Jay Z will executive Produce NBA 2k13

The NBA 2k series is the best basketball series out there and now it looks like they’re adding another big name to the team. In a video trailer for the upcoming game, the people at 2k announced that Jay Z will be an executive producer for the game.

I wouldn’t worry much about how this will affect the game if your a fan though. I’m sure his “executive producing” will be a lot like his ownership of the Nets. His name is on it, but he isn’t really doing much of anything except promoting it.

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James Dolan finally made the right move and let go of Jeremy Lin

James Dolan has done a lot of dumb things in his time as owner of the Knicks. Hiring Isiah Thomas, trading the whole team for Carmelo Anthony and signing unproven free agents to huge contracts is what James Dolan’s time as owner of the Knicks has been. Bad decision after bad decision and leaving the poor Knicks fans with nothing but hope, only to see their team crash again.

This offseason, it seems like the Jeremy Lin signing has been final straw for a lot of Knicks fans. People are outraged that they wouldn’t sign him and some Knicks fans are even considering jumping to the new team in NY, the Brooklyn Nets.

What I don’t understand though, is how outraged people are that he let go of Jeremy Lin. Everybody expected Dolan to match the contract but when Lin decided to sign on with a huge 3rd year, it became impossible for Dolan to do. Now, Knicks fans are getting mad at Dolan for not doing something that they’ve been outraged with him doing for years.

Like him or not, Jeremy Lin is still unproven. Lin started 25 games, and now is expected to be paid $25 million over three years. Sounds pretty good for Lin, but how about the team paying him? He did average 14 points a game over the time he played for the Knicks, but he also averaged 3.6 turnovers per game. Lin also had 12 games in which he had 6 or more turnovers. That’s a lot of turnovers for someone you’re paying $25 million.

Still, it’s not the $25 million that made this signing impossible to do. It was the $14 million that he was set to get in the 3rd year. There was no way that the Knicks could avoid paying the luxury tax in that year, which would force them to pay $30 million. It’s amusing to hear people say that Dolan has that kind of money and should spend it. It’s easy to spend someone else’s money.

It’s also interesting to hear people assume that the Knicks could just trade away Lin for that third season. If Lin’s a bust, who’s going to want to take $14 million in a useless contract? It’s been hard enough for the Knicks with Amare’s contract and we’ve seen how hard it is to move some of the other huge contracts around the league.

Another interesting assumption that most people are making is that the Knicks will make back the money from the Asian market for Lin. Sure they made plenty of money when Lin was playing well for the Knicks, but what if he’s sitting on the bench? Who’s going to want to pay for Lin then?

There’s been a lot of assumptions made in this Jeremy Lin case. People assume he’s going to be the player we saw at the beginning of the “Linsanity” and not the end when he was scouted and turning over the ball way too much. “Linsanity” was fun, but now that it’s time to pay him it’s over. And for once, I’m on James Dolan’s side.

Kyrie Irving is a funny guy

This past week Kyrie Irving challenged Kobe to a 1-on-1 game with 50 k on the line. That’s the first video, but that’s not the only reason why he’s becoming one of my favorite players. In the second video for Pepsi he dresses up as an old man and schools some people in basketball. The old man video is a month or so old, but they are both still hilarious videos. I’m now a fan of Uncle Drew aka Kyrie Irving.

 

 

Who should get the final two spots on the USA Men’s Basketball Team?

It’s been a rough summer for the Men’s Basketball Team. Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard got hurt at the end of the NBA season, and most recently Chris Paul has gone down with injury, although thoughts are that it isn’t too serious. Add that to the smaller losses like Chris Bosh and LaMarcus Aldridge and it started to look like a problem.

Even with all of those injuries though, the USA team should be favorites in this years Olympics. That journey will start soon, but first the team needs to be completed. There’s been 9 locks on the team announced, and Blake Griffin was added earlier today. The locks are Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Russel Westbrook and Deron Williams.

So with those 10 locked in, there is two final spots to round out the 12 man Team USA roster. The 5 players that are competing for the job are Antony Davis, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, James Harden and Andre Iguodala.

Even though Anthony Davis got hurt during practice, he has continued to practice and has said that he really wants to play for Team USA. I really hope he gets a spot too, and if he plays up to the potential that he has then he should have no problem making the team.

The rest of the 4 are all capable players coming off the bench, but if I was the one picking the team I’d go with James Harden. Even though we obviously can’t see what goes on in Team USA practice, we know that Harden can shoot the ball well and while Team USA has some good shooters they don’t have anybody that can give them a real good shooter off the bench. The other reason I would choose Harden over the rest is because of two other players on the team, his Thunder teammates Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. He already has great chemistry with them and the Thunder Big 3 could give them a huge boost.

While the Olympic Games don’t start until July 27th, the roster is set to be chosen tonight at 7 PM on NBATV. There is a good chance any of those players get chosen, but if I were picking the team I’d take Anthony Davis and James Harden.

Who will have a bigger impact in 2012: Ray Allen or Jason Terry?

After another loss to the Miami Heat in the playoffs, Ray Allen decided to live true to the old saying. “If you can’t beat them, join them”. That’s exactly what Ray Allen did, joining the Miami Heat after turning down more money to return to Boston.

While they wanted to keep him, the move isn’t a heartbreaker for the Celtics, because days before they signed Mavs guard Jason Terry.

Both guards are searching for a second ring on a new team, and both will have a good chance at getting that this year. While it may be questionable how much they have left in the tank, both will get playing time on their new team. The question though, is who is going to have a bigger impact?

Both Allen and Terry should be coming off the bench in 2012, as Allen will be backing up Dwayne Wade and Terry will probably be backing up the young Celtics guard Avery Bradley. They will both be able to make a huge impact off the bench though, most likely from the 3 point line.

In 2011, Terry shot .378% from the 3 point line while Ray Allen shot .443. It gets even better for the all time 3 point leader, because while Dwayne Wade and LeBron James drive to the rim Allen will get nice open 3 poing shots all game. It could really be a good season from Allen, if he’s healthy. While Terry may not have as good of a season from 3 though, at this point in their respective careers Terry is probably better at creating his own shot.

A big contributor when taking into consideration who will have a better season is how much they are needed on their team. While Ray Allen will probably have a better season, his former team is in bigger need of a shooter. The Heat brought in 3 point shooters to surround their Big 3 and Allen joins Mike Miller and James Jones who are pure 3 point shooters as well as Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers who are also good 3 point shooters. The Heat were in need of a big man, but having the best 3 point shooter of all time does help.

The Celtics, on the other hand, have a big need for a shooter now that Allen is gone. Terry is the better all around player right now, but the Celtics signed him for his pure shooting in 2012. Terry steps onto this team and is easily their best shooter, except for Paul Pierce.

2012 should be good for both Jason Terry and Ray Allen. Both are going to play for championship caliber teams and will probably face off in the playoffs. As for who will have the bigger impact though? It’s close, but I’d give the edge to Terry.

The CFC Top 100 NFL Players of 2012: 100-81

When the NFL network started their “Top 100 Players” list last year, I hated some of the picks. I do love making lists though, so it was a natural idea for me to dive into it and make a list of my own. Unfortunately, this blog didn’t exist last year so there is no evidence of that list. This year though, I decided to once again make a list.

The criteria for this list is pretty simple. I took into account what a player has done in the past, but most importantly took into account what I think they’ll do this upcoming season. So a player like Cam Newton who’s going to light up the NFL for years to come may be ranked high, but I also refrained from putting him too high because we’ve only seen him for a year. On the other hand, declining players like Ed Reed are pretty high due to their Hall of Fame past but not as high as they once would be because they aren’t the player that they used to be.

As with all articles, I look forward to comments. Even more with stuff like this though, because a lot of effort went into making this and I love to hear feedback about it. So here’s my first 20 players. The next 20 will be coming soon and at the end I’ll post my entire list.

100: Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams

A couple of years ago, Steven Jackson would have been near the top of the list. While he’s still a great runningback though, I think this is the year we’re going to start see his decline. He’s been good for 1,000 yards every year since 2004, which was his rookie year. He had to fight injury last year though and I think he’s going to have a problem staying healthy and effective this year. He may be still good for 800-900 yards, but this isn’t the Steven Jackson of old.

99: James Laurinaitis, LB, St. Louis Rams

Since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft, James Laurinaitis has been a great linebacker for the Rams and has been a consistent run stopper for them. He’s had two seasons with over 100 tackles and the only season in which he didn’t he was only two short. On a poor Rams team, Laurinaitis has been a consistent defensive player and is going to be a good linebacker for years to come.

98: Vonta Leach, FB, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens pickup of Vonta Leach last season was one of the best moves that they’ve made recently. Leach, who’s one of the best blocking fullbacks in the NFL has now paved the way for Arian Foster and Ray Rice, two of the league’s premier backs, in the past two years. In both of those years, Leach has been an All Pro.

97: Elvis Dumervil, LB, Denver Broncos

In 2010, Elvis Dumervil was a sack machine. He led the NFL with 17 sacks and followed that up in 2011 with 9.5 more. Along with Von Miller, he lead the Broncos defense to a very successful season. Dumervil should be good for another 10 sacks this year too.

96: Santonio Holmes, WR, New York Jets

Even though his stats have gone down significantly in the past two years, Santonio Holmes is a great WR. After all, it’s hard to put up good stats with Mark Sanchez at QB and especially when they have a bad relationship. He still has good touchdown numbers though and had 1,248 yards in his last season with the Steelers in 2009.

95: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans

Last year, Chris Johnson would have been one of the top players in the NFL. And he deserved it, after rushing for 1,000 yards. After his contract disputes though he had a very rough season and some question if he may be done already. I think that he’s going to surprise a lot of people and have a good season again this year. Not 2,000 yard Chris Johnson, but maybe a 1,300 yard and 8 touchdown Chris Johnson.

94: Tamba Hali, LB, Kansas City Chiefs 

Tamba Hali burst onto the scene in 2010 with a 14.5 sack season for the Kansas City Chiefs. He followed it up with 12 more sacks in 2011 and has established himself as one of the great young pass rushers in the NFL.

93: Asante Samuel, CB, Atlanta Falcons

Some people may question having Asante Samuel this low, but I think him getting shipped out by the Eagles this season showed even more that he’s one of the league’s most overrated CB’s. Samuel gets a lot of interceptions but gets beat a lot and is an awful tackler. Still, his high interception numbers warrant him a spot in the Top 100.

92: Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints 

Before his first season with the Saints, I doubted Darren Sproles. He obviously wasn’t an every down back and still isn’t. I wasn’t sure how he’d do with the Saints. Obviously, I was proved very wrong as Sproles gained the most total yards in one season in NFL history. Sproles may not be an every down back but he is a triple threat and dangerous running, passing and in the return game.

91: Robert Mathis, DE, Indianapolis Colts

Robert Mathis may be stuck on one of the worst defenses in the NFL, but he is still a very effective defensive end He’s had 20 sacks in the last two years combined, including 11.5 in 2010.

90: Lamar Woodley, LB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Since being drafted by the Steelers in 2007, Lamar Woodley has been a big part of their feared defense. In just 4 years, he’s racked up 44 sacks and was a Pro Bowler in 2009.

89: Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Even though he’s on a steady decline, Reggie Wayne was still able to get 960 yards and 4 touchdowns with Curtis Painter at quarterback for the Colts. With Peyton Manning gone, Wayne decided to still come back to the Colts and will now have to work with Andrew Luck for the rest of his career. Before 2011 though, Wayne had 7 straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.

88: DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

DeSean Jackson may be a big deep threat, but I have him this low because I don’t think he’s a great all around WR and deserves to be among the league’s elite WR’s. His contract dispute and poor season hurt him, but it also doesn’t help that he hasn’t had more than 63 receptions in a season.

87: Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Hurt in 2011, Miles Austin wasn’t able to play like we saw him do the previous two seasons. At full strength, Austin is the best WR that the Cowboys have and still got 7 touchdown receptions in the 10 games he has. With Tony Romo at QB, a healthy Austin is good for 1,000 yards and could reach double digit TD’s for the 2nd time in his career.

86: London Fletcher, LB, Washington Redskins

A model of consistency for the Redskins, London Fletcher racks up tackles for their defense. He was a 2nd team all Pro in this past season and even though he’s only made two Pro Bowls he’s been very consistent over his 14 year career and hasn’t showed much slowing down yet.

85: Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants

The breakout star from the past season, Victor Cruz set the Giants recieving yards record in his first full season with the team. Of course we don’t know if Cruz can keep it up, but I’m willing to bet he can. With speed and a great ability after the catch, Cruz is sure to salsa in the end zone plenty more in his NFL career.

84: Cortland Finnegan, CB, St. Louis Rams

After playing the first 6 years of his career with the Tennessee Titans, Finnegan took a big payday to reunite with his former coach Jeff Fisher. Finnegan is a very good corner who gets paid like one, but isn’t quite on the elite level. He will be an upgrade for the Rams defense though.

83: Chris Long, DE, St. Louis Rams

Chris Long hadn’t quite lived up to his potential as the 2nd overall pick in his first 3 NFL seasons, but broke out with a 13 sack season in 2011 for the Rams. If Long can keep this up, he’ll be one of the top pass rushers in the NFL for quite some time.

82: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Another player who finally broke out, Lynch was able to get paid like one of the best backs due to a great second half of the season. A punishing back, Lynch always gets good yards after contact. It’s yet to be seen if he’ll be able to keep that up in his second full season with the Seahawks though, and his first after getting paid.

81: Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

After winning rookie of the year in 2008, Matt Ryan has yet to make the leap that many have been waiting for from him. He did have his best NFL season in 2011 though, so maybe it’s coming soon. He does have great weapons around him and with Michael Turner getting older the Falcons may look to air the ball out more.

Where do the Lakers stand in the West with Steve Nash?

In the hours following the Lakers acquiring Steve Nash, many questions have been asked. Among the questions being asked, is where do the Lakers stand in the Western Conference now.

The Lakers finished last season 3rd in the Western Conference with Steve Blake and Ramon Sessions at point guard. They beat the Nuggets in the 1st round but fell to the Thunder in the 2nd round.

With Steve Nash though, what can we expect from the Lakers this season?

When determining that, you need to answer the question about how Steve Nash playing with Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Lakers. While they may struggle on defense, I don’t think they will have a problem at all playing together. I do also think that Pau Gasol will be able to bounce back, if he’s still on the Lakers when the season starts.

Where does this leave them in the grand scheme of things in the West though? Well let’s start off by saying they aren’t better than the Thunder. I think most people are reasonable enough to know that, but you never know what some NBA fans may think. The Thunder beat the Lakers in 5 games in this years playoffs, and Steve Nash isn’t going to make them better than that team.

The 2nd seed in the West last season was the San Antonio Spurs. We like to count the Spurs out every year, but they always surprise us and are one of the top seeds in the West.  I’d have to see how these Lakers play together before putting them ahead of the Spurs, but there’s a good chance that they do surpass the Spurs this year.

The only other team that is close to the Lakers right now is their L.A rival, the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers obviously have a good nucleus, and are trying to add Ray Allen right now as well. If they can add Ray Allen, they could be a very dangerous team. Right now I’d say that the Lakers are better than the Clippers too though.

Of course we’ll have to wait until they play, but for now Steve Nash looks like a huge upgrade for the Lakers. It doesn’t make them the best team in the West, and their defintley not better than the Heat or some teams in the East. This move does make them better though, and will give them a few more years of contention.