Ray Jr. on Sports




  1. We begin with the NBA, which announced that the OKC Thunder and All-Star guard Russell Westbrook have agreed on a 3-year deal worth $85.7 million. Such a deal ends much speculation that he was following fellow All-Star Kevin Durant out of town via free agency.
  2. I have to admit that I am shocked, because I (and probably you) probably thought Westbrook was gone. But kudos to OKC for putting their money where their mouth is. This was a team that nearly upset the Golden St. Warriors in the Western Conference Finals (albeit with Durant) but now that Westbrook’s committed for at least 3 more years, they’re still a decent team.
  3. In other NBA news, just in case you were wondering what city would get the 2017 All-Star Game now that it was removed from Charlotte NC, because of because of the league’s objection to the state’s House Bill 2, it reportedly will be moved to New Orleans, LA.
  4. Again, I know that both the city of Charlotte and the NBA have different viewpoints regarding this matter, and they stood on them. So as disappointed as Charlotte, the Hornets (and owner Michael Jordan) is, they’re sticking to their guns, as are the NBA. Hence, the All-Star Game won’t be in Charlotte for 2017.
  5. NY Knicks HC Derrick Fisher shocked the NBA world 2 years ago when he was named their head coach. And now that he’s fired, he’s making more shocking news as he announced that he would like to play in the NBA again.
  6. Um…Derrick, slow it down brother. Yes, I know that Magic Johnson was the last man to return from coaching (1993-94) when he did so with the LA Lakers, but it doesn’t mean everybody should do it-and that definitely includes you. And like Magic, you should’ve never been coaching anyway.
  7. As for College Football, they’ve finally released their Preseason Top 25 (USA Today’s Coaches Poll) and to no surprise, defending National Champion Alabama is #1, followed by runner-up Clemson at #2, Oklahoma at #3, another ACC team in Florida State at #4 and Ohio State at #5.
  8. I think the coaches got the Top 5 right. These teams are truly qualified and were truly the best in college football. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if Alabama repeated, but it would be cool to see another National Champion especially if it’s the ACC’s Florida State or Clemson.
  9. As for the Pitt Panthers football team, they will begin Training Camp Monday August 8th. As I’ve mentioned before, there’s lots of expectations on this team as they’re expecting to build off their 8-5 2016 season that ended with a trip to the Military Bowl.
  10. I honestly thing that HC Pat Narduzzi can take this team to places that they haven’t seen in years. Of course that depends on them remaining healthy and finding a reliable WR for redshirt QB Nate Peterman to throw the ball too, because losing All-American WR Tyler Boyd will hurt.
  11. As for Major League Baseball, the smoke has cleared from the August 1st Non-Waiver Trade Deadline and now teams will prepare for the stretch run. Of course, there’s still the August 31st Trade deadline in which teams must put players on waivers and claimed-before they can officially be traded.
  12. If you ask me it’s a crazy process, but it’s what MLB has been doing for years. It certainly helped the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013 when they acquired OF Marlon Byrd and 1B Justin Morneau. I remember in 1998, the SD Padres acquired closer Randy Myers Just to keep him from going to the Atlanta Braves. Pretty shrewd, if you ask me.
  13. As for those Pirates, I just don’t know what to make of them after their role in the Trade Deadline. I didn’t like the trading of closer Mark Melancon one bit-and for the record, I don’t care how well new Closer Tony Watson does, it’s not a move that contenders make.
  14. But what’s done is done, and the Pirates have to move forward. I hope that means moving forward without P Jeff Locke as he awful performance resulted in the Pirates losing 8-4 to the Braves Wednesday night. For those who weren’t watching, the Pirates were ahead 4-0.
  15. I also was stunned that they would trade starter Francisco Liriano as well. Yes, he was awful (6-11) this season, but he’s a sentimental favorite and played a critical part in the Pirates return to a playoff team. But he’s gone now and the Pirates playoff chances could be gone too.
  16. As for the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers are making news as they continue their Training Camp in Latrobe. Apparently CB Senquez Golson is possibly facing a season-ending injury yet again as he suffered a Lisfranc foot injury and could be out nearly four months, and possibly the 2016 season.
  17. I feel bad for the kid, because he still hasn’t played his rookie season after being a second round draft pick out of Mississippi in 2015. He missed that season after needing shoulder surgery. I wish him the best and hope he can on the field this season.
  18. As for WR Antonio Brown, it’s no secret that he wants a new contract (and deservingly so) but he should know by now, that the Steelers have a strict policy of not negotiating contracts with more than a year left on their current one. Now Brown hasn’t made waves, but he’s made enough hints to cause GM Kevin Colbert to comment.
  19. According to espn.com, Colbert reiterated that he will only negotiate Pro-Bowl G David DeCastro, who does have a year left. The only exception to that rule are starting QBs which was evident when they re-signed QB Ben Roethlisberger to a new deal worth $99 million. Like I said before, shrewd business, man.
  20. So the 2016 Summer Olympics begin Friday, in addition to watching the Olympic Men and Women’s basketball teams, I look forward to seeing Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas get more Gold, and Alison Phoenix dominate in Track & Field. Go USA!

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