We begin Odds & Ends with a report that next preseason the Sacramento Kings are slated to play an exhibition game before the season starts in the city they almost moved to. Their opponent? The Golden State Warriors. The idea to have the Kings do this? Absolutely awful.
Why is this is a bad idea? Because it’s turning up bad feelings for the fans of Seattle. They almost got their team back after five years of not having a team five years ago and now you’re inviting the team that was able to stay put to play a preseason game there? It’s honestly a slap in the face to those fans.
Let me make myself clear, I think the NBA should be in Seattle. Honestly,the SuperSonics should’ve never left and in a perfect world,they would never have left. I hope that they do one day get a team and reclaim the history of the SuperSonics from the team that left them a decade ago to the Midwest.
Also, it’s not that I’m against the game happening in Seattle. Sure,have the Warriors play a game there, it’s a great draw to have one of the league’s best teams play a game up there even if it’s a preseason game, but to put the Kings in that same game is just a bad idea all around.
Put anyone else in that game, possibly the Portland Trail Blazers or the Los Angeles Lakers or the Washington Wizards. Anyone else but the Sacramento Kings.
Continuing with basketball and the NBA fining Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 for his comments about tanking the rest of the season,which commissioner Adam Silver deemed “detrimental to the NBA.”
During a podcast with Julius Erving,Cuban mentioned that he met with several of his players and outlined that losing was “our best option.”
“I’m probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night,” Cuban said. “And here we are. We weren’t competing for the playoffs. I was like, ‘Look, losing is our best option.'”
Cuban added “Adam (Silver) would hate to be hearing that. But at least I sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans are going to be this summer, that we’re not going to tank again. This is like a year and a half of tanking. That was too brutal for me.”
The Mavericks are 18-41 as of press time,one of seven teams with less than 20 wins this far in the year.
It’s no secret that teams are tanking now to get better draft picks to build for a better future, and although I disagree with Cuban’s statement that losing is their best option, at least he’s honest about it. I think teams should,first and foremost,do the best they can to win games. I think some do and others not so much and some fans even support it.
Here’s what needs to happen if Silver and the rest of the league is reading: Give every lottery teams an equal chance of winning it. If you have a 1 in 14 chance of winning the draft lottery across the board, you won’t have teams tanking to increase the number of ping-pong balls to pad their chances at the first overall pick.
I don’t think the lottery is going to change anytime soon outside of the changes taking place in 2019 but if they hope to make sure teams don’t tank anymore,they have to make it easier for the teams who barely miss the playoffs to have the same shot as the teams who don’t win as much. Simple as that!
I think if there’s anyone to blame for the Olympic Athletes from Russia winning gold in men’s hockey, it’s NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
As all of you know the NHL decided to skip sending their best to the Olympics in PeyongChang this time around and is open to doing it again in 2022 when the games head to Beijing. What he doesn’t understand is how much he’s hurting other countries and their chances to dethrone Russia in four years.
Russia’s team consisted of former NHL-era like Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk,two men who have competed in five Olympic games and scored 1,734 points combined in their years in the NHL. That’s exactly 1,734 more than the USA team’s top two players,Ryan Donato and Troy Terry. Russia’s team is also mostly comprised of players from the world’s second strongest league,the KHL,which was more than happy to suspend its operations so that players could prepare for the games in PeyongChang.
I think Bettman made a huge mistake in not letting the NHL-ers get their chance to play for their countries in these games. You mean to tell me that guys like Connor McDavid,Sidney Crosby and Jordan Eberle aren’t going to give Team Canada a major boost? What about players like Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews? If they were on Team USA this year,that team would’ve been a hell of a lot better than the college kids and AHL-ers they put out there to go up against experienced professionals from Russia and other countries. I really hope Bettman considers bringing the NHL-ers back for 2022. I want to see those guys try and win medals for their respective countries,they deserve that chance.
Finally this week, former NFL offensive lineman Jonathan Martin has been placed under psychiatric evaluation following him posting a threatening image on social media,causing his former high school to close on Friday.
Martin,28,had a story posted on his Instagram with text on the image reading, “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.” The image showed a shotgun, ammunition and tagged four accounts, including those belonging to former Miami teammates Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey. It also included hashtags for Harvard-Westlake High School, an elite private school in Los Angeles where he went to high school, and the Miami Dolphins.
Two more people who were tagged were former classmates of Martin’s.
Martin played for the Dolphins,49ers,and Panthers during his brief NFL career and was the subject of bullying by Incognito and Pouncey when he was a member of the
Dolphins. Incognito was suspended eight games in the 2013 season as a result of an investigation finding that he helped create a hostile working environment for Martin.
Martin retired in 2015 and has mentioned on Facebook that he suffered from depression and had tried to kill himself on multiple occasions.
“Your job leads you to attempt to kill yourself on multiple occasions,” Martin wrote. “Your self-perceived social inadequacy dominates your every waking moment & thought. You’re petrified of going to work. You either sleep 12, 14, 16, hours a day when you can, or not at all. You drink too much, smoke weed constantly, have trouble focusing on doing your job, playing the sport that you grew up obsessed with.”
I wish I could say this surprises me, but it doesn’t. Martin is and has been battling demons for a long time now an it doesn’t seem like he has them under any kind of control whatsoever,hence why he has a weapon. Not only did he make a threat to former classmates and teammates,but he also scared students,parents,and faculty he didn’t even know or have nothing to do with him or his situation and caused their learning experience to be interrupted yesterday by the closing of the school.
I,as someone who is battling depression and anxiety,don’t feel that Martin is of the right mind to be having a weapon. If you’re battling any kind of severe mental illness that impairs your judgment,your thought process and your well being,chances are you’re not the kind of person who should be having a gun in your possession. You may agree with me or not,and while yes,it is Martin’s right to own it,but just because you have it doesn’t mean you should.
I don’t know what will happen to him,but if anything comes out of this, I hope that he learns from this instance and gets serious about his mental health and his life overall.
That’s all for Odds & Ends,we’ll catch you next time!