Bunting for a Hit: On an Island Nation

Bernard James was drafted as the 33rd overall pick in the NBA draft Thursday night. What about the first 32 picks you ask? To this point in their lives they have all done some great things basketball wise and I’m sure they are all very nice people, but James has served 3 tours overseas for our military. Talk about a trump card. It will be an uphill battle for James to become a big time NBA player as he is 27 years old.1 Good for Bernard James and is there a better place to land for him than Dallas2? I imagine Mark Cuban is going to love this guy and give him every opportunity to succeed. I am glad to see his hard work paid off and I hope he sticks around for a while, makes some money and has a lot of fun. If only we could reward everyone of our servicemen and women with the fulfillment of their dreams.

David Beckham has been left off the Great Britain olympic team that will play in London in July. This doesn’t really affect me in any great way, but as 1 of the most recognized athletes in the world, Beckham brought London’s sports landscape to the level of recognition required to be awarded the Olympics. Now the questions will come about what his role will be at the 2012 London Olympics. Torch lighter? I’m sure that role has already been awarded to a royal I would imagine. Dignified spectator? I bet NBC is trying like hell to get him to commentate and if not then there is a real reason they are in last place. I think the bigger question becomes, will he do any of this? It stings to come to the end of any athletic career be it little league, high school, college or one of the best athletes in the world. Athletes are always fighting to achieve the next level of greatness the arc is always up, someone somewhere is better, I’ve got to beat THAT guy. At the end though, when you can’t, to step away from that gracefully is difficult and takes time. Michael Jordan being the greatest example of that in my lifetime and maybe ever.3 Can Britain expect Beckham to get over being left off the team and then ask him to show up and put on a smile so soon? They will, I just don’t think they should.

The Penguins and Sidney Crosby have worked out a new deal. I wonder about the insurance clauses and policies that would help relieve the potential cap problems the Penguins could be creating if Crosby’s health doesn’t improve. The last 2 seasons he has spent more time off the ice battling concussions than on it playing hockey. Yes he was the best player in the league when he first got hurt, but there are still very few answers about concussions and this seems like risky dollars being spent by the Penguins. To say nothing of the fact that without Crosby most of the year his teammate Evgeni Malkin was just awarded the Hart Trophy for the NHL’s most valuable player, I assume Malkin is going to want to get paid like the best player in league too.

An NFL franchise in England? Interesting. The rumors about this have been swirling for a few years. Robert Kraft, New England Patriots Owner, said recently that he thinks it a great idea and hopes a team is in place in the next ten years. He is citing the growth of the US viewership as the reason that the game needs to expand globally. Is this a veiled hint at expansion? I don’t think NFL expansion is a great idea mostly because the player pool is already too small. Selfishly I would love to have more games to watch each Sunday and more players to scrutinize for fantasy purposes, but realistically I think the NFL product as a whole is hurt by expansion. Moving a team seems like a much better idea, but what owner wants to take such a big chance in moving a continent away from the super secure NFL base.

Speaking of the Olympics, the basketball coverage just got way better as Doc Rivers has signed on to be an analyst. Before taking the reigns as the Celtics head coach Doc was the best NBA analyst I would hear. Since the reinvigoration of USA basketball and the creation of a team built with some of the best players on the planet, the Olympics have been fairly boring to watch, Doc makes it better because he won’t give breaks to players he thinks mailed it in. Or at least I imagine he won’t. If he does, that would be truly depressing.

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  1. Guess who else is 27? Newly crowned King of the NBA Lebron James. No relation reported. []
  2. after a trade with Cleveland []
  3. Jamie Moyer though is fighting hard for that title, which means we get a Jordan come back with the Bobcats right? So he can sell some seats? Win more than 7 games in a season? []

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