NHL Chicago fans yell basketball at Black opponent

A few fans decided to taunt the Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelley with chants of, “Basketball” which to white reporter said it is just a word during media scrum after the game. The Chicago Blackhawks security ejected four fans who were chanting the word.

Let me explain why chanting basketball at an African-Canadian hockey player is racist? The people who are chanting the word are letting the Black player know that players who look like them shouldn’t be playing hockey. The word Basketball means all that when it is directed at a Black hockey player. Glad to see Chicago security handled the incident quickly.

There are many talented NHL Black hockey players now and the numbers will continue to grow. The players don’t really talk about racial incidents going up the ranks because they don’t want the label of whiners.

The NHL had a few incidents where a fan threw a banana on the ice when Philadelphia Flyers Wayne Simmonds was taking a penalty shot in 2012 in London Ontario. Joel Ward dealt with racial attacks on social media after scoring the winning goal for Washington Capitals when they beat the Boston Bruins in the playoffs. P.K. Subban while on the Canadian Olympic team received racial taunts on social media. Darren Pang said, “Subban didn’t play the White way.’

NHL Black hockey players will continue to deal with occasional racial incidents. Social media pressure will draw attention to racial incidents and put pressure on the NHL to punish the instigators when it happens in arenas.

There are many Black hockey players who are top 4 defencemen and top 6 forwards on their teams; which means they are key contributors to their teams’ success. We will see many in the playoffs and there have been many Stanley Cup winners. The number and quality of Black hockey players in the NHL will continue to grow.

Have a fantastic day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

LeBon must say no FOX host invite

The FOX host Laura Ingraham,” shut up and dribble” response to LeBron James verbal attack on President Donald J. Trump. This has garnered more attention than she deserves. Her team was smart enough to try to extend her five minutes of infamy by inviting James to her show; which would give her a major rating boost.

African-American athletes have the added pressure to lead and speak against social injustice against their people. It has been going on since Jack Johnson won the heavy weight title in 1908. LeBron mentioned many of the 1960’s activist Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Curt Flood and many others. They all made sacrifices for the betterment of their people.

The athletes now make a tremendous amount of money with advertisement and endorsements. This has curtailed many African-American athletes from speaking out on any social injustices.  I’m glad the athletes are taking on the role again because they have the job security, money, platform to speak out and access to a wealth of information to formulate their opinions.

Fox host Ingraham didn’t tell Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr to,” shut up and coach”. After Coach Kerr blasted the President and politicians for not standing up to the NRA? She didn’t go after San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich for his multitude of verbal attacks the President. These comments are only used against African-American athletes and singers (“shut up and sing”).

It is simple James, “Just Say No”. He must refuse the invitation because the only person who would benefit from his presence is the FOX host. The discussion and James’ presence on the show won’t change any Pro – Trump supporters’ minds.

African-American athletes must continue to voice their opinions and make a difference. They must continue to get their community to mobilize to vote, protest and fight against injustice.

Should more African-American athletes speak out?

Have a fantastic day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Congratulations Raptors Coach Casey 300

Congratulation Dwane Casey on his 300th victory as Toronto Raptors Head coach. He is on pace for a third consecutive 50 plus win season. Coach Casey will coach Team LeBron at the All-Star game.

Coach Casey is a leading candidate for NBA Coach of the Year Award. The Raptors are first in the Eastern Conference with a 39 – 16 record; they have 27 games left. The Boston Celtics are fading and Cleveland Cavaliers just revamped their line-up. The Raptors have an excellent opportunity to win the number one seed and guarantee themselves home court advantage in the Eastern Conference.

Coach Casey team this season doesn’t have many All-Stars, veterans and over-priced players like Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry for the 13th time this season played less than 30 minutes in a game; which means the overall roster has contributed to the success. The Raptors are able to win on a night where either DeRozan or Lowry play poorly. Coach Casey finally trusted Jonas Valanciunas to play more than 25 minutes a game recently and it has resulted in a much improved performance statistically.

The Raptors kids who have three years or less of NBA experience have played a big part of the success story. Norman Powell, Delon Wight, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Jakob Poeltl and OG Anunoby. Six kids playing 17 minutes or more a game and still win seventy percent of their games. None of the kids are a top 8 picks with Poeltl being the highest at 9.

Coach Casey has gotten the most out of a mid-level budget team. He deserves the Coach of the Year Award this year. The Raptors success this season will depend on playoff not regular season. A third consecutive 50 or more win season will appease the Toronto fans. A number seed in the Eastern Conference can lead to confidence in playoffs.

Who is your NBA Coach of the Year?

Have a fantastic day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

McDaniels and Patriots leave Colts at Altar

The Super Bowl losers New England Patriots were going to lose their offensive and defensive coordinators. Josh McDaniels (Indianapolis Colts) and Matt Patricia (Detroit Lions) were leaving for head coaching positions after the Super Bowl. Somehow McDaniels had a change of heart before being announced as the new Head coach for the Colts.

The Pats must pay the price for the last-minute offer that changed McDaniels mind or he realized Head coach Bill Belichick is leaving in a few years? Whatever the reason the Colts have to start their search over. The Pats and McDaniels aren’t being punished for leaving the Colts at the altar on the wedding day with the guest at the church.

McDaniels hadn’t signed a contract because he was still coaching the Pats in the Super Bowl. He broke a verbal agreement and handshake deal. The Colts stopped searching once he agreed to accept the position, which was given to him. McDaniels better hope he is a successful successor to the legend Head coach Belichick because McDaniels won’t get another opportunity to coach anywhere else.

The new Colts Head coach will be far behind in his preparation for the NFL Draft and putting a staff together in time to ready by Draft and mini-camps. Many of the All-star Bowl games and evaluation camps have passed. The Colts will have to depend on film without the opportunity to see prospect in person.

The Pats manoeuvre hurt their long-time rivals. Pats owner Robert Kraft made a smart move to keep his future Head coach McDaniels. Was it within the rules of Fair Play and the Gentleman’s agreement between owners? It was another sneaky Pats move to get an edge and keep their winning tradition going.

This move my help Tom Brady play in 10 Super Bowls before he retires; he is already at 8 (5 – 3 record).

Should the Pats be punished?

Have a fantastic day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Cavs GM great trades

The Cleveland Cavaliers general manger Koby Altman revamped the awful roster at the trade deadline. They got rid of older, slower and not the all-star players anymore: Dwyane Wade, Isiah Thomas, Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose and Channing Frye. The Cavs were one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA. Only the New Orleans Pelicans (110.7) give up more points per game than the Cavs and Orlando Magic (110.2).

The Cavs addition of George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr give the Cavs good rotation players. Hill as the starting point guard gives the Cavs a solid two-way player who can take some pressure of LeBron James to bring up the ball and run the offense. Hood and Clarkson are young talented players who will be on the court when the opponents want to play a small line-up. They both are efficient scorers. Nance Jr give them an athletic big man who can match-up against players like Giannis the Greek Freak Antetokounmpo.

Name Position PPG MPG
Hood SG/SF 16.8 27.8
Clarkson SG/SF 14.5 23.7
Hill PG 10.3 26.6
Nance Jr PF/C 8.6 22

 

Each player the Cavs added will step and contribute immediately and play close over 25 minutes a game. James and Kevin Love are the only players guaranteed heavy minutes while J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver and Tristan Thompson will have to earn their minutes because of the additions.

Let us compare the wing players from the top 3 teams in the Eastern Conference: Toronto Raptors Delon Wright, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and C.J. Miles or Boston Celtics Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart or Cavs Hill, Clarkson, Hood and Smith who would you prefer?

The Cavs now can say their role players are just as good as or better than team they will meet in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Cavs nine man rotation can compete without James having to get a triple double every night. The 29 games remaining gives the Cavs a lot of time to get to know each other.

Can LeBron’s Cavs make another NBA Finals with this roster?

Have a fantastic day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

 

Super Bowl LII point spread pick

The Super Bowl point spread is New England Patriots minus 4.5 against the underdog Philadelphia Eagles. The best part about Super Bowl games is the Proposition (Props) Bets. The Best Props Bets in Tom Brady throw more than 2.5 TD passes and no team will score 3 times in a row. Brady is the master of throwing TD passes of less than 5 yards.

The Philadelphia Eagles will focus hard on stopping Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski which will Brandin Cooks or Ben Hogan will have one on one opportunities to make some big plays. Bet on receiving yards for Cooks.

Rex Burkhead will be the surprise offensive contributor. Dion Lewis and James White are the running backs so far. The Pats will need some interior running success to slow down the Eagles best player defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. Any Prop with Burkhead could be a money-maker except first touchdown.

The Pats will win Super Bowl LII. I expect Nick Foles to make some mistakes, which could lead to the Pats scoring points. James Harrison and Kyle Van Noy will pressure Foles into some bad throws.

If you believe the Eagles will win then they will need to take the lead at the half because the Pats are the best team in the NFL at halftime adjustments. The Eagles leading at halftime could be a great Prop Bet.

The Over/Under is simple if Pats win it is an over because they will score more than 24. If the Eagles it will be an under because the Pats will score less than 21. I don’t expect the Eagles to score more than 21.

Take the Pats – 4.5, over 48.5, Brady to throw for more than 2.5 TD passes and no team to score 3 times in a row.

Good luck this weekend!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Expand NFL Rooney Rule

The NFL Rooney rule is a great opportunity for African-American coaches to interview for Head coaching positions. The Rule was thrown a side and the NFL didn’t enforce it when Jon Gruden was the number one option and hired by the Oakland Raiders quickly and Detroit Lions when they hired Matt Patricia.

The owners knew quickly who they wanted to hire and interviewed candidates to avoid fines. No African – American candidates had a chance for the Raiders and Lions position. The NFL doesn’t help by saying the teams won’t be fined because they didn’t violate the Rooney rule. We never hear the names of the African-American candidates who interview for the vacancies.

The Raiders hired Art Shell (7 years with a 56 – 52 record and three playoff appearances) twice as their Head coach and Jim Caldwell (4 years 64 – 36 with 4 playoff appearances) was fired at the end of the season despite a 9 – 7 record. The fact they hired African-American Head coaches in the past shouldn’t give them an exception to the Rooney rule.

The Rooney Rule could include coordinator jobs also. The NFL Head coaches hired have experience such as NCAA experience with a winning record or coordinator roles in the NFL (offensive or defensive). The new way to discriminate is hiring predominantly former Offensive coordinators or quarterback coaches. There are only a handful of African-American offensive coordinators.

Many teams in the NFL have African – American position coaches who have over 20 years’ experience who have never been a coordinator. The Rooney Rule being expanded to include coordinator positions could help African- Americans get leadership roles that may lead to a Head coaching job. The lack of African-American offensive coordinators despite most of Running Backs and Wide Receivers coaches in the NFL are African-American is shameful.

The only African-American hired this off-season is Steve Wilks who was a defensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers. The Cardinals took a chance on a Defensive coordinator despite losing offensive minded Bruce Arians Has head coach. The Cardinals may see many changes next year on the offensive side of the ball.

Should African – American coaches must interview before NFL coordinators hired by any team?

Have a fantastic day!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

NFL Conference Championships point spread picks

The Divisional round I was 2 – 2. I’m 3 – 5 during the playoff round. The Conference Championships is my last chance to get to .500.

Jacksonville Jaguars versus the New England Patriots – 7.5

Brady’s hand injury and the fact he isn’t practicing is keeping the point spread below 10. I still think the Patriots defense will be able to stop the Jaguars offense and keep them around 17 points. The Patriots offense will score more than 30. The great Jags defense gave up many deep TD passes last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Can Brady hit Bradin Cooks or Chris Hogan deep to keep the Jags honest?

Take the Pats – 7.5

Minnesota Vikings against the Philadelphia Eagles + 3.5

The Vikings kept the Dream Season Alive with a miracle play. The Vikings defense, offense and special teams are better than the Eagles. The Eagles defense won’t be able to win the game for them. Casey Keenum leads his team to one more victory.

Take the Vikings – 3.5

I told a work colleague after Week 4 the Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl. They need one more win.

Good luck this weekend!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

NFL Division round point spread picks

I was a disastrous 1 – 3 Wild Card weekend. Time to make more picks. It seems like an easy week.

Atlanta Falcons versus the Philadelphia Eagles + 3

The Eagles are getting 3 points because Nick Foles is the starting quarterbacks. The Eagles offense will struggle against an improving Falcons defense. The Falcons can sense that they can return to the Conference finals.

Take Falcons – 3

Tennessee Titans against New England Patriots – 14

The Patriots will dominate an inferior Titans offense. The Pats defense will take away the run by putting the strong safety in the box. Marcus Mariota and the Titans won’t comeback this time if they are down 21 – 3 early. The Pats will score over 30 and Titans will struggle to score more than 17.

Take the Patriots – 14

Jacksonville Jaguars versus Pittsburgh Steelers – 7.5

The Jags surprised the Steelers earlier in the season, which cost Pittsburgh a chance at home field advantage in Conference Finals. Big Ben threw 5 interceptions because the Steelers insisted on throwing the ball against Jags. Expect a heavy dose of Le’Veon Bell running against the Jags. Can Leonard Fournette running and Jags defense keep the game close? The Steelers pride.

Take the Steelers – 7.5

New Orleans Saints against Minnesota Vikings – 4

The Saints offense is incredible because they can beat you by running or throwing the ball. The Vikings defense is the best defense remaining in the playoffs. In the playoff I will take the defense. Case Keenum has a chance to keep the Vikings dream alive; the first team to play in the Super Bowl at home. The Vikings will win hopefully their field goal kicker doesn’t miss any extra points or short field goals.

Take the Vikings – 4

Good luck this weekend!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

NFL Wild Card Weekend 2018

I finished the NFL 17 Week season 48 – 37 – 1. It is playoff time.

Tennessee Titans versus Kansas City Chiefs – 9

Alex Smith plays well against weak opponents in the playoffs. The Chiefs explosive offense will be in full display at home. The Chiefs are 6 – 2 at home. The Titans offense doesn’t have enough fire power to hang with the Chiefs on the road.

Take the Chiefs – 9

Atlanta Falcons against the Los Angeles Rams – 6

The Falcons do just enough to keep a game close because they are Super Bowl Finalist last year. The Rams are only 4 – 4 at home this season. The Rams key players got a week off, which will help them enormously.

Take the Rams – 6

Buffalo Bills versus Jacksonville Jaguars – 9

The Bills simple offense and a limping LeSean McCoy will hurt a struggling offense. The Jaguars defense will dominate the Bills offensive line, which will lead to turnovers and penalties. The play of Blake Bortles is a concern and Jaguars penalties on defense. The Jaguars should still blow out the Bills.

Take the Jaguars – 9

Carolina Panthers against New Orleans Saints – 7

The Saints beat the Panthers twice this season. Panthers coach Ron Rivera must take some risk on fourth down to give his team a chance at winning and controlling the clock. The seven point spread may lead to a push.

Black Panther movie coming out February 16, 2018. Panthers being in the playoffs more than a week would be fun.

Take the Panthers + 7

Good luck this weekend!

You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

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