Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday: Odds and Ends, Yelling at Clouds

Nick Saban Angry at Agents
It was uncertain if Nick Saban at the SEC Media Week compared agents to pimps or to a race of people below pimps (BP CEOs?) For those unaware a growing NCAA investigation has (shock shock) uncovered dozens of players receiving benefits from agents...specifically at UNC, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia. It's uncertain if Saban was angry that people were taking advantage of the players or if people other than Saban were taking advantage of players. Saban, for the record, leads the NCAA in over-recruiting (convincing kids to commit to his school knowing full well he'll retract their scholarship by the Fall)

Chris Paul Following Lebron/Wes' Lead
Chris Paul, the star PG for the Hornets, who recently switched his agent to Lebron's notorious agent (Rose/Worldwide Wes) is apparently demanding a trade to one of 4 destinations (Orlando, LA, New York, Monaco). It's very unclear if anything will come of this since Paul has 2 years left on his contract but it's clear Wes and company are flexing their muscle (their brokered the deal for Portland's new GM and it was Wes who made Paul's demands known to the Hornets). The question of course is if Paul gets his way what does that mean for the NBA, both in terms of outcomes and popularity. It almost has the feel of Don King who manipulated matchups to maximize his return at the expense of boxing. That said I' m always loathe to make guesses on the average consumer's opinion but I will say its unclear how this adds to the popularity of the NBA as a whole.

Ravens Not Off to a Good Start
While the Ravens appear to be one of those trendy picks to be Super Bowl bound they are not off to a great start. Ed Reed will start the preseason/season on the PUP and now 2nd round pick Sergio Kindle will miss time because of falling down 2 flights of stairs. While assuredely not something that will doom the Ravens, injuries before the season can leave a team thin such that if injuries do happen...well no Raven-Droppings at the Super Bowl

Strasberg Sales Match Strasberg Hype
Interesting flash fact, since his call up, Steve Strasberg jersey's have been the #1 selling jersey in all of the MLB.


Gutsy Goldberg said...

1) Nick Saban and Chris Paul are obnoxious... but not as much as Worldwide Wes.
2) Good report on the Ravens. Didn't realize they already lost a couple of players.
3) Not surprised about Strasberg sales at all. He gets a lot of press and sells a lot of tickets for his starts.

MJ said...

1) I applaud Saban's message, but the choice of messenger is a bit comical. It's sort of like the old Shah of Iran pontificating about the horrors of human rights abuses. If you read between the lines of Saban's message, all he's asking for is that coaches not be held accountable when agents do bad things. By painting agents as (to use Dubya's term) "evil-doers", he attempts to exonerate himself and his fellow coaches from relying on these agents to do their dirty bidding. Now he'll always have (semi) plausible deniability on agent-infiltration into his program by pointing to this speech and saying "Hey, don't look at me, I called them pimps!"

2) With two years remaining on his contract, Chris Paul has no leverage to demand a trade. "Worldwide" William Wesley can leak anything he wants but if the Hornets don't want to trade Paul, they don't have to. Now, if Paul's knee injury has impacted his ability to remain the league's best point guard then the Hornets would be wise to off-load the $30M remaining on his contract to some unsuspecting team that wants to make a splash in the headlines.

3) Losing Ed Reed for at least the first six games is a pretty significant issue. He's a co-anchor on that defense with Ray Lewis and not having him on the field means a brain-drain of on-field football IQ.

4) Strasburg is already one of the best 10-15 pitchers in baseball. It should come as no surprise that people want to buy his t-shirt/jersey. He's THAT good.