Ray Jr. on Sports

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  1. Well folks, the 2016 NBA Draft took place Thursday night, and although I feel that it’s not as glamorous as the NFL Draft (but not as boring as the MLB and NHL Drafts) you can guarantee that the NBA teams were excited to build up their rosters.
  2. Philadelphia 76ers are an example of one of those ‘excited’ teams as once again they earned the #1 overall pick (as they should after finishing 10-72) as expected, the 76ers drafted LSU’s Ben Simmons, arguably the best player in the draft.
  3. Fans and media alike are really hoping that Simmons can have the same impact as HOF Allen Iverson had when he was drafted in 1996. What Sixers fans have to remember is that although Iverson was drafted and won NBA Rookie of the Year in 96-97 (that also included a wicked crossover that shook Michael Jordan out of his shoes), the Sixers still needed time to get good as well. I like the pick, but the Sixers still need a team. Give them time.
  4. Pick #2 went to the LA Lakers, whom after the retirement of Kobe Bryant and 2 very horrible seasons, drafted Duke’s Brandon Ingram, the school’s best player in 2015-16. Ingram is a start to the Lakers rebuilding process, but they know they can’t build a team around him-especially if they’re trying to get good in a hurry. No, the Lakers need to also make a splash move in Free Agency too. A Kevin Durant or even Dwayne Wade would work.
  5. After those first 2 picks, the Draft was pretty much of a bore. But as long as those teams will benefit from drafting those kids, that’s all that matters. As for the local schools, unfortunately no Pitt players were drafted. I was hoping that G James Robinson would get picked up, but he did not. Maybe as an undrafted free agent, or overseas. I wish him the best.
  6. The biggest trade of the day was when the OKC Thunder traded C Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova and a 2017 11th round overall pick. Watch out world, the Celtics are continuing to get better.
  7. But the biggest trade of the week came from Chicago where the Bulls traded franchise player Derrick Rose to the NY Knicks for C Robin Lopez and guards Jerian Grant Jose Calderon. It doesn’t take Einstein to guess that the Knicks won that trade. If he remains healthy, he and F Carmelo Anthony could make things fun in the Big Apple, but they need a big free agent name too.
  8. And of course, there was the NBA Finals where the Cleveland Cavaliers upset the defending champion Golden St. Warriors in a 93-89 Game 7 thriller. The win gave the Cavs the city’s first championship of any kind since the Browns won in 1964. Wow. I would never stop partying if I was a local.
  9. It also gave Finals MVP Lebron James his 3rd title overall (he won 2 with Miami) he came through on his promise to bring Cleveland a title, which he did. I’m very happy for him. Maybe now folks will get off his back. He’s one of the best.
  10. Speaking of James, he announced Thursday that he will not play for the USA team in this year’s Summer Olympics in Rio De Janero to get rest. I mean, can you blame him? The man just led his team from a 3-1 deficit to win it all. Wouldn’t you be tired?
  11. Speaking of that Olympic team, here’s who’s on it now: Durant, Anthony, Paul George, DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green, Kylie Irving and Klay Thompson, to name a few. Hard to believe that Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook and James Harden aren’t going to play. It’ll be interesting how the team does vs. other competition.
  12. Now for MLB…the Pirates are officially a bad team. I’m sorry, they’re my team, but they’re a bad team after losing 3 of 4 to the SF Giants. The Pirates have now lost 20 of 26 and with a record of 34-39, they’re now trailing the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs by 14 games. Just horrible man.
  13. Someone I know said the Pirates are getting what they deserve by doing nothing to capitalize off their 98-win season in 2015-especially with the pitching staff. They let JA Happ walk all the way to Toronto and they sign former Pirate Ryan Vogelsong. They did call up prospect Jameson Tallion, but they need to call up prospect P Ryan Glasnow and 1B Josh Bell.
  14. I wish I could just sit down and talk to the Pirates front office-and ask them if they’re crazy. They’re still acting cheap again, while the Cubs spent $290-and they’re fighting or a championship.
  15. And the offense hasn’t been too impressive either. Other than 1B John Jaso, OF Gregory Polanco, the team doesn’t look to hot. And it doesn’t help that P Gerrit Cole and C Francisco Cervelli are out because of injury. Wow.
  16. As for the standings, of course the Cubs lead the NL Central, the SF Giants lead NL West and the Washington Nationals lead the NL East. In the West, the Baltimore Orioles (and former Pirates 3b-1b Pedro Alvarez) lead the AL East, the Cleveland Indians lead the Central and the Texan Rangers lead the West.
  17. Here’s how slow the NFL is this time of year: ESPN reported that Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown was catching passes from Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. Really ESPN, why is that news?? (Don’t answer, it’s rhetorical)
  18. Truth is, if the Steelers are saying anything about Brown, it would be about giving him a new contract, as his 6-year deal was signed back in 2011. I know that RB Le’Veon Bell will need a new deal, but Brown isn’t just the best WR on the Steelers, but also the NFL. Sign the man.
  19. And of course, more Johnny Manziel news: ESPN also reported that the former Browns QB was involved in a hit-and-run crash on Monday. Really kid, stop trying to destroy yourself. Get some help.
  20. And finally, in the NHL the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins can have added another trophy to the case as GM Jim Rutherford was named NHL GM of the Year. Congrat to him and much deserved.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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