead over the Yankees with 6 to play. Both teams have clinched the playoffs so it’s just a matter of which team gets the Division and which takes a Wild Card spot. That leaves one WC spot in the AL, which baring any sort of tremendous collapse will go to the Minnesota Twins. I was very, very wrong at the beginning of the season when I claimed they were going to be in the bottom of the AL. Turns out I was really talking about my Tigers, whom effectively fired Brad Ausmus this week. Huzzah! In the NL, the Cubs are the only team to have not clinched as of this writing, but only need one win to do so. The real battle in the senior circuit will be between the Rockies and the Brewers for the final Wild Card spot. (Theoretically the Cards are in the race too, but I’m ruling them out). The Rockies hold a 1.5 game lead at this point, but also have a series against the Dodger’s to finish out the season. It’ll be a fun last few days to watch.