Jul 30, 2010

Philadelphia's Top Headlines Have Become a Battle for Attention

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Lately, the media scene in the city of Philadelphia has become as common as taxes.

Just as one team makes an acquisition for a new star, another team makes a bold move to steal the spotlight. As one team makes a run towards the post season, another makes a questionable contract extension.

In the city of Philadelphia, the sports media culture has been in a constant tug-of-war match for the attention of their two favorite franchises: The Phillies and the Eagles.

This is no disrespect to the cities other two franchises, the Flyers and 76ers.

With the recent struggles of the Sixers and their dismal 27-55 record in 2009-10, they have remained out of the spotlight accept for on small occasions. In the case of the Flyers they must be commended for their run towards the Stanley Cup, but because of the fact that hockey is still a relative niche sport in America, they remain with a strongly secular and specific fanbase.

For decades now, the Philadelphia Eagles have been the major ticket in town. Their constant runs towards the playoffs and their high-profile moves have made for some of the largest crowds and media controls in the city.

Jul 29, 2010

Andre Iguodala Making Strides To Join Team USA

(Las Vegas, NV)- Every child dreams about one day becoming a professional athlete, and when that is achieved many further dream to one day represent their country or homeland on a international stage.
For Sixers forward Andre Iguodala the road to that dream has been a tough one.

Iguodala is present this week at the invitee training camp for the USA National Basketball team. This is the third year Iguodala has attended the camp in hopes of securing a spot of the coveted team USA.

Yesterday in a moment of, what can only be described as anxiety, Iguodala made the first round of initial cuts and is now one of 15 players vying for the 12 roster spots for the upcoming FIBA world championships, which begin August 28th in Turkey.

Jul 28, 2010

Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp Drama: Prodigal Son, Unwanted Rebel

USA Today
(Bethlehem, PA)—It was an eerie scene at the opening of Eagles' training camp. The welcome signs of the upcoming season were all around, yet one thing seemed out of place.

For the first time in 11 years the familiar face of Donovan McNabb was missing from the Lehigh University practice field, and the dichotomy of the Eagles' quarterback situation took center stage.

It was only fitting of the road ahead that embattled backup quarterback Michael Vick entered the field for opening warm-ups alone.

Walking with his head down and his fist in the air, he was riddled with comments and boos from the Eagles' faithful. The ovation was a positive upgrade from the protesters of last season but the tense ovation is still prevalent every time Vick took a snap.

MLB: Even With Walking Wounded, Phillies String Together Win Streak

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
It seems as if injuries are the storyline of the season for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Chase Utley is still a few weeks from returning from the disabled list with his surgically repaired thumb, Jimmy Rollins was benched yesterday with a foot injury, and to top it all off, outfielder Shane Victorino was pulled in the seventh inning with a strained muscle in his left side.

Weeks ago, I preached to the Phillies collective that the describing word for the Phillies was inconsistency, and it still may be, but in this recent six game winning streak, the buzz word must be resilience.

The resilience of a roster that has not been whole in months. The resilience that had one of the best pitchers in the league, Ubaldo Jimenez, running for the showers. The team did this on the back of a pitcher just who was demoted to the minors just days before. J.A. Happ, who hadn't pitched in the majors since April, scrounged for a victory on Sunday just days after replacing Jamie Moyer in the starting rotation.

Jul 26, 2010

Are The Phillies' Recent Headlines Just a Badly Played Bluff?

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Philadelphia, PA—Oh, how quickly tides and public opinion can change in just four short games.
Last week, it was all hands on deck panic with the Philadelphia Phillies, who had just dropped six of seven to the Cubs and Cardinals. Yet now, just days after the firing of hitting coach Milt Thompson, the Phillies are playing like a team possessed.

Entering tonight's game against the Colorado Rockies, the Phillies are on a four-game winning streak and showing signs of production not seen in months. They have outscored their opponents 22-5 and chased one of the game's best pitchers, Ubaldo Jimenez, from the mound in a morale-boosting 10-2 drubbing.

On top of all of that, the team has done it all without making the major move that many expected just days ago. The question is, will the morale-boosting offense last, or is this all just a quick fix to an even larger problem?

Every Phillies fan is optimistic that the team of players currently in the lineup will rebound and make a charge towards the playoffs, but most, if not all, understand that pitchers like Kyle Kendrick and J.A. Happ make that surge a little more then a gamble.

Corey Fisher Looking To Lead Villanova in 2010.

(Philadelphia, PA) - Last season was not the ending the Villanova Wildcats were hoping for. After falling to Marquette in the Big East Tournament and their crushing loss to St. Mary's in the second round of March Madness, Jay Wright's squad is looking to leave the past in the past.

With their less-than-stellar ending to the season and the inevitable loss of Scottie Reynolds to the NBA, Villanova is now looking for a new on the court leader to help the 'Cats return to their 2009 Final Four form.

Any team that loses the school's second all-time leading scorer is expected to take a step down, but in the case of Villanova, the transition may be quite simple with a new leader and many agree that they will not have to look any further than current guard Corey Fisher.

Jul 23, 2010

Was Milt Thompson's Firing the Phillies Scapegoat?

Getty Images

It is quite obvious the Philadelphia Phillies are in a slump. A team riddled by injuries and inconsistency without an ignition towards change.

Despite getting an extra innings 2-0 win in St. Louis yesterday, where Cole Hamels shined, the team still showed the overwhelming stress that comes from being back-to-back National League Champions.

The Phillies have been plagued by non-existent bats that have turned consistent players like Jayson Werth searching for a way to right the ship.

The legendary preseason beard Werth was rocking during his early hot streaks has been reduced to a whimsical and mildly scary goatee in an attempt to fix his batter's box issues.

Jul 22, 2010

Moyer Headed to DL, Weekend Pitchers Leaked

(Philadelphia, PA) -  Just minutes after the Phillies salvaged game three of their recent Cardinals series 2-0 the team announced that 47 year-old pitcher Jamie Moyer is out indefinitely with a sprain of the ulnar collataral ligament and a strain of the pronator tendon. He will be put on the disabled list on Saturday.

Moyer injured the elbow and forearm in the first inning of Tuesdays loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The timetable for Moyer is not set but it would likely mean the end of his season and possibly his career.
Moyer is 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in 19 starts this season.

Weekend Pitching Starters Leaked

Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki announced via his twitter page just minutes after the Moyer injury news that the Phillies will fill their open weekend pitching spots internally.

An NBA Draft Story: Tony Battie Comes Full Circle With Sixers.

(Philadelphia, PA) -This summer was a big offseason for the Philadelphia 76ers; laugh if you may, but the team will look drastically different than last season, although they stayed completely inactive.

Despite being non existent in the free-agent fiasco, the Sixers made major changes with the acquisition of new head coach Doug Collins and the trade of long-time Sixer Samuel Dalembert.

The Sixers also saw an upside in their 27-55 record last season, with the pick of Evan Turner, second overall, in the NBA Draft. With all of these moves, the Sixers most likely capped off their summer with the signing of veteran center Tony Battie to a minimum contract.

Although Battie is new to the Sixers and the organization, he was a key player the last time the Sixers were in this situation.

Jul 21, 2010

Sixers add depth with center Tony Battie.

(Philadelphia, PA) - The Philadelphia 76ers acquired free agent center Tony Battie to an undisclosed contract. Battie is a 12 year pro and has played most recently with the Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets.

This move will add more depth for the Sixers in the front court and could trigger another offseason trade as the Sixers have 14 players under contract (including free agent Willie Green).

There have been rumors throughout the league speculating the team is in discussion again with the Sacramento Kings for forward Jason Kapono. Kapono is in the final year of his contact and is schedule to make a little over $6 million this year.

Sixers GM announced the acquisition via teleconference with select members of the Philadelphia media and stated:

Jul 20, 2010

Phillies hint at possible pre-weekend trade?

(Philadelphia, PA) - With todays move optioning Kyle Kendrick to Lehigh Valley and the addition of Andrew Carpenter from the Iron Pigs there have been many rumblings that the Phillies are preparing to make a move before this week is over.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro told the media the Carpenter will not move into Kendricks scheduled starting spot for Satuday and that he will be sent to the bullpen for middle relief. This move now leaves the Phillies without a fifth starter and in a desperate need to make a move before the July 31st trade deadline.

Amaro also stated that former starter J.A. Happ, who is working a rehab assignment, may be another possibility. Chances are this is false due to Happ's recent struggles in the minors.

Until a move is made there will be rumors and intense speculation surrounding the Phillies as their have been multiple reports the Phillies have made calls to the Diamondback, Royals, Cubs and Pirates but at this time no names or possibilities have yet to be announced.

(The photo was intended as a joke, noone wants Pedro, even Ruben knows that)

Has Andre Iguodala Accepted His Mediocrity?

(Las Vegas, NV) - This week the USA National Basketball team is holding a five day minicamp for prospective NBA players in hopes they will be invited to fill out the USA Roster for the upcoming FIBA championship and hopefully 2012 Olympic roster. One of those players invited to the camp was Sixers forward Andre Iguodala.

This is the fifth time Andre has been invited to these camps and has yet to be invited... Maybe the mood in the room caused Andre to reflect on his career.

When media interviews commenced at the completion of the days camp Iguodala told the media he is excited about the direction the team is headed.

Jul 19, 2010

Phillies look to rebound with four get set in St. Louis.

(St. Louis, MI) - The Phillies entered the All-Star Break on a high note.

The swept the then NL Central leading Reds and were looking like the men of steel. The break came and went and a wake up call commenced over the weekend as the team went 1-3 in a four game set against the Chicago Cubs. The same Cubs that are currently 10 games back in the same NL Central.

The Phillies have suffered from the bug of inconsistency as of late. Sloppy play in the field, issues manufacturing runs and struggles from the starting pitchers have been keys but overall the team is suffering from a lost sense of identity.

Sometimes it takes a long road trip to fix mistakes but if the Cubs series was an indication things may get tougher this week in St. Louis. The Cardinals are not only on a hot streak, completing a four game sweep of the Dodgers over the weekend, but they are statistically one of the strongest teams in the league at home.

Panic On Broad Street & Are Fans to Naive To Realize It?

This article is a long time coming. I know the team is only 5.5 back in the division, but with the strength of the NL East and the National League in general, things may become very bleak on Broad Street.

This city of Philadelphia talks about 2008 like it was yesterday, the season where everything was perfect and the Phillies were kings of the world…guess what, it's not and they are slipping HARD.

Phillies fans have been sold a bill of goods from management with two promises about this season:

1. The team would walk into the playoffs...
2. They would pretty much spend the entire season leading the NL East…

The team has walked with a certain sense of entitlement, believing these things, and if certain parts of their performance don’t change soon, it's looking like neither will happen.

Just like many Phillies fans, I watched tonight’s Game four of the Cubs series with a sense of urgency. Halladay was on the mound and after stealing a win yesterday, I was hoping tonight would be a sign of brighter days, a refresher toward the team's potential.

Like the rest of Philly, I watched as the game came and went, seeing much of the same inconsistent play that has haunted the team this season.

Jul 15, 2010

Nets Hire Billy King, Is Prokhorov Confused?

(Somewhere in NJ) -- Its a well known fact that throughout the world certain countries receive U.S. imports later then others. There are still some countries that have not yet received Michael Jackson's Thriller. Countries full of Members Only jackets and Jordache Jeans.

I never thought it would be the world power of Russia but from what I can gather their sports news is around five years late, who else can you rationalize hiring former Sixers GM Billy King to run your franchise.

Mikhail Prokhorov, I understand your still mad you didn't get a sniff during "The Decision" but there is no need to give up already. Avery Johnson was a smart pick as a coach but Billy King as GM... not so much. I think Bill Simmons summed it up best.

Sixers and Turner Agree On Deal

(Philadelphia, PA) - The Philadelphia 76ers and second overall pick Evan Turner have agreed to terms on two-year deal with a club option for the third.

The team announced they agreed to terms last night and will pay the former Ohio State All-American $3.8 million his rookie season (league minimum) and $4.1 million in his second year with the club option of $4.4 million for a third year.

Turner won the Naismith Award, Wooden Award and Big Ten Player of the Year, averaging 20.4 points and 9.2 rebounds a game.

The 6-7 shooting guard is expected to start this season but could be brought on slowly by new head coach Doug Collins.

Two Sides Divided: Is the NBA Preparing for a Lockout?

Despite one of the most popular NBA Finals in history and the historic popularity of the free-agent summer, it seems the NBA and the Players Association are readily preparing for a lockout of the 2011-12 season.

The NBA is holding its annual owners meeting in Las Vegas, and the hot topic under discussion is not the commercial success of the "Summer of LeBron," but the fear that the league and the Players Association will not be able to come to an agreement.

Their current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) ends on June 30, 2011, and could cause the worst work stoppage since the 1998-99 lockout.

The reason for the rift is the claim from the owners that they lost a combined $370 million in revenue due to lower ticket sales and the US's economic recession.

Jul 14, 2010

Show Me the Money: How the Salary Cap Dooms the Philadelphia Sixers

(Philadelphia, PA)— If your a fan of the Philadelphia 76ers you know the dire salary cap restraints the team is under. The team under preformed last season, and out of the bottom dwelling teams in the NBA they were one of the only ones without a shot at a free-agent summer.

In the last few years there have been missteps in contract signings, over speculating talent and a front office that treats salaries like a fledgling fantasy team (and a losing one at that).

Even with the NBA raising the salary cap to $58.04 million, the team is still dipping into the luxury tax realm. The Sixers 13 man roster is sitting at a little over $67.2 million on opening night.

That puts Philadelphia over $8 million above the salary cap. And for a team coming off a 27-55 record that does not bode well for progress.

Jul 13, 2010

Does Ed Stefanski Deserve To Keep His Job?

(Philadelphia, PA) - In the world of sports we tend to take player, coach and management positions as non-guaranteed. Everyday a persons approval can change and if the penalty is severe enough they are fired. This is the common place in most sports cities but in the city of Philadelphia and in the Sixers organization it seems that you can fail repeatedly and still keep your job.

Ed Stefanski isn't the worst GM the team has ever had, hell Jack Ramsey traded Wilt Chamberlain, but Stefanski has made some major blunders that have drastically hurt this organization yet he sits with relative job security.

This is a list of the high's and low's of Stefanski's tenure with the Sixers and in the end you tell me if he deserves to keep his job.

Jul 11, 2010

Warning: Miami Heat Don't Sign Iverson

(Miami, FL) -- Ever since the completion of the LeBronathon that netted Wade and Bosh in Miami, there have been rumors circulating about which players should join the trio in Miami. In recent days, we've heard of Lakers PG Derek Fisher meeting with Miami officials and even rumbling of Shaq making a return to south beach, but there is one rumor out there that needs to be squashed now.

I hope I don't come off as a scorned homer, but there is no reason the Miami Heat should even consider signing Allen Iverson. Ever since his departure from the Sixers last season there have been questions if the 14-year pro will return to the NBA.

Iverson himself is even getting in on the fun stating on his Twitter account...

@alleniverson: I want to return to the NBA this season, and help any team that wants me, in any capacity that they feel that I can help. I'm disappointed,

Allen you should be disappointed, and if you plan on returning to the NBA, Miami is the last place you should go.

Phillies Enter Break On A High Note

(Philadelphia, PA) -- The NL East is one of the toughest division in baseball and just like any team trying to make up ground going into the all-star break you want to end on a high note. The Phillies did just that sweeping their four-game series with the Cincinnati Reds in dramatic fashion and with unlikely heroes.

We all know the struggles of Cole Hamels this season but Hollywood seemed to brush them off as he went 7 2/3 scoreless innings to notch his seventh win of the season. He showed composure and control in situations where just weeks ago he would cave and conceded.

Cole has become a hemoraging wound when it comes to runners on base yet he forced the Reds into three double-plays and only allowed one extra base hit. Its starting to look like the Cole Hamels we've come to expect.

Ben Wallace signs 2-year deal with Pistons

(Detroit, MI) -- Ben Wallace has agreed to a two-year deal with the Detroit Pistons at $1.9 million a year. Wallace is a 14 year pro and was one of the leaders behind Detroit's 2004 NBA title.

After spending time with the Bulls and Cavaliers since the 2004 title Wallace returned to the Pistons last season and flourished as one of the teams best players, despite the fact they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Wallace could have searched for better money in free agency but decided to sign with the Pistons so that he can retire in Detroit.

The 35-year old pro 5.5 ppg and 8.7 reb. for his 14-year career. In his first stint with the Pistons (2001-2006) he averaged over 950 rebounds a season and was a four time consecutive Defensive Player of the Year.

Complete Free Agency Coverage

Yankee Legend Bob Sheppard Passes At Age 99

(New York, NY) -- Even if you're not a Yankee fan you know the voice of Bob Sheppard. The familiar “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Yankee Stadium. rings in the hallows of baseball history for over half a century.
Today that familiar voice will be forever silent as Sheppard passed away at the age of 99.

The Queens native was the voice of the Yankees since 1951 and is one of the most well known voices in all of sports. Despite handing over the reins to Jim Hall in 2008 you can still hear Sheppard's voice every time Derek Jeter comes to bat.

Due to weakness, he was not present at the final game in the old Yankees stadium but did record the starting lineup that played at the game. The at bat introduction for Derek Jeter is still used to this day—a way of honoring the hall of fame announcer.

Bird Caged: Vick ordered to stay in P.A.

(Philadelphia, PA) —Michael Vick has been ordered by a state probation court that he is forbidden to cross state lines while the investigation into his birthday party shooting is in progress.

This is nothing new for the Eagles quarterback, as he has been on restricted parole ever since he was released from prison in 2009 after serving time for dog fighting.

Vick has to have all of his travel plans approved by the court, and the travel restriction could affect him financially. He was scheduled to appear at a football camp in North Carolina on Monday for a group of almost 500 teenagers.

David Lee headed to Golden State

(San Francisco, CA) -- In a twist of fate former Knicks center David Lee is heading to the west coast in a sign-and-trade to the Golden State Warriors.

It is a four person trade that will net Lee a six-year $80 million dollar deal to head to the Warriors in trade for forwards Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf.

Lee was one of the most popular free agents on the market after the LeBron James signing and averaged 20.2 and 11.7 rebounds last season with the Knicks. It was expected that he would play elsewhere after A'mare Stoudemire signed a free agent deal with New York.

Lee will be a strong upgrade for the Warriors and will flourish in Don Nelson's system. Lee is a strong low-post player and in the last two season has developed a strong 15 foot jumper. The good thing is Lee will most likely move to the PF spot and open more options for himself.

The Warriors already have Andris Biedrins at the center position.

Complete Free Agency Coverage

Clippers Sign A Trio Of Their Own

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Its not LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh but the LA Clippers did sign a trio of free agents this weeks to help retool their lineup. The team has agreed to terms with forwards Brian Book and Ryan Gomes and picked up point guard Randy Foye to slide into the slot left by departing guard Steve Blake.

The monetary details have yet to be announced but Cook will most likely make the mid-level exception salary.

Foye spent last season with the Washington Wizards and the four-year pro averaged 10.1 points, 3.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds. Gomes played last season with the Timberwolves and averaged 10.9 points and 4.6 rebounds. The T-Wolves traded him to Portland on draft day but was released by the team before a press conference was scheduled.

Jul 8, 2010

O'Neal Headed To Boston

(Boston, MA) -- The Boston Herald is reporting that the Celtics have agreed to a one year deal with center Jermaine O'Neal. From the report O'Neal has agreed to take the mid level exception of $5.7 million to sign with Boston.

O'Neal spent last season with the Miami Heat and was pursued by the Timberwolves as well as the Celtics in free-agency. The 31-year old averaged 13.6 ppg and 6.9 reb.

The Celtics have been looking for low post relief due to the impending retirement of Rasheed Wallace and the fact that Kendrick Perkins will spend most of his off-season rehabbing a knee injury.

Complete Free Agency Coverage

Nets Accept Fate: Sign Travis Outlaw

(Newark, NJ) -- Just hours before their incredibly public rejection by LeBron James the New Jersey Nets are playing back up lackey singing small forward Travis Outlaw to a five-year $35 million dollar deal.

Outlaw spent last season with the Clippers and the Trailblazers. Before being traded to L.A. after only 11 games last season he spent eight years of his career in Portland.

Coming straight out of high school in 2003 Outlaw has spent his entire career as a role player and is expected to take on a starting role for the Nets, whom are in the beginning of a very obvious rebuilding phase.

Allen Re-Signs With Celtics

(Boston, MA) -- The Boston Celtics reassured the prolonged services of the big three as Ray Allen signed a two-year $20 million extension. This is the second member of the "Big Three" that the Celtics have resigned as they previous agreed to a four year deal.

In a summer of intense moves and ever evolving conspiracy the Celtics decided to stick with that is working in resigning Allen and Pierce. The deal is structured so that the Celtics can make one more run at an NBA title as the second year of Allen's contract is non guaranteed and has a player option.

The Celtics still have some other moves to make as the impending retirement of Rasheed Wallace is still unknown. There have been rumors the Celtics are pursing the services of Kwame Brown and former Miami Heat center Jermaine O'Neal.

Complete Free Agency Coverage

Jul 7, 2010

Bosh and Wade in Miami: Conspiracy Theory Afoot

(Miami, Fl) -- OK so we all know the news regarding Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami. Two parts of the dream time are headed to Southbeach to create a championship type tandem.

We have also heard for weeks about a proposed three man dream team also involving LeBron James.

With the announcement of Wade and Bosh and the news of LeBron's one hour free agency special many people are counting out the chances that the trio to Miami deal was just a dream and its chances of happening are gone.

I think otherwise...

If you pay attention to the way all of the free agencies have gone down we see a few things. Mostly the statements from the players and the specifics of the deals. We saw this with the max deal to Joe Johnson and the massive overpaid contract to A'mare in NYC but why haven't we heard anything about Southbeach's new superstars.

Running With The Bulls: Boozer Headed To Chicago

(Chicago, Il) -- Until last night many people throughout the NBA thought that Dwyane Wade would return to his hometown to lead the Bulls, but all dreams were squashed when he and Chris Bosh announced they were teaming up and heading to South Beach to hold down the Miami Heat.

Chicago, not wanting to be left out, acted quickly signing power forward Carlos Boozer to a five-year $80 million dollar deal. Boozer, who has spent the last six seasons with the Utah Jazz will join a team with some of the best young talent in the league and lead an ever evolving front court due with Joakim Noah.

Sixers are 2-0 in Summer League Play, Top Celtics 86-69.

(Orlando, FL) -- I know its only Summer League but when can you say the Sixers are undefeated. In game two of the Orlando Summer League the Philadelphia 76ers topped the Boston Celtics 86-69 to stay perfect at 2-0.

The Sixers were led by the unlikely play of second year point guard Jodie Meeks who dropped 18 points on 6-11 shooting. Meeks was the main pickup at last years draft deadline for the Sixers when he came to Philly from the Milwaukee Bucks.

Primetime Made For A King

(Cleveland, OH) -- BREAKING NEWS -- ESPN is reporting that they have an ESPN Exclusive of a one time only ESPN prime time special about the free agency of LeBron James...

Not that the last two weeks haven't been enough 24/7 LeBron the "King" will give his own prime time special.

Does anyone else think that the summer of LeBron is getting a little out of control. Its about time ESPN creates ESPN 6 (The LeBron network).

LeBron will now announce his much anticipated free agency decision live on a one-hour prime time special at 9pm tomorrow night.  The locations and content of the show have yet to be announced but we do know that all proceeds from the special will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Jul 6, 2010

Chris Duhon signs with Magic

(Orlando, FL) - The Orlando Magic have emerged as one of the more confused members during the season signing free-agent Chris Duhon to a four-year $15 million dollar deal.

The sixth year pro has played the last two seasons with the Knicks and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the second round of the 2004 draft.

Duhon has averaged 7.4 ppg and 5.6 assists a game. Duhon will most likely share time at point guard with Jameer Nelson and could fill in as a substitute if J.J. Reddick does not return to the team.

Sixers Top Nets In Summer League Debut, 84-76.

(Orlando, FL) - July 5th marked the official start of basketball in the NBA as all 30 teams began their Summer League Development program. Teams stocked with rookies and first and second year pros team up with undrafted invitees to develop the future of a franchise.

The Philadelphia 76ers began their summer league campaign against a similar foe in the New Jersey Nets and got a glimpse of one of the top five draft picks they passed up in Derrick Favours. The Sixers chose Ohio State G/F Evan Turner over Favours in this years NBA Draft.

Jul 5, 2010

New York State Of Mind: Amare & Knicks Agree On Max Deal

(New York, NY) —It has just been announced that former Phoenix Suns star Amar'e Stoudemire has agreed on a max level contract with the New York Knicks.
The deal has been reported at five-years and an estimated $100 million. 

Amar'e is the first big name free agent to sign with a new team and could signal the decisions for players like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.

The Knicks have made official pitches to James as well as Wade.

Stoudemire has averaged 21.4 ppg and 8.9 reb for his career and has played the first nine seasons of his career with the Suns. New York will not be a huge transition as Stoudemire is familiar with Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, whom coaches the Suns in 2002 and 2003.

Jul 4, 2010

Phils Send Three To Anaheim

(Philadelphia, PA) - Tonight the elusive lineups for the 2010 MLB All-Star game were announced and three members of the Philadelphia Phillies were selected to represent the team in Anaheim California.

Chase Utley was the only Phillie selected to start the all-star game but because of his recent thumb surgery will not be able to participate in the annual mid-summer classic. Utley was elected with over 2.8 million fan votes and surpassed Martin Prado, the starter in Utley's absence, by over a million votes.

The Hawk Has Landed: Johnson Agrees To Max Deal

(Atlanta, GA) -- Joe Johnson and the Athlanta Hawks have agreed on a six-year $119 million dollar deal, the first max contract signed this off season.

Johnson tested free agency taking meetings with the New York Knicks and has scheduled trips to Miami and Houston but the lucritive deal was enough to keep him in town. Johnson was regarded as the strongest back-up plans for the numerous teams courting LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.

The four-time all star has been with the Hawks for the last five seasons and has taken the team to the playoffs the last two years. Johnson was one of the biggest pieces to the resurgance of the Hawks franchise since he was dealt in a sign and trade from Phoenix in 2005.

The Ultimate Uniform: Patriots On And Off The Field

In the world of sports we often lose track of the important things in life. As today is the 4th of July, it is only proper to acknowledge those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for out country.

As we take the day to remember those that have defended our county, we often have the chance for the world of sports and patriotism to collide.

Here is a list of those professional athletes that all shared a common uniform... that of the United State Military.

God Bless America and Happy 4th of July everyone.

Today is a day of celebration and remembrance.

Jul 3, 2010

Dirk Does Dallas: Nowitzki and Mavs Agree On 4-Year Deal

(Dallas, TX) -- The Dirk Nowitzki free-agent formality is over as he and the Dallas Mavericks have agreed on a four year $80 million dollar deal. We all saw this move coming just as we did with Paul Pierce. This deal will not only secure that Dirk will play his entire career as a Maverick but it will also give him something that would make any player sleep easy at night... a secure no trade clause.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been afraid to spend money, especially when Dirk is involved, and the seven footer reciprocated as he chose to take less money then he could have received in the open market to help the team financially.

Steve Blake signs with Lakers, signals end for Derek Fisher

(Los Angeles, CA) -- The L.A. Lakers are reported to have a verbal agreement with free agent point guard Steve Blake in a four-year $16 million dollar contract. The deal can not be singed until after the July 8th official signing period but my signal the end of Derek Fisher's time with the Lakers.

The Lakers long time point guard Derek Fisher, who has won five NBA titles with the team, is an un restricted free agent and is looking for a 2-4 four year deal for somewhere around $10 million. The Lakers also have to look into resigning Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmer, their other point guards from last seasons NBA Finals squad.

Salmons, Bucks Agree on 5-year deal.

(Milwaukee, WI) -- The Milwaukee Bucks seem to be the most active team in this years free agency as they agreed to terms with their second acquisition of the summer, re-signing John Salmons to a five-year $40 million dollar deal.

Salmons was traded to the Bucks last season from the Bulls and made an immediate impact bringing to team to the brink of the playoffs and taking rookie point guard Brandon Jennings under his wing.

Jul 2, 2010

Raptors Get Confused, Sign Wrong Johnson

(Toronto, Can.) -- I guess the brass in Toronto spent a little but too much time celebrating Canada Day and in a move of pure stupidity resigned PF Amir Johnson to a five-year $34 million dollar contract.

This move seems to be a desperate positioning by Toronto as they begin to address life without Chris Bosh. This move tells Bosh that they will take anything they can get via sign-and-trade.

Rudy Gay resigns with Grizz.

F Rudy Gay; 5-year $82 million; Resigns with Memphis; 19.6 ppg 5.9 reb.

(Memphis, TN) Rudy Gay was expected to be one of many backup plans for teams courting top tier free agents but Memphis struck before the rest had time to act resigning their small forward to a five year $82 million dollar deal.

Rudy was expected to meet with the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Jersey Nets but just hours before he was scheduled for his first official trip the Grizzlies told his agent they would match any qualifying offer.

Ultimate Draft Bust Strikes Again

C Darko Milicic:

(Minnesota via Serbia) Former #2 overall pick hood winked the T'Wolves into extending his stay in the U.S. with a 4-year $20 million to stay with Minnesota; spent last season with Minnesota and Knicks. 6.7 ppg & 4.7 reb.

What this means: Darko improved when he left the Knicks and improved in Minn. This is a good situation for Darko who is the ultimate NBA Top 5 Pick Bust.

Drew Gooden Steals $32 million from Bucks.

PF Drew Gooden:

(Milwaukee, WI) Journeyman Drew Gooden steals a 5-year $32 million to join Milwaukee Bucks; spent last season with Dallas and L.A. Clippers. 10.9 ppg & 7.7 reb.

What this means: Milwaukee felt like wasting money and went on a crack binge at midnight. There is no way this guy (who has been trade bait his entire career) deserves this type of deal. This is his ninth team and if he can improve his inside game may take some pressure off Andrew Bogut.

He can be a solid bench player in the right system. For his career he has averaged 10.9 ppg and 7.7 assists but his numbers have increasingly dropped in recent years. The Bucks addressed their low post needs with Larry Sanders in the draft and Ersan Ilyasova has become increasingly more productive last season.

Complete Free Agency Coverage

Staying Put: Pierce and C's agree to four year $61 mil. deal

(Boston, MA) -- With uncertainty regarding the new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, Paul Pierce opted out of his guaranteed $21 million deal. The risk paid off today as the 32-year-old forward signed a four-year, $61 million deal with the Celtics.

Jul 1, 2010

Chase Utley Goes Under The Knife.

Only three days after being placed on the 15 day disabled list, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley will now have surgery to repair a strained ligament on his right thumb.

It was originally thought that Utley may just need time to rest the thumb, which he injured in the recent Reds series, but after consulting with team doctors and an MRI, the decision for surgery was made.

NBA Free Agency Update

Never before has the state of free agency threatened the face of a professional sport, but with this summers prospects the NBA is going to look drastically different. Teams have jeopardized their entire franchise on a hope that one key free agent will push them over the edge.

We all know the key players: LeBron James, D-Wade, Bosh and Amare but its going to be the little guys like Rudy Gay that are going to shape this league.

As the NBA free agency period opens I am going to attempt to update who, where and how much the new players will make in their new homes.


Marcus Vick Possible Shooter in Birthday Party Incident

(Newport News, VA)  Marcus Vick, the brother of Eagle quarterback Michael Vick and one time NFL player, has been named as the possible shooter in an incident at Michael's birthday party last week.

The story was reported by Johnny D. and
Bartley Barefoot on 102.1 The Game in Virginia Beach and say that they have unnamed sources that name Marcus as the shooter.