Posts Tagged ‘Dream Team’

The NBA Silver League: The Best Freaking Basketball Idea You Never Heard Of!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

By Jeremy Quinn

On the heels of NBA TV’s Dream Team documentary, and the NBA season only a couple weeks away from finishing, I thought it would be a great time to write about an idea that’s been brewing in my mind.

The NBA Silver League.  That’s right, let’s bring back the old players and give them their own league.

What?  You don’t think watching an old “Dream Shake” would be entertaining?  Hakeem can still do it folks.  Go to Youtube and search for the videos where he is training Dwight Howard or Kobe.

What about MJ’s fadeway?  Um…he still can do it folks.  Again, Youtube!

Just because you are older doesn’t mean you’ve lost your drive to compete and succeed.  Some players retire because they just can’t keep up, and/or their skills have eroded, think Gary Payton and Michael Jordan.  Some could have kept playing, but didn’t want to deal with the 82-game schedule, think John Stockton.  Some suffer an injury that puts them below an NBA level of athleticism, think Penny Hardaway and Isiah Thomas.

Should that be the end of these legends?

No.  Think about it.  Don’t you think Clyde Drexler would love to have another chance against MJ?  Or what about Reggie Miller?  Are you telling me you wouldn’t want to watch that during the dog days of summer?  What about seeing Reggie Miller stroke a 3 in somebody’s face and talk to them all the way down the court?  Not only would I watch, but I’d buy season tickets!

I’ve read that Magic still plays alot.  Penny Hardaway just played in the Ultimate Hoops gym league.  The list goes on and on.  Many would love to still play if they had a proper structure to play within.

What about their past injuries?

Some great healing technologies have surfaced in the last few years.  Kobe’s career had a resurgence because of the platelet-rich plasma therapy he received in Germany last summer.

There are also many stories about stem cell therapy being very successful for NFL athletes.  And let’s not forget, they won’t have to run with the Lebrons and the Durants of the league.  They’d be battling against players their same age.

With a shortened season, 40 minute clock, only having to compete against your peers and the technological advances of today, this idea is very plausible.

These guys aren’t in shape though!

Have you seen the latest Hanes commercial with Michael Jordan in it?  I was appalled to see him with a beer belly.  I would have never thought I’d see the day.  I can’t imagine Kobe ever letting himself go like that, but that’s a different article.  Alot of these guys allow themselves to get out of shape not because they want to, but because they don’t have a reason to be in shape.  You best believe MJ wouldn’t have a beer belly if he was in this league.  Case in point, a group of 40ish, 50ish, and 60ish year old guys actually
taught me to play basketball at the downtown San Diego YMCA.  These guys will still run you out of the gym.  They are in phenomenal shape. It’s very possible to be in great shape at those ages.

Would people really watch?

Yes.  These guys have built their brands over decades.  Brands we’ve come to love and cherish.  The Dream, The Admiral, Stockton and Malone, Clyde the Glide, I could go on.

The storylines would be fabulous.  You’d have guys trying to get revenge on MJ.  You’d have Clyde Drexler trying to prove he could go left.  You’d have players who fell into drugs when they were younger and never made good on their God-given talent actually come back and prove they really had what it took.  You’d see guys who didn’t win a championship in the NBA actually get one in the Silver League.  You’d see guys retire again and a new crop come in.

I’d make the minimum age be 40 years old.  That means we only have to wait 4 more years to see A.I. try to cross somebody over again.  If we’re lucky we might get to see a killer crossover by Tim Hardaway, albeit slower!  Guys like Kobe and Kevin Garnett who eat, breath, and sleep basketball would definitely be joining this league.

Are you telling me this wouldn’t be a vastly superior product compared to the WNBA?

Ok, maybe you are almost convinced, but you are thinking, when would the season be?

Well, I’d love to see the WNBA go away, and be replaced with my idea, but it doesn’t seem like they are going anywhere, so it looks like we’d have to wedge the NBA Silver League in between the WNBA schedule and the NBA schedule.  The league could start on August 23rd (WNBA season ends 8/22) and could go until the day before the NBA opening tip.  So that would be August 23rd – October 30th.  A 2-month season.  Short for scheduling purposes, their age, and other commitments these older guys have.  There would be very limited traveling, have the season in one place.

This is a dope idea isn’t it?  If you think so then give then LIKE the NBA Silver League Facebook Page.

Jeremy Quinn, for War Room Sports

It’s Time for the Andy Reid Era to End

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

By Brandon Pemberton

Catch me on Twitter @Bashir28

Angry, shocked, bewildered, and befuddled are a few words to explain how I felt after I watched the Philadelphia Eagles blow a 20-point, 3rd quarter lead, and lose 24-23 to the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.  Yes I admit, I am a full-bred, Philadelphia-raised, 4-for-4 sports fan.  But as an aspiring sports radio host and sportswriter, I am also a non-homer and I break things down objectively.

When the Eagles assembled this current team during the lockout-shortened off season, I was excited about the pieces they added, especially on the defensive side of the ball.  On paper, bringing in corners Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, along with defensive lineman Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, made this Eagles defense look like world beaters.  They also signed quarterback Vince Young as the backup to Mike Vick and late in training camp, former Giants wide receiver Steve Smith as well.  Young coined the phrase “Dream Team” in an interview with the Philly media and the whole city ran with it.  Even before the team had played a down of football.

I had thought there were positions that were left unaddressed before the preseason and after watching preseason games 2 and 3, it was obvious to me that the offensive line, linebackers, and safeties were going to be a problem.  When I let it be known on Twitter, Facebook, and in this article , people told me “calm down, it’s only preseason”.  Well the only eye test I had was the Eagles’ starters against the opposite team’s starters.  I thought to myself, “the Eagles really need to do something about these linebackers with the scheme they are attempting to play”, but this is Andy Reid we are talking about folks.  He feels as though linebackers don’t matter and aren’t a factor in winning a title.

So here we are, after this first 4 weeks of the season and the Eagles stand at 1-3 and last in the NFC East.  Unable to hold 4th quarter leads, horrible play in the red zone on both sides of the ball, along with putrid coaching and philosophy are the main reasons why.  Oh, don’t let me leave out the protection issues with the O-line, Vick’s problems coughing up the ball, and the inconsistent play of DeSean Jackson.

I and everyone else have had it with Reid’s excuses right after games in press conferences and the day after.  The same “I have to do a better job” statements along with his pompous and smug answers to the reporters’ questions the day after a bad loss or when he has made mind-blowing mistakes in a game, just tick me off.  His inability to adjust on game day and his refusal to take value in certain positions is the reason why he hasn’t yet won a Super Bowl, and why this team has fallen flat on their faces after 4 games.

Early in his career, Reid refused to acquire any big-time wide receivers, even when it was obvious it would help Donovan McNabb and take the team to another level.  He finally came to his senses and in 2004, Terrell Owens was added to the team and the Eagles had its best offensive season in franchise history while making a trip to the Super Bowl and eventually losing to the New England Patriots.  He then drafted DeSean Jackson in the 2nd round in ’08 and Jeremy Maclin in the 1st round of the 2009 draft.  It took him a while, but he eventually figured out if he was going to be a pass heavy team, he needed stud receivers.

During Andy Reid’s tenure here in Philadelphia, he has refused to put value into the linebacker position.  When he came here in 1999, he inherited stud middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and in 2000 while Tom Modrak was the General Manager, they signed outside linebacker Carlos Emmons as well.  Trotter and Emmons played together for two years (2000-01) and when “Trot” was allowed to walk after the 01′ season, this is when I realized the Eagles and the front office undervalued the linebacker position.  Reid has gone year after year refusing to address this problem.  Gardner, Simoneau, Kirkland, Jones, Wayne, Bradley, Gocong, and recently Ernie Sims are some of the names of the mediocre players that have played here since Trotter and Emmons.  They also have never found a proper replacement for Eagles’ legend and future Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins.

So when I saw the Birds send out a starting linebacker core of Moise Fokou, Casey Matthews, and Jamar Chaney on opening day, I wasn’t surprised.  You would think since the team is using Jim Washburn’s “Wide Nine” set for the defensive line, which leaves the linebackers vulnerable to offensive linemen, the team would acquire bigger, more violent linebackers via free agency or the draft.  Instead they move Jamar Chaney from his natural position of middle linebacker and hand the job to a 4th round pick out of Oregon who can’t play.  The eye test doesn’t lie.  Anyone with football acumen would have told you that Matthews isn’t a NFL middle linebacker, let alone a starter.  How Moise Fokou owns a starting spot on an NFL roster, I have no bleeping idea.  The guy is nothing more than a special teams player.  I liked what I saw from Chaney last season, but the current scheme doesn’t fit his abilities. 

There are two other teams in the NFL that currently use the “Wide Nine” scheme with its front four, the Detroit Lions and the Tennessee Titans.  The Titans are in the top 10 in 3 key defensive categories in the NFL:  7th in yards per game (299.8), 8th in rushing yards allowed per game (87.8), and they have the number 1 scoring defense in all of football (14.0 pts per game).  Their trio of linebackers include:  Will Witherspoon (6’1′ 240), Barrett Ruud (6’2′ 241), and first round draft pick Akeem Ayers (6’3′ 254).  They all are players who attack the line of scrimmage violently and are big enough to take on and defeat blocks at the point of attack.  Will Witherspoon, who played in eleven games for the Eagles in 2009, is also excellent in pass coverage, especially against tight ends.

The Lions rank 11th in the NFL in yards allowed (334.3) per game, 20th in rushing yards allowed per game (113.0), and 8th in points allowed per game (19.0).  Of course any defense with a player like Ndamukong Suh is going to make it easier on linebackers to play because he draws so many double-teams.  But there’s no way you can tell me that Stephen Tulloch (5’11’ 240), DeAndre Levy (6’1′ 238), and Bobby Carpenter (6’2′ 249) aren’t a more credible linebacker crew than the crap the Eagles have.  Stephen Tulloch has played his whole career in the “Wide Nine” scheme and was a free agent during the offseason.  It would have made sense to take a look at Tulloch and sign him since he is a proven veteran playmaker, but no, this is Andy Reid’s regime we are talking about here folks.  By the way, Tulloch is having a Pro Bowl caliber season through four games.

Before I finish, let me address the safety position as well.  As I said earlier in this article, Brian Dawkins still hasn’t been properly replaced since leaving via free agency in 2009.  Nate Allen was having a good rookie campaign before rupturing his patella tendon towards the end of last season, and it wasn’t certain if he would be 100% coming into this season.  Kurt Coleman is a 7th round draft pick who outplayed his expectations last season, but that didn’t mean he was a NFL starter.  The Eagles drafted Jaiquawn Jarrett out of Temple in the 2nd round, which was a reach and he has dressed for one game so far.  When the Eagles realized they were in trouble during the preseason, they signed 6-year veteran Jarrad Page, who has started on some bad Kansas City Chiefs teams in the past and played sparingly for the Patriots last season.  To start the season, it was Coleman at free safety and Page at strong safety, but the both of them were exposed during the first 4 games.  Whether it was blown coverage or just plain missing tackles, they both proved that they shouldn’t be starting in this league.  Nate Allen was given a shot at starting this past Sunday against the 49ers and he was a non-factor.

What more can I say?  It’s the same sad love song with Andy Reid at the helm and running things around here.  The Eagles haven’t been back to the Super Bowl since the 2004 season and they damn sure aren’t [going back] this year or any with Reid as coach.  His message, coaching style, philosophy, drafting, and antics are all old and it’s time for new blood for this franchise. 

Brandon Pemberton of Brandon on Sports, for War Room Sports