NHL Draft Experience

About a month ago, a friend and I attended the NHL Draft in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center (home of the New Jersey Devils). I have now been to the NFL and NHL Drafts, and I can say that one must go to a draft to experience it, at least once. Let’s first touch on the Prudential Center, a super nice venue, placed in one of the worst cities in America. Good idea gone bad by the Devils ownership!

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Next, let’s touch on the draft and how it is handled by the NHL. The Draft is seven rounds and used to be held over two days, but this year was changed to a one day format starting at 3 PM with an estimated finish time of 10:30 PM … yeah right!!!! This is the mistake the NFL made originally by having the first and second rounds on the same day. Why fix what wasn’t broken? That’s a mere hour per round and, yes it began to pick up in the third round, but it was already 8 PM by the time the third round was basically over and you can bet your ass we weren’t staying. The NHL have the “war” tables set up right in front of the stage. These tables are massive with about 30 people sitting around them including the general managers from each club. Throughout the first round, as each pick is made, about ten of these individuals walk up on stage with their teams jersey and announce the name of the selected player, handing out hugs and handshakes galore. Then come the photo-ops and each player walks to his new team’s table to give gratitude to each individual and heads off for television interviews. All in all its a nice process for the young men who lives have just changed immensely. However, the two day idea should be reinstated next year.

A couple of other aspects I like is the Fan Fest they had outside this year. It makes it more interesting for the fans and more entertaining with the games, shops and the Food Trucks (the prices should definitely be lowered), but all in all it’s good for the kids. Another cool thing I saw happening often was the amount of interaction between the players and the fans. For example, Seth Jones (projected No. 1 pick) was surrounded by fans and was happy to take pictures and sign programs. Something I have mixed feelings on is the movement of the draft each year, I think it’s a great idea, but some of success of the NBA and NFL drafts can definitely be attributed to it’s location on the main stage that is New York City. Last year’s draft was in Pittsburgh and next year will be Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. I think time will tell how this will fare, but to conclude I think the NHL needs to go back to two days to keep the fans from getting too bored and the duration of the draft from getting obnoxious.

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I’ll link everyone to the draft results instead of boring you with who’s who and who your team drafted!

http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftsearch.htm?year=2013&team=&position=&round=1

Those are my two cents … cash them in!

-Anthony

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Ron Mexico

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Take on the MLB All-Star Game

Last night was the MLB All-Star game at Citi Field, and as usual most people didn’t care. The All-Star really started to lose its luster in 2002 when the game was played at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The game had pushed on to the 11th inning and the managers had used up all of their pitchers to this point. Bud Selig thought it smart call the game in a tie, with no MVP being awarded. After this Bud Selig decided it was a good idea to make the All-Star game worth something, disabling his own “ability” to end the game in a tie if need be. The All-Star game winner (National league or American League) would be awarded home field advantage in the World Series. Now, many of you might not know the rules of the All-Star voting. It is made up 50% of fans vote, selecting starters and reserves as well as 50% Manager picks; however, each team must have one representative be “selected” to the game. Consequently, each year the Royals, Tigers, Indians, Blue Jays, Pirates, Astros, Mets, Marlins and so on have been in the cellar, each has had a player go to the All-Star game that would soon mean much more to teams that would actually make the playoffs. Silly isn’t it right? Major League Baseball was saying okay this is the “big boy” game that counts for something because in baseball home field advantage does mean something (the last three World Series have been won by the team with the home field advantage.)  Then, they turn around and say, “It’s okay Billy one of you will make the All-Star team. We won’t leave any of you guys out. We promise!” A little contradictory, but I still watch the damn thing, or most of it each year.

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This year was a pitcher’s game, ending in a 3-0 victory for the American League. Max Scherzer and Matt Harvey both started, and Harvey dazzled his hometown crowd after letting the first two guys on. He also belted Robinson Cano above the knee with a 96 mph fastball, no biggie. The two runs were manufactured runs. Jose Bautista hit a sac-fly off of Patrick Corbin scoring Miguel Cabrera. The next inning J.J. Hardy grounded into a fielder’s choice scoring Adam Jones. Finally, in the ninth, Jason Kipnis doubled in Prince Fielder, who was standing on third after his hustling triple. However, the most important part of the game happened in the eighth inning when Mariano Rivera entered the game as “Enter Sandman” played behind him. Jim Leyland called on Mariano to pitch the eighth because he didn’t want to chance the National League making a comeback and Mo not being able to reach the field if there was no bottom half of the ninth inning. The most eye-opening occurrence was that nobody took the field with Mo, but by the time he reached the mound both dugouts were on their feet cheering and applauding for him, along with the over 45,000 that were in attendance at Citi Field (a rival’s ballpark.) You could see the emotion in the building, the players as well as in the greatest closer of all time, who will be the last person in baseball to regularly sport the number 42. It may not be the best show on earth, but last night’s game showed the class and respect for greatness that is still instilled within baseball. Now baseball turns their sights to the second half, which will be dominated by the trade deadline, the playoff race, and a crap ton of more A-Rod and Yasiel Puig talk.

The GOAT, Ladies and Gents!

The GOAT, Ladies and Gents!

Those are my two cents … cash them in!

 

P.S. If you haven’t seen the video of Matt Harvey asking New Yorkers what they think of Matt Harvey you should because its funny and head-scratching watching those people who claim to be Met fans talk about a guy they’ve clearly never even watched.  Here’s the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0D8V0dCbf8

-Anthony

The Dwight-Mare over?

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Everyone hated on LeBron James for his decision to create … “The Decision”. Was it arrogant and probably a bad PR move? Absolutely, and he has come out and said that he regrets making his decision on national television. However, all of the money raised by that one hour television special, approximately two million dollars was donated to the Boys and Girls Club. Dwight Howard? He just created a huge headache for a few franchises over the past few seasons, while laughing about it and consuming the NBA world in his own “impress me more” campaign. Orlando had chosen yet another franchise center at pick number one and had found success through him, but he refused to change his attitude to match the coach, who had success in the NBA. Where is the hatred for Dwight? Why isn’t he being torn apart for how he handled his situation? He toyed with franchises and left one in shambles, because he didn’t hold an interview to tell the whole world where he decided to go?

Dwight Howard has spoken for years about how he wants to be in a place where you can win a championship, but his team came close in Orlando and then he was traded to a team with championship tradition. However, both weren’t “enough” for him even though both teams were focused on winning and were surrounding him with talent to the best of their abilities to get him his first ring. In my opinion it is as simple as this, Dwight wants to be the loudest voice wherever he goes and he wants to have a lot of fun. The problem is that his coach, Stan Van Gundy and his teammate Kobe Bryant have stronger and more determined voices than he does. Consequently, Dwight saw it fit to leave and he even got Stan Van Gundy fired and now the Magic are a mess and one of the laughing stocks of the Eastern Conference. Dwight has a great personality, but it’s his attitude that needs an adjustment. It’s his desires that needed to be straightened out. We will see how well he does with these young Rockets, but he’s going to have a lot demanded of him under Kevin McHale who knows exactly what it takes to win championships as a big man.

I think it’s time for everyone to stop and look and realize Dwight Howard handled this wrong and should have remained quiet. The guy talks about winning a championship, but really what he wants is to be the center of attention and he wants to be able to goof around without somebody first asking and then telling him to be serious. He doesn’t want his determination questioned. I personally like Dwight’s personality I think he’s funny, but I question his motivation these days. We will have to see where his head is at this upcoming season, but the Rockets will be fun to watch.

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Anthony

 

The Knicks Draft

Back again, let’s talk about the Knicks 2013 Draft, it’ll be short considering they had one pick again. The Knicks needed help at the point guard position and the power forward position with the questionable health of Amar’e Stoudemire. At pick number twenty-four the Knicks chose Tim Hardaway Jr. a shooting guard from Michigan. Hardaway Jr. is a good size at 6’6″ and 205 lbs and is a great shooter and a fantastic athlete who works hard to fight himself open. Tim averaged 14.5 PPG on 44% shooting and 4.7 Rebounds per game last season.  Hardaway has the athleticism and strength to get to the rim and finish. Reports have said when he is engaged and attempts to play defense he can be a solid defender, but a risk taker. That is something that Mike Woodson can polish-up. The biggest knock on Tim Hardaway Jr. is his ball handling, which is ironic because of who his father is. One would think, pops can help him enhance that aspect of his game.

I would rather the Knicks have gone with an available big man like Tony Mitchell, but I can’t argue with picking the best available player/talent in Tim Hardaway. This might signify the end of the J.R. Smith era in New York. It would be a shame after he just won the Sixth Man of the Year Award, but if the Knicks can’t afford him then it is time to bid him adieu.

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The Knicks also signed CJ Leslie who went undrafted out of North Carolina State. I love this signing because he is a combo forward who if he bulks up could be a solid Power Forward in my opinion. In a strong ACC Leslie Averaged 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds. Leslie measures in at 6’9″ with a 7’2″ wingspan, which is exactly the rebounding build that the Knicks need against the likes of the Pacers, but only weighs in at 209 pounds. This isn’t a concern because of something called the gym.  Since he is a combo forward, his range is one of his weaknesses as well as playing with his back to the basket because of his thinner frame. He could be compared to Hakim Warrick, but let’s hope it’s a different result

Leslie