Views From The Baseline – Episode 3: NCAA Basketball Scandal and Early Top 5 Predictions

Chevall Kanhai hosts an exclusive NCAA Basketball episode. He is joined by Nate Ledsinger from the Baseline Times team and a special guest Anthony Taylor. Anthony is known as “Coach Taylor” and the director/Head Coach of TaylorMade Basketball Academy. In this episode, the trio shares their insight and reactions to the College Basketball scandal. Nate and Anthony tag team on their early top 5 and sleepers to watch out for in the upcoming season.

Learn more about TaylorMade Basketball!
Website: http://www.taylormadebasketball.com
Twitter: @TaylorMadeBBall
YouTube: TaylorMade Basketball

Views from Baseline – Episode 2: Protests, Carmelo in OKC and the Cavaliers depth

Chevy and DeMario discuss their opinions and reactions to the latest NFL player protests. The duo also gives their insight on the Carmelo Anthony trade and the Cavaliers familiar dynamic duo reuniting. [NSFW language]

It’s a Great Night for Boxing

Tonight marks the biggest fight in combat sports history. The confident and stout, young Irishman, with no professional boxing fights to his name. But a whole country at his back. Versus the 49-0 undefeated pretty boy who can’t be touched. And though early on it seemed Mayweather would cruise through Conor; within the last few weeks, many views have shifted to Conor having more than a punchers chance. Which I believe to be true. I mean how can a guy who’s eleven years younger as talented as Conor not have more than a chance, even though he’s fighting the greatest defensive boxer of all time with nineteen years experience.

Well, that is the question we all get to have answered on Saturday night. Going down the list it looks pretty nice in Conor’s favor, Age, weight, height, reach are all on his side. But experience is the biggest factor here I think, in that area, Floyd Mayweather is again, nineteen years ahead.

But in the end, the is fight comes down to one thing, MONEY. The fact of the matter is that this is a billion dollar fight. Pay-Per View sales are sure to eclipse that of the Pacquiao fight, and with this one coming in at a hefty $100, sales are sure to be close to a billion. And with this being potentially the first fight to reach that mark the only way Mr. Money Mayweather would come out of retirement is for a payday such as this. Mayweather is set to make Approximately $100 million, where as Mcgregor will be more in the $75 million range.

Why do the New York Knicks Suck?

2017 New York Knicks: What are you Doing?

On Tuesday, May 10th, 1973 The New York Knickerbockers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in game 5 of the NBA Finals. Willis Reed, of the New York Knicks, would be named MVP of the series, and NY the Mecca of basketball brought another title home. That day was over 40 years ago.

We haven’t had any success since. And to make it worse, when things are looking like they could get better, everything crumbles at our feet, and sometimes ankles. Whether it be having a promising team in the 90’s that reached the finals only to be heart crushingly defeated. Or to have lived through the last decade of being a Knicks Fan and having to watch us hobble through every season, the Knicks have been a tragedy.

Now it’s 2017, going into 2018. 45 years since our last banner day, where are the Knicks now?

NOT ANY BETTER THEN THEY WERE LAST YEAR.

There’s a rule in the NBA that bad teams get the better lottery picks and then they either use those for drafting or trade them for established stars. It makes sense. Worse off teams get to parley their positions using scarce resources. Cool. I don’t think the Knicks got this memo.

For the last several years, the NY Knicks used their draft picks on risky foreign talent. Kristaps Porzingis has panned out. Name anyone else that did? I’ll wait until you look at another team’s roster to tell me if they have because it’s almost a guarantee they’re not a NY Knick anymore.

Kristaps Porzingis in a home jersey

Please save us

I can’t remember the last NY Knick draft pick to pan out while on the roster. These struggles came in a decade when NY and lottery were more associated than FL and the lottery. Just this year we spent 71 million dollars bringing back Tim Hardaway when we were the team that drafted him. Had we kept him and developed him along with Kristaps, maybe we’d have a better outlook going forward. Sadly, James Dolan doesn’t think like that.

Managment Doesn’t Care

Last off-season the Knicks started off by the signing of two cast off former Bulls, Derrick Rose, and  Joakim Noah. Both are injury laden, and their production mirrored it. Rose has set sail to Cleveland, but we still have Noah’s massive contract on the board. Bad contracts are a reoccurring problem you will see with bad teams, even worse contracts.

Usually for a team to take on bad contracts, they trade for them or have used leverage to make the deal come out at least even. Again, NY never got this memo. We sign players past their prime or when no one else wants them. These signings also always seem to coincide with having to get rid of younger talent at the hope of getting value out of a bad deal.

Dolan only seems to be interested in keeping the Knicks profitable. The arbitrary signing of aging and non-coherent superstars are doing nothing for the team, or it’s W column. The Phil Jackson fiasco just goes to show the interest of the team is never at the forefront for Dolan. I’m not going to pretend to know the ins and outs of the team, but it was obvious The Knicks gave Phil Jackson way more leeway than he should. Especially with such a drastic overhaul being tried by him. And then Jackson was given the boot.

I’m not complaining out Jackson’s particular firing, but it goes towards Dolan’s lack of commitment to a plan and his lack of forethought into it. The Jackson and Carmelo feud should not have been public, and that’s partially the higher ups to blame. Cohesion starts at the top.

Horrible Moves Have Left us in the Dog House

Take the Carmelo Anthony trade for instance. At the time Carmelo was at the head of the NBA, and he was at a justifiably high price. To be acquired reasonably. Carmelo, with his greatness, is not the complete two-way player that you can hang both sides of the ball’s hat on.

At the time we had a cast of great role players including Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and Timofey Mozgov. Now while the NBA may have evolved past the latter, the two formers are still producing in the current NBA environment. Had we just waited to acquire Carmelo instead of paying his ransom, we’d be looking at an entirely different team right now.

This problem only becomes exacerbated when former Knicks players are wearing gold around their fingers these past few seasons. J.R. Smith, Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert, David Lee, and Channing Frye have all been pieces on championship teams, and all are former Knicks. All these players only recently left the NY Knicks as well. If other teams could get value out of them, why couldn’t we?

The Future

What does the future hold for the NY Knicks? I don’t know, but it doesn’t look bright. Our lack of draft picks along with a lack of any game plan are not attractive qualities moving forward. It would appear we’re just going to ride out the Carmelo era that started with promise but is now deteriorating before our eyes. But maybe not all things will be bad this year. Maybe our savior has arrived in a dark, unmarked hoodie.

But not all things will be bad this year. Kristaps will continue to develop into the monster he will become. Rumors are going around that management doesn’t like the idea of Hardaway and Melo together, but they could gel into something special. Carmelo has and will always be an exceptional offensive talent. He can be unstoppable at times, and the NY Knicks will need him the most this season. There have been some clues he’s ready to bear that burden this season. So just maybe our promised savior has arrived in a dark, unmarked hoodie.

Carmelo Anthony under a black hoodie

The Dark Knight has Risen

Until next time, fellow Knicks fans.

Markus X. Murden

Senior-Editor/Depressed Knicks Fan

Follow Markus on Twitter and Instagram @MXMurden

 

 

 

 

Fighters crossing promotions could be great under the right circumstance

The main event at UFC 214 was nothing short of spectacular. Jon “Bones” Jones reclaimed the Light heavyweight title in dominant fashion dethroning Daniel Cormier with a third round TKO. Cris “Cyborg” Justino made little work of Tonya Evinger to win the women’s featherweight title. These champions stand to be the biggest stars the UFC has to offer aside from McGregor. Both champions are looking to the WWE for their next opponents.

Justino has expressed interest in fighting super inconsistent Holly Hohm. However, she isn’t ruling out a matchup with WWE superstar Becky Lynch at Summerslam. Lynch took to Instagram to gladly accept the challenge. Training for professional wrestling won’t be easy as people may think. It’s scripted and timed to perfection. Crossing platforms would mean a longer learning curve to put it all together but wouldn’t be impossible.

Jones issued a challenge to Lesnar after his match ended essentially saying he could handle him despite being 40 pounds lighter. The potential super fight would have more appeal if Lesnar was the UFC heavyweight champion. Either way, we would see brute strength vs precision. Jones was walking around at 247 pounds prior to his bout with Cormier which could come in handy against Lesnar take downs. Jones would thrive in the stand up with his ability to strike at long distances.

MMA to Boxing

Speaking of the UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic has the itch to take on current boxing heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua. With Wladimir Klitschko officially retired, a cross promotion bout with the two champions would be intriguing. Both heavyweights are at the top of their games in their respective sports and could be in for a huge payday should the match happen.

Miocic (17-2) is on a five fight win streak fresh off his destruction of Junior Dos Santos.  Joshua (19-0) handled Klitschko in his last fight to solidify himself as the worst man on the planet. Speaking of bad men, Vasyl “The Matrix” Lomachencko is probably one of the best boxers that the world has never heard of. His punching power and footwork are second to none. He attacks from all different angles with the veracity of E. Honda’s hundred hand slap (dated reference).

Pitting him against a great featherweight boxer in his own right in Frankie Edgar would be appealing. It’s fresh and something that could help boxing in a sport that is dying a slow death. It can only work if MMA fighters cross over to boxing and not the other way around. James Toney learned the hard way when he stepped into the octagon to face former two division champion Randy Couture and got submitted with ease.

It would be foolish of me to not discuss the main attraction that seems to have the attention of everyone for different reasons. Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are the loudest mouths in combat sports going. It’s only suitable that they face each other in one of the biggest fighting events in 2017 possibly overshadowing the Canelo and Golovkin match.

Conor McGregor has a tall order ahead of him as prepares to do battle with Floyd Mayweather. He truly believes he can end Floyd in the 4th via KO. Guys like Cotto, De La Hoya, Pacquiao and Canelo who specialize in punching weren’t able to KO Mayweather in 12 rounds. Floyd draws you in with counter punches and great head movement which can frustrate opponents.

Mayweather isn’t the fighter he was 10 years ago but still has the necessary skills to get the job done. He will make you engage and miss while taking advantage at every turn. McGregor does have power and youth on his side and can inflict damage. It’s just hard to fathom an amateur boxer whose been training a few months can knock out a professional boxer who’s been at it for over 20 years.

WWE to MMA

This is arguably the hardest route to transition to in my opinion. Professional wrestlers are usually trained as professional wrestlers with the exception of some who are actually pure wrestlers. I personally would have loved to have seen Kurt Angle try his hand in the octagon given his background in amateur wrestling.

Brock Lesnar has been one of the UFC’s biggest draws to date. Lesnar crossed over to fight Frank Mir in his first professional MMA match and looked damn good until being submitted. Lesnar would get revenge on Mir and would eventually beat Randy Couture for the heavyweight championship.

Former WWE star C.M. Punk tried his hand at MMA but was quickly dispatched of via first round submission to Mickey Gall. He has been quiet since but hasn’t ruled out a return. Brock Lesnar fared better than CM Punk in the octagon due to his Division I wrestling credentials which produced a NCAA championship. That doesn’t mean CM Punk can’t be successful if he continues MMA, but the road will be a lot tougher.

Fighters crossing promotions on a regular basis could be great for all parties involved as long as you have the right mix of fighters. Instead of competing for PPV buys and denigrating each other, why not create explosive combined cards that fans would want to see?

 

Gabe Lloyd
Baseline Times Contributor
@GabeXL

Views from the Baseline: Episode 1 – Elliot Suspension, KD vs Kawhi, and Athletes Protesting

Baseline Times Media presents a new show where we can debate and speak on open topics. This inaugural episode we cover The Ezekiel Elliot suspension, debate who you’re taking KD or Kawhi, and the effect that athletes really have on taking political stances. Chevall Kanhai, Markus Murden and DeMario Jackson headline the round table discussion. (Please note this episode includes explicit language)