NFL Social Responsibility: This is Premium Makeup Right Here

By Will Stevenson

*Reads the pamphlet… Looks at pictures.. Scrolls…*
– Looks like marijuana won’t be allowed any time soon.

NFL MISSION STATEMENT:

The NFL will implement consistent and thoughtful responses to societal issues by educating the NFL family, instituting transparent league policies, and actively engaging with communities to positively impact society.

A MESSAGE FROM ROGER GOODELL:

No matter the season, the NFL is determined to be a force for positive change. The commitment to serve our communities unfolds year-round through the volunteerism and philanthropy of owners, teams, players, coaches, and staff.

I hate to say it, but I learned a few things after reading through the NFL’s Social Responsibility Report. As a follower of the NFL as a business, there’s not to much they haven’t been able to overcome as an industry. Lack of diversity (not fond of that word), Concussions, Concussion Lawsuits, actual player safety, player equipment, hypocritical sponsorships, you name it: The NFL will forever be able to thrive in this world.

First things first, the NFL is a company and they make money, real money, the kind of money that could change a mayor in 5 states at one time money. Secondly, as a public institution, they cover almost every aspect with their philanthropy and work within the community. I have the link where I got the information, I implore you to take a look at it. I was impressed at what they put in that notebook-pamphlet, highlighting all the things the NFL is involved in, and didn’t have to sell the players as much. The NFL as a brand can sell itself without the stars. They could have a Play 60 at a middle school in 3 days and just say the New Orleans Saints are involved. They  don’t even have to say who’s coming, kids and sponsors know the NFL is coming and that’s good enough.

For many, we have to put aside our feelings and evidence built up for the NFL and Roger Goodell in order to appreciate the finesseness of this Social Responsibility Report. I read his quote, then I kept it moving. I wanted to put myself in the shoes of the intended audience: Parents, children and potential sponsors. It’s amazing, so let’s take a look.

The NFL is deeply involved in encouraging youth athletics and healthy living.  There are nearly 7300 Youth Leagues and more than 2300 High Schools are enrolled in USA Football’s Heads Up Football program

MORE THAN 400 NFL FLAG POWERED BY USA FOOTBALL FLAG ESSENTIALS KITS distributed this school year impacting nearly 1.9 million youth

MORE THAN $1 MILLION CONTRIBUTED TO FREE YOUTH FOOTBALL CAMPS hosted by current and former NFL players

16 MILLION STUDENTS ARE MORE ACTIVE AND 13 MILLION MORE ARE EATING HEALTHY through Fuel Up to PLAY 60

$55 MILLION FROM THE NFL FOUNDATION TO REVITALIZE 482 FIELDS for youth athletics since 1998

Fostering Social Responsibility:

IN 2016, MORE THAN 6,000 TEAM EMPLOYEES AND PERSONNEL PARTICIPATED IN alcohol-abuse, domestic violence, and sexual-assault educational programs

$1 MILLION SUPER BOWL LEGACY GRANT given by the NFL Foundation to Houston nonprofits

$400,000 CONTRIBUTED to One Orlando Fund by NFL Foundation and three Florida-based NFL teams

MORE THAN 1.4 MILLION FANS HAVE SIGNED UP TO BE DESIGNATED Drivers Through the  NFL-MADD partnership over he last five years

How can you argue with this on face value? Now if you’re inside the league, a coach, player, or staff member, you could give insight on the actual legitimacy of events that don’t make it to ESPN or partnering networks. On face value, who cares? Not only does the NFL have the appearance, they have the numbers and evidence to back it up. I remember the Punt/Pass/Kick competition from back in grade school, and they’ve come along way from that. The NFL is focused in on the “hot topics” of society. Breast Cancer, Diversity, Drunk Driving, Domestic Violence (Really, Not Really), Building Homes, Sick Kids, Health and Recess.

With every good, there is conflicting bad, such as a MADD group, but the money pouring in from beer sponsorships is in the millions. I don’t want to focus on the hypocrisy at the moment, but some things cannot be ignored. The NFL has done it’s job in the PR department with this one. The world is changing and the NFL as a business is going right along with it. Hiring more than just old white men, supporting the LBGTQ community, kiss cams that support all love: The NFL is getting to the people before the people get to them in this pamphlet. Well, there isn’t any mention of Colin Kaepernick, but why would there be?

I mean, who’s going to argue with the military and cancer?

 

Bucks Show Why They’re A Team On The Rise! Brogdon Shines!

By Lawrence Edwards

 

Celtics shot 39% from the floor and the Bucks took advantage leading by a game high of 14 points at one point. The Celtics would not go down without giving it all for the home crowd however. The Celtics 4 game win streak in a 6 game home stand was the on line with the game coming down to the final seconds.  Celtics capitalized on a foul with 26 seconds to go to pull within 1, however, Malcolm Brogdon made an impressive shot over Avery Bradley with almost no time left to go on the shot clock to go up 3 with 15 seconds left that would ultimately seal the game at 103-100. The loss hands the Celtics it’s 27th and 1st in the last 4 home games with one left to go against the Orlando Magic before hitting the road to take on the Knicks. Boston will try to use the next game to get back on track so they can be ready when the Cavaliers come into town on Sunday. The Cavs will be sure to bring their A game when the top two teams in the East face off for the #1 seed. The C’s will need more than just Isaiah Thomas to do the scoring. Isaiah Thomas led all scorers in the game with 32 points against the Bucks.

Meanwhile the Bucks are slowly becoming a team no one wants to see in the playoffs. How about rookie Malcolm Brogdon! He finished with 16pts 9 assists 4 rebounds and no turnovers, he was without a doubt the heart and key to victory tonight. If  you didn’t think so already, Brogdon should be rookie of the year, in my opinion he solidified his status in the race after this game. He came up huge in a playoff atmosphere against the then current #1 seed in the East. The Greek Freak is the future of this league and he showed it tonight. The Celtics had no answer for him as he led the Bucks with 22 points 3 blocks and 9 rebounds. The Bucks shot 52% from the floor which is a huge reason for their victory. Look out for Milwaukee in the playoffs, if this young team continues to develop they will be looking to prove a point and cause some upsets.

This three game series is now tied at 1-1 with the final game on April 12th to finish out the regular season. The Celtics will be looking to get revenge and close the season out on a high note.

GAME STAT LEADERS

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Isaiah Thomas: 32 pts 5 Rebounds 4 assists              

Jae Crowder: 13 pts 3 assist 2 rebounds                

Al Horford: 12 pts 10 rebounds assists

Milwaukee Bucks Logo

Giannis Antetokounmpo: 22 pts 9 rebounds 3 assists

Khris Middleton: 19 pts 6 rebounds 5 assists

Malcolm Brogdan: 16 pts 9 assists 4 rebounds

 

 

 

*Let met know your thoughts, sound off in the comments. Make sure to follow Sports Elite on Facebook and Twitter and look for Sports Elite Blogs on sporteselite1.wordpress.com.*

*Feature image credit of Associated Press*

2017 Rules Approvals That Will Have Impact On Game

By: Lawrence Edwards

Every year the big decision makers in the NFL sit down to discuss rule changes proposed by the competition committee and some NFL teams. Here are just a few of those proposals that was approved in today’s meeting.

Proposed by Philadelphia; Prohibits the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays.

This rule is most likely imposed as the NFL continues to look for ways to improve the safety of the game. Attempting to leap the blocker on field goal attempts has been seen around the league in almost every game on every field goal attempt. The defender attempts to time the snap of the center and leap over the offensive line before they have time to get set. This will cause the offensive lineman to attempt to stop the leaper by making contacting with him in the air, causing the player to lose control of the way he lands, so I can see why this is now prohibited. But, it takes away the from the defensive side, which in my opinion, is already somewhat of an advantage for the offense since the defense already has to be careful not commit a penalty on the kicker.

By Competition committee; Makes permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.

Now this rule I’m iffy on, however, I get it, they want to continue to enforce the notion that dirty plays and unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated in the NFL. But, as we have seen in the league lately, the line for what is unsportsmanlike and and what isn’t has been fine. We have seen players penalized for celebrations after a TD, sometimes us the viewers feel like the flag is highly unnecessary, however the officials deem it unsportsmanlike. An incident like that could be the first strike in an important game from an impact player. You can bet the refs will now be watching that player closely and something as simple some after play junk talk can be seen as taunting and BAM! player is thrown out of the game. If the NFL is going to keep this rule, maybe the officials will be told be be careful of what they flag, or maybe in the future implement a 3 strike rule if the ejections and reasoning for flags start to become excessive and ridiculous. We’ll see how this goes. Me personally, I will be watching this one closely this coming season.

By Competition Committee; Replaces the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorizes designated members of the officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews.

I really like this one, in an age where everything is mobile and wireless, it helps the officials get a better and closer view of the play. Today’s devices are equipped with HD technology where they can zoom and manipulate the screen to the spot where they’re looking. Technology continues to evolve and helps to improve the game, so as a techie, I personally love this one.

 

 

 

*Let met know your thoughts, sound off in the comments. Make sure to follow Sports Elite on Facebook and Twitter and look for Sports Elite Blogs on sporteselite1.wordpress.com.*

*Feature image credit of espn.com*

 

Fear And Loathing To Las Vegas: 31-1, the Raiders are leaving Oakland

By Will Stevenson

Welcome to the NFL where business is booming. As a North Carolinian, I have watched professional teams come and go, and I’ve often wondered why this state hasn’t been a part of the events that go on in our professional leagues. We haven’t had a baseball team, so watching the Braves on TBS or the White Sox and Cubs on WGN were the regional options.  Our basketball team was here, then went to New Orleans with our good players and ultimately drafting Chris Paul, then leaving us with an expansion team called the Bobcats. Oddly enough the HB-2 sent the 2017 NBA All-Star Game to New Orleans, so yet again New Orleans was there to take our karma (Somehow I feel David Stern is behind this, but I digress). Our football team came in 1996, I was there when they played their home games at Clemson Stadium. The Carolina Hurricanes are our hockey, which they were relocated from Hartford.

With North Carolina being more famous for their collegiate sports, our history as a professional sports state pails in comparison to places such as Cleveland, Green Bay, New York, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. Although I don’t have a long-standing connection with the Carolina Panthers or the newest version of the Charlotte Hornets, I still have an understanding of how it feels to know the team you invest your time and money into is leaving to another city. With today’s 31-1 vote to move the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, those feelings of betrayal and emptiness were connected once again. We’ve all seen this coming for the past couple years and we should have know it was going to happen when the Rams moved to LA, and then subsequently the Chargers. The Raiders stayed in Oakland, but most knew it wouldn’t be for long, as Las Vegas was ramping up their proposal. With that 31-1 vote, Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins voiced his concern with the Palm Beach Post, “My position today was that we as owners and as a League owe it to the fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us.” Is that a general concern of the fans, or is Stephen Ross looking at his mid-dumpster fire of a money-making franchise and seeing what is to come on the horizon?

All Las Vegas needed was a team, any professional team to get the NFL on board. Baseball wasn’t budging, the MLS isn’t in the Big Four as far as major sports are concerned here in the states, and the NBA wasn’t ready to test those waters after the debacle of a weekend with their All-Star game (Shoutout PacMan Jones). That leaves one left: Hockey. That’s right, the NHL, a league that has undergone major construction with their relocation over the years through their rebranding after work stoppages and the loss of network sponsorships, has paved the way for professional sports in Las Vegas.

The NFL has continuously noted the conflicting interest of gambling and a possible move to Las Vegas, but it’s 2017, and with the world being so technologically advanced, there’s no need to refuse uncharted territory that can be seen as financial gain. A fan base is key to the business of relocation, but the Raiders won’t see Las Vegas for another 2-3 years with the opening marked for 2020. For the NFL, that’s plenty of time to decide on PSLs (Personal Seat Licenses), sponsorships, parking, traffic, and promotional tactics: And Hotels. Let us not forget this is a business, and when a new sports franchise is coming to town, there are business partnerships that must be forged: Restaurants, Hotel Chains, Flights, Ticket Packages, “Ambassadors”, Spokesmen, Commercials, etc.

Enough of the business aspect, let’s get back to the fans in Oakland. The Oakland fan base has once again suffered. Their team is leaving, and their team is actually good with a promising offense running the show. You know what that means: The Raiders have two years to go for it all. I know stacking rosters to win isn’t the most efficient way of building a championship contender, but the Raiders have only one chance to do it. With the Patriots maybe-slowing-down but not probably, the Raiders need to win the Superbowl with the team they currently have. They need to win before the fans have to choose between going to Las Vegas or possibly rooting for either of the teams in LA. Help us all if any Raider fans have to cheer for the Rams.

This is a day when all Raider Nation collectively post on social media to grieve. Every meme, picture, comment section, Twitter think-piece and Facebook Group is already feasting at the Vegas trough. Just as Kendrick Lamar said to rappers about his upcoming album, Oakland has two years to get their sh*t together. In two years you will only have the Warriors to cheer for, and I’m sure that traveling package for Las Vegas won’t be cheap. Your significant other will only allow so many “football trips” to see the Raiders play in Vegas, and I’m sure some of you are already planning to fail two years in advance.

Happy Monday Oakland, Happy Monday.

PS: Who will be the next “Purple” in Las Vegas? Ask for a friend.

US Women’s National Team: The Hockey Boycott Continues

NWHL-LogoBy Will Stevenson

I forgot the NCAA Tournament was going on today. I thought about checking in on it and possibly writing something about college basketball, but then an alert came through on the ESPN App about the US Women’s Hockey team. I will admit this is the first time I’ve heard of this boycott. I will even admit this is the first time I’ve ever clicked on anything that had “Women’s Hockey” in the title. So I click, then I read, and now I’m interested. I go to as many sites as possible to dig a little deeper to see what the actual demands are, and to find out what the specifics are rather than vague statements written by lawyers. I always knew the Olympic participants were paid half-pennies on the dollar for their commitments, so I had a feeling what this would be about. You throw in being undercompensated, unequal pay, and women all in one sentence and there’s something to talk about.

After the 2016 Olympics came and went, most of America came to realize these athletes aren’t paid directly by USA Hockey. UH has their excuses for not paying: Some players are collegiate athletes, it’s an honor to represent the country, but mostly they don’t want to shell out the insurance for when these players aren’t playing. They say the players aren’t full-time employees even though they are mandate to dedicate themselves to their cause. It’s the Art of War, or The Art of Seduction: Making someone else believe in a cause in order for you to reap the benefits.

So as I’m looking through information, I find the players are being paid, but only for the duration of the actual tournament and only in the Olympic year. Wait, what? The other three years of training and world games means nothing? The women’s players receive $1,000 a month for 6 months. 23 players, $6,000 each for 6 months.
I would love to add more to that last sentence, but that’s all there is. For 14 months, the women’s team has been attempting to negotiate for more compensation, a better compensation for their squad, but nothing has come of it. A thousand dollars: That’s it.

When it comes to compensation and being paid for what you do in the country, the scale is always sliding, tipping and uneven in every way. As an admirer of athletes (because I failed at being one) I have always been disturbed at the notion that sports is just a game, and that it is not important. I personally have never believed in that concept. How can sports be just a game if the training, outlook, gameplay, injuries, compensation, and the gambling be so real? Betting lines are real. Torn ACLs are real. Coaches are real. Fans are real. Stadiums being paid for by the city is real. Memorabilia and team apparel are real. Their paychecks (no matter how obscure) are real. US Women’s Hockey is a business that traffics in patriotism, just like many of the corporations in this country as well as others.  We have this arrogance about our fandom that is deeply rooted in jealously that is bred by capitalism: We should just be happy to have the opportunity.

How many of you would like to be the staff on of the US Women’s Hockey team? Do you think you would be paid more than them? If you were a trainer, or assistant, would you mind only to be paid during the Olympic year, while those other three years you had another job? Imagine being an intern for three years and getting paid only in the fourth year, for about two to three times. $6,000 is the pay. That’s it, for four years of service. Is the coaching staff only being paid for the Olympic year? If they are, they should boycott as well. I know we get tired of hearing athletes make more money than we do, but there has to come a point in which we acknowledge their talents are being screwed over.

They are currently looking at replacements for the US Team that is boycotting. How American. Rather than negotiating or making it better for future Women’s Teams, they will just search for younger talent that wasn’t picked to replace them. We must realize that we hold the leverage in this boycott. The ones being recruited right now must go on record and turn down the invitation. This boycott cannot progress if they are able to find replacements for the upcoming games.

With everything that has gone on in the past year, I hope we don’t have to watch women step on each other to reach a goal that was put in front of them. Hopefully the a deal can be reached and their demands met. I will not fully hold a corporation responsible for not compensating athletes, but then again: Isn’t this what they always do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBA Non-Playoff Run: The Basketball Gods are coming

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By: Will Stevenson

With the end of the NBA regular season coming to an end, the actual basketball coverage continues to dwindle. We have teams at the top of the standings that are just hoping to get to the playoffs without any injuries, teams in the middle jockeying for home court, teams at the bottom still fighting to stay in the playoffs, and the teams trying kinda-sorta to keep their lottery pick. The teams who have no hopes of the playoffs are shutting down veteran players and giving those minutes to the young guys, while those coming up on free agency are showcasing for the offseason. Defense hasn’t been great this season, so those games between losing teams seems unwatchable to most casual NBA fans. The NBA isn’t like most sports as in they have a long season, so marquee matchups down the stretch don’t have the shine as they were suppose to have when the scheduling was being made. More than those who are in the playoffs, lets take a look at the teams we thought would be competing for a playoff spot this year.

  1. Hornets (32-40) 3 GB of the 8th seed
    Kemba Walker has done all he can to keep the Hornets afloat this season. Even with the emergence of Cody Zeller and Frank Kamisky, the Hornets are still a team full of face cards: They can’t outright win with a spade, but they can get a book every now and then with a King of Clubs. Coach Clifford has been able to adjust to the NBA’s rising pace of play by adding more shooters and letting the big men go from the previous roster. The Hornets have one scorer, Kemba Walker, and with them being a below average defensive team, won’t cut it in today’s NBA. Let me not forget about the poor play of Nicholas Batum who is often injured and inconsistent of being a number two player on a given team. The Basketball Gods have awarded the Hornets with Kemba, but it seems as though everything else is just average: Michael-Kidd Gilchrist, Kaminsky, Zeller, Batum and Joseph Forte… I mean Jeremy Lamb.

2. Timberwolves (28-43) 6.5 GB of the 8th seed
50-32, that was pretty much the consensus after Tom Thibodeau was named the Head Coach in the offense. With the play of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach Lavine, we had high hopes the Wolves we become the Western Conference darlings, much like the Trailblazers last season. We must have forgotten about the ability to learn team defense and the fact their young stars are just that: Young. Even before the season started, Coach Thibs didn’t like his roster as rumors of old Bulls being traded to the Wolves circulated. Wiggins still hasn’t been able to match is on-ball defense with his offense, and the Wolves aren’t adapting to the 3pt barrage as the rest of the league as of yet.

3. Lakers (21-51) 2nd worst record in the league
New coach, new system, but the same players. The Lakers came out the gate average, but they played with energy, hustle, and ESPN showcase defense. After the injury to Russell, it all fell apart and the run to keep that Top 3 protected pick in this year’s draft was the only thing to shoot for. I didn’t think the Lakers would make a playoff run, but I imagined them winning 30-35 games this season. Maybe the Basketball Gods will punish the Lakers again and knock them out of the lottery this season. Only can only hope.

4. Pelicans (30-42) 5 GB of 8th seed
Anthony Davis. That’s pretty much the team in a nutshell, but after an offseason spending on mediocre role players, the Pelicans were looking to be a team of 3 and D. Jrue Holliday , Tyreke Evans, and Quincy Pondexter started out the season on the IR, and Buddy Heild was shooting like the Raptors in last year’s playoffs. Then, the Pelicans pulled off a ransom for Demarcus Cousins. They were 3GB of the 8th seed at that point, and they’ve been falling since. 30 games isn’t enough to say the “Fire and Ice” experiment failed, or to move Boogie in the offseason if they can’t extend him, or to fire Alvin Genty, but the Pelicans must figure out if they want to resign Holliday and keep the team they have for the next few seasons. Once, again, I’m hoping the Basketball Gods give the Pelicans a Top 3 pick. In that case, the Kings would lose out on the opportunity to have 2 lottery picks this season. Or maybe the Pelicans don’t deserve to have a lottery pick this year. I’m conflicted.

5. Blazers (33-38) 1.5 GB of the 8th seed
We see it all the time in sports. A team stays hot and overachieves during a season, and then they overcomplicate things in the offseason which makes the next season impossible to replicate. The Blazers were flying high as they lost in the second round to the Warriors last year. They have two guards that could score form any place on the floor, 3 and D winds, and athletic big men who could run the floor and make plays from the high post. It all went downhill with the explosion of the Salary Cap last summer. The Blazers needed to hit the salary floor and add players to a roster that seem pretty good, and young. They paid Mo Harkless, Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner and Festus Ezeli. Harkless is average, Crabbe is average, Evan Turner needs the ball to perform, and Festus hasn’t played a game this season. Offense is the trend this season, but if your guards can’t stop penetration and your bigs can’t defend the rim on a consistent basis, then a bad shooting night will result in multiple losses.

6. Bulls (34-39) 1.5 GB of the 8th seed
Breaking News: The Bulls have signed Rajon Rondo and Dwayne Wade. I knew it was downhill from there. After the Bulls let Noah go and traded Derrick Rose, I figured they would be going in a younger direction, even with Taj Gibson outplaying Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic at every turn. I figured, and I was wrong. The Bulls decided to go against conventional and analytical wisdom to pick up two over-thirty-non shooting-high usage players to their team. Even after the high 3pt percentage games to start out the season and a Wade game-winner, the Bulls fell back to earth as they should  have. They ended up trading Gibson and McBuckets to the Thunder for Cameron Payne, and lost Wade to injury a few weeks ago. To no surprise, they’ve played better without him. Rondo’s play on the court hasn’t been the issue this year as he has played well off the bench. I don’t know what the Bulls will do this offseason, but I do not want to see them get swept by the Cavaliers if they make the playoffs. If by chance, the Kings get screwed in the lottery and they land outside the top 10, the Bulls will get that pick. I don’t know what the Basketball Gods will do this summer.

For these franchises, the season was full of hope back in October. Whether it was injury or inconsistent play, these teams will fin d themselves in the lottery if they don’t make a final push to be swept in the playoffs.  If not, there’s always Tinder.

NBA MVP Race 2017: What Will The League’s Electoral College Do This Year?

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By Will Stevenson

With the NBA Season winding down, most fans and pundits around the league have collectively gathered to discuss the league’s Most Valuable Player. I hate it.

I hate this conversation with the furry of a thousand eardrops of Tomi Lahren’s bathwater. Maybe I have become numb or annoyed by the MVP talk, but it just seems that we care about an award that we immediately diminish once the playoffs arrive. It is probably unfair to former MVPs that didn’t win the championship, because we like to compare everything the Michael Jordan. If you don’t have Google, or basketball-reference readily available, the regular season MVP goes unnoticed by most on recall. Day after day we bring up the usual suspects for the MVP, and then go through all the reason that player should not win the MVP, instead of giving them their props for their consistent play.

With an 82 game season, we need something to yammer about other than the actual games during the week. With the pace of play on the rise, defense in a slump, and players gearing up for the playoffs or Cabo, players have been able to take advantage of lack-luster play throughout the season. While some of the counting stats may be overblown a bit, efficiency, true shooting and usage rate have allowed the basic fan to realize the players in this year’s MVP race aren’t just hustling numbers. Appreciating guys like James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James, and Russell Westbrook is an utopian concept. The only way we are able to digest the MVP race is by finding weakness in order to illuminate strength.

I always felt the love for Russell Westbrook has been fake for this season. Kevein Durant left and now we grab on to Russell because we know has the best “IDGAF” attitude in the league and isn’t shy about it. Westbrook is currently averaging a triple double this year which is something most, if not all were sure would never be accomplished. We’ve been able to watch Lebron James flirt with the possibility as well as Jason Kidd. The conversation usually went to, ” If he really wanted to, he could do it” which I think is the reason why many NBA players don’t want to achieve this feat. Averaging a triple double is taxing and in today’s up-tempo NBA makes the seasonal wear and tear more apparent.

We also discuss the winning angle for the potential MVP. MVP selections do not lose in the regular season, as the value component of the discussion really reveals itself. With the season being so long, there are many opportunities for highlight games and stats to get lost in the shuffle, especially on a Tuesday in Brooklyn, or a Saturday Night in Orlando. We look to marquee matchups and  showcase games to get our one-game sample taste of what these players have to offer: Like when the Warriors played the Spurs last week (oh wait..). The issue with putting winning ahead of everything is calculating the number of games it takes to qualify for MVP. Is it best record? 55 games and above? Division winner? Who knows?

The MVP discussion is objective, with everyone have their own views of what matters to them. Most of the talk is a battle of semantics as we parse through analytics to pick which one holds more weight, or if defense is more valuable that offense.

It would be nice if we just awarded these men with awards, but we already do with the All-NBA Teams, and nobody cares about those discussions. Once the playoffs start, unless the winner is Lebron, we will tell you how un-MVP their play is, or if it lives up to our hype. Either way, I hope it’s a 5 way tie, because I have none of the aforementioned winning the damn thing.