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AndrewWiggins

To be Mediocre or to be God-Awful

Hey basketball fans, (is this getting old?)

A big trade just went down on January 6th, namely the Cleveland Cavaliers are trading former all-star center Andrew Bynum, who is expected to be waived, and three draft picks (plus the right to trade with Cleveland’s first rounder) to the Chicago Bulls for veteran forward Luol Deng, who rejected a three-year $30 million dollar contract extension from the Bulls the week before.

The argument goes that in the NBA “It’s better to be awful than it is to be mediocre.” Were the Bulls to keep Deng this season, they could have contended for maybe the 7th or 8th seed at best and been beaten by either the Indiana Pacers or the Miami Heat, two teams with championship aspirations and the rosters to match them, this season. With this move, the Bulls place themselves in a position not only to afford better players in the future but also frankly it worsens their team, increasing its chances to lose and get a better position in the 2014 draft lottery where the crown prize Kansas’s Andrew Wiggins could be waiting.

So what do you think? Would you rather your team be an “okay” team that limps into the playoffs before being finished off by a clearly better team, just to see them play? Or would you rather they play to lose so they can be in a better position to improve via the draft?

acl

The ‘Adrian Peterson Effect’ & Basketball

Hey sports fans, I want to talk about the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury. What used to be one of the most dreaded injuries that could befall a professional sports player has in recent years been viewed as considerably less serious than it used to be. Athletes are returning faster than ever from this debilitating injury. Example: Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson who, the year before last, suffered a catastrophic ACL/MCL injury but returned for an MVP season the next year. So why doesn’t the Adrian Peterson effect carry over to basketball? NBA players seem tentative at best regarding the issue of returning from injury, Kobe Bryant notwithstanding. Derrick Rose, who tore his ACL in the 2011-12 playoffs, effectively eliminated the #1 seeded Bulls from contention. Rajon Rondo has been hinting at returning early but the Celtics might opt to keep him out until he’s completely healthy. What do you think sports fans? Why aren’t basketball players rushing back onto the court like football players to the field? We’ll talk about this and of course NCAA sports when Slugtalk returns to KZSC Fridays from 5-6 pm this fall.

SantaCruzWarriors

Santa Cruz Golden State Warriors

On November 2, 2012, the city of Santa Cruz made basketball history.  The Santa Cruz Warriors, the official D-League affiliate of the Golden State Warriors, made eight selections during the 2012 NBA D-League Draft, marking the first D-League draft in Santa Cruz history.

The first-ever selection by the Santa Cruz Warriors was awarded to 6’4’’ guard Travis Leslie from Georgia.  In the 2011 NBA Draft, Leslie was picked 47th in the second round by the Los Angeles Clippers.  During the 2011 season, Leslie played 10 games for the clippers and four preseason games this year.  The Georgia native averaged 14.4 points 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists shooting 49.2% from the field in his last year at the University of Georgia.  With his prior NBA experience and outstanding athletic qualities, Leslie will be a great asset to the Santa Cruz Golden State Warriors and will benefit from time in the D-League.

In addition to the likings of Leslie, the Santa Cruz Warriors chose T.J. Robinson, a 6’8’’ forward from Long Beach State, as the first pick of the third round and the second oveall draft pick.  Robinson averaged 12 points and 10.2 rebounds in 34 games his senior year.

In the following rounds, the Santa Cruz Warriors picked Faisal Aden from Washington State, Durrell Summers from Michigan State, Steve Tchiengang from Vanderbilt, and Darren Moore from UC Irvine.  In addition to the draft picks, two players from local open tryouts were chosen for the D-League team.  Japeth Aguilar, a 6’10” center from Western Kentucky who has played professionally in the Philippines, participated in open tryouts in Oakland. Arron Mollet, a 6’3” guard from Notre Dame de Namur who played basketball at Gavilan College and Del Mar High in San Jose, participated in open tryouts at Aptos High School.

The 2012-13 season will begin on Sunday, December 2nd at Reno, NV.  The Santa cruz Warriors will hold their first home game on Sunday, December 23rd against Bakersfield.

For more information on the Santa Cruz Warriors, visit http://www.nba.com/dleague/santacruz/