Who Wore it Best? 99-90

Photo: Dr. Odd

We’re kicking off a new series; and we’re going by the numbers. This countdown is dedicated to the best players of all-time by each jersey number. No concrete formula here, just career stats, impact on the game, and some good old fashion opinion. Let’s hop right in.

99 – Wayne Gretzky

Photo: LA Biz

He’s called “The Great One” for a reason. Hard to pick a favorite stat to demonstrate Gretzky’s dominance, but one of my favorites is that if he never scored a goal, he still would have had 11 straight 100-point seasons and won four scoring titles.

Honorable Mentions: Manny Ramirez, George Mikan, Warren Sapp

98 – Casey Hampton

Not a widely popular number, so not our largest name on the list. Appropriately nicknamed “Big Snacks,” Hampton made five Pro Bowls as the Steelers nose tackle in the early aughts.

Honorable Mentions: Jason Collins

97 – Jeremy Roenick

Maybe not the best guy, but a pretty good hockey player. The eighth overall pick in the 1988 NHL draft scored 1,216 points in 1,363 games played.

Honorable Mentions: Bryant Young, Cam Heyward

96 – Cortez Kennedy

Kennedy recorded 58 sacks in his 11 seasons for the Seahawks. He recorded 569 tackles and 11 forced fumbles.

Honorable Mentions: Metta World Peace, Tomas Holmstrom

95 – Richard Dent

A bonafide Hall of Famer who was a part of one of the greatest defenses of all time, the ’85 Bears. What more can you ask for?

Honorable Mentions: N/A

94 – Charles Haley

The defensive centerpiece of two all-time franchises in the Cowboys and 49ers.

Honorable Mention: Demarcus Ware

93 – John Randle

Anyone who goes undrafted in their respective sport and go on to become a Hall of Famer is good enough for this list. Randle made seven Pro Bowls and was a six time first team All-Pro selection en route to Canton.

Honorable Mentions: Pat Neshak, Metta World Peace

92 – Reggie White

Photo: Quotes Gram

“The Minister of Defense” was one of the greatest free agent signings of all time, when he left the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 and signed with the Green Bay Packers. He finished his career with 198 sacks, two NFL defensive player of the year awards, and a Super Bowl ring.

Honorable Mentions: DeShawn Stevenson, Gabriel Landeskog

91 – Dennis Rodman

An obvious answer for a surprisingly strong number. But Rodman’s five rings, seven NBA All-Defensive first selections, and nearly 12,000 career rebounds puts him on our list.

Honorable Mentions: Kevin Greene, Sergei Fedorov

90 – Ndamukong Suh

Suh has had a late-career number change to 93, but he donned 90 early in his career for the Lions when he was arguable at his best. During his time rocking the big 9-0, Suh was the NFL Rookie of the Year, made four Pro Bowls, and was a three time NFL First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: Ryan O’Reilly

High numbers, a lot of hockey players and defensive lineman, to be expected. Will we have some different sports and positions represented in our next set of jersey numbers, 89-80? Only time will tell.

Sunday State of Mind: January 25th-January 31st

Photo: wallup.net

If you’re reading this in the midwest, you’re likely experiencing apocalyptic snow. Grab a blanket, stay inside, and enjoy this week’s SSM.

A blockbuster trade in the NFL
A rare sight indeed, a cold day in hell
Jared Goff and Matt Stafford, a quarterback swap
The Rams on their way to the NFC’s hilltop

Another big name on the move this week
Nolan Arenado to Cardinals, Card fans freak
Nolan does have an opt out option after 2021
The NL Central hoping he’s one and done

The Brooklyn Nets have won four in a row
After a slightly slow start, the big three on a roll
They’re scoring 126 points per game during this recent hot streak
Unless you’re Philly or Milwaukee, in the East it looks bleak

James Harden Strips Down His Rockets Career, Heads to Brooklyn

Photo: Hypebeast

Ladies and gentlemen…let’s all welcome to the stage, the hottest new talent in Brooklyn, James “The Beard” Hardeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!

It’s about to rain in Brooklyn. The (fish)Nets have brought in a smokin’ hot new entertainer to grace the stage at The Barclays Center. On Tuesday, James Harden went full bare ass, railed the Rockets organization, and has been traded. He will be bringing his wild, some might even say exotic, style of play to Brooklyn moving forward.

No reports have been filed as to how Harden traveled from his old home to his new one. Was it in a mile high plane? Did he run onto a train? Possibly traveled via waterway in a motorboat? No one knows.

Harden has made many, many dollar bills putting a ball through a hole, and has been tipped exceptionally well. His career highlight may have been when he climbed to the top of the pole in the 2018 MVP race. Harden erected himself to the tip top of the league, and looked down at everyone in the crowd who couldn’t take their eyes off of everything he was willing to let us see. The spotlight was on The Beard; he put on a show, and did not disappoint. The MVP became a VIP.

But here we are, in 2021, and the show is over. The club in Houston has shut down, if you will. Harden will no longer own any Houston Rockets jerseys; if that were all he owned before the trade, he would be totally topless. He has turned the other cheek on The Rockets. The Beard will now need to learn a whole new offense, and become abreast of his new Nets teammates.

Here’s hoping this fresh start will spring new life into Harden, and that he opens himself up to his new organization.

The NBA Dropped the 2020-2021 “City Edition” Jerseys Today and We are Now Fashion Critics

The NBA is the the best in the big four sports at a lot of things. They by far and away have the best commissioner in Adam Silver, they lead the charge in the “bubble” phenomenon while getting their sport back on track during the pandemic, and have been for the most part the league least afraid to take stands on both social and political issues.

They also are not afraid to get weird with it when it comes to uniforms, which I respect. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional uniforms of Alabama football, Yankee baseball, etc. But getting out of your comfort zone is always a good thing, both in uniforms and in life. In recent years, the NBA has begun creating new uniforms for teams, calling them “City Edition” jerseys that are meant to show “team history and unique city stories.” The 2021 versions were fully released today, and boy are they something.

Atlanta Hawks – while the MLK tribute is awesome, this looks like a jersey from a low budget, late 90’s Disney movie about a team full of scrubs who pulled out all of the right tricks, and had juuuust the right amount of luck to upset the far superiorly talented rivals from across town.
Boston Celtics – an ode to the 17 championship banners hanging in TD Garden, this jersey is the aforementioned far superiorly talented rivals from across town that the Atlanta Hawks beat in the low budget late 90’s Disney movie.
Brooklyn Nets – this jersey has the “Friends” font; and we all know how we feel about Friends around here.
Charlotte Hornets – this jersey looks like mint chocolate ice cream, and it makes me mad because I don’t have any right now.
Chicago Bulls – the Bulls slogan is “Touch the Clouds,” which is ironic because they haven’t touched anywhere higher than eighth place in the Eastern Conference in the past five years.
Cleveland Cavaliers – the font on the Cavs jerseys is as unbalanced and messy as the organization itself.
Dallas Mavericks – hard to find much wrong with these, besides the fact that one of the NBA’s best players, Luka Dončić, wears number 77. Get the hell out of here and give the man a real number.
Denver Nuggets – bold move by the Nuggets here to trot themselves out there wearing the Russian National Team’s uniforms.
Detroit Pistons – very fitting slogan here, “Tough Together,” Pistons fans have had to watch some tough looking basketball together for the last decade or so.
Golden State Warriors – hard to argue with this one, paying tribute to Oakland after moving into their new arena in San Francisco. Like most things The Warriors have done since they drafted Steph Curry, this was done right.
Houston Rockets – so we’re just copy and pasting the alternate Thunder jerseys here? Cool, cool.
Indiana Pacers – a nice throwback here that reminds me of one of my favorite players of all time, Rik Smits.
Los Angeles Clippers – these are pretty much identical to the Clippers 2019-2020 “City Edition” jerseys, so bonus points for fresh creativity. Bonus points for making me want to play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas when I see the font.
Los Angeles Lakers – a throwback to the old Minneapolis Laker uniforms. Nice mix of old current uniforms with the updated Lakers font up top.
Memphis Grizzlies – these are solid, but I wish they would’ve just went for it with the old Vancouver Grizzlies uniforms, which are just gorgeous and remind me of another one of my favorite old players, Bryant “Big Country” Reeves.
Miami Heat – this is the perfect city/team for something like “City Edition” jerseys. Miami can do anything with any neon pink, blue, orange, etc. and make it look great. A very solid, wavy effort here.
Milwaukee Bucks – does anyone really associate Milwaukee with the Great Lakes? I don’t, but can only assume this is what Giannis Antetokounmpo wanted, and The Bucks continue to do whatever they can to keep him happy and in Milwaukee.
Minnesota Timberwolves – this is just generally boring. Also the slogan “The North Star That Guides & Unites” is pretty great for a organization that has seemingly no direction at this point.
New Orleans Pelicans – an ambitious stab here, although I think it came out looking more like what I would have came up with for uniforms of my “Create A Team” in NBA Live 2002. You know, the one with Steve Francis on the cover.
Oklahoma City Thunder – there is A LOT going on here. But the Love’s Truck Stop patch is always good for a chuckle.
Orlando Magic – Orlando has messed around with incorporating orange into their uniforms in last years “City Edition,” and I just don’t get it. They have a great color scheme, and should use it here.
Philadelphia 76ers – a lot of horizontal action happening here. This jersey looks like it belongs on an AAU team from Philly.
Phoenix Suns – these I can get into. The mountain formation of the classic Suns colors. Great look for Devin Booker and his new BFF Chris Paul.
Portland Trailblazers – fun fact: these jerseys are a tribute to a never-before released alternate jersey of the Flint Tropics.
Sacramento Kings – I can see thousands of bros at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza rocking these bad boys solely because is has “sac” on it, which is approval enough for me.
San Antonio Spurs – very smooth. Slick font, crisp lines across the chest. I’m all in here.
Toronto Raptors – from a team that’s going to be playing in Tampa Bay next year, missed opportunity to double up on your sales by throwing “Tampa Bay” and “Toronto” across the chest. Those friendly Canadians are too nice to make people pay twice though, eh?
Utah Jazz – cool idea, but why stop the color scheme at the top of “Utah?” Let those warm colors keep rolling in cold ass Salt Lake City.
Washington Wizards – ending our recap here with a banger. These are great, from the throwback logo to the flag pattern moving down the sides. This is the best thing the Wizards franchise has done in a while.

Even though it seems like the NBA season ended last week, it will be back on Christmas Day. Bring on The Association and all of the great, and not so great, “City Edition” jerseys that come with it.

The Milwaukee Bucks Have a Point Spread Problem

The Milwaukee Bucks are, by all accounts, the best team in the Eastern Conference. Arguably the NBA. They have one of, if not the best player in the NBA in Giannis Antetokoumpo, finished the shortened season with the best record in the NBA at 56-17, and ranked first overall in margin of victory (10.7 points per game) by a large mark over the second-ranked Clippers (6.44 points per game).

That last stat is interesting, because the Bucks have a point spread problem.

Earlier this month, the Brooklyn Nets upset the Bucks. A fairly significant upset if you know anything about the NBA. However, as Action Network points out, the Nets 119-116 victory was the largest in the history of point spreads. The Nets closed as anywhere between an 18.5 to 19 point underdogs, and won outright. An absolute improbable bet that would have netted anyone willing to take the Nets money line $1,500 on a $100 bet.

Photo: UPI
Photo: Fansided

But, anyone can have a bad night, right? Injuries, off shooting night, rest, anything can all come together and cause the statistically largest upset in NBA history. No way it could happen again.

WRONG. The Bucks opened up today’s NBA playoff schedule with Game 1 of their series against the Orlando Magic. The Bucks, the top seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, closed at a -13.5 point favorite over the eighth-seeded Magic. Giannis and the boys laid another betting egg. Not only did they not cover the -13.5 point spread, the lost outright. The Magic upset the Bucks 122-110, dealing another embarrassing blow the Milwaukee and their large point spread issues.

I luckily stayed away from this one, but feel for all of those poor souls out there who thought the Bucks would blow out a poor Magic team. Keep your chins up, Bucks bettors, we still have three more games to go today. Shake it off and get back up there on that horse.

Sunday State of Mind (SSM): June 29th-July 5th

We hope everyone had a wonderful, safe, socially-distanced holiday weekend. With all of the loud fireworks, long days at the pool and on the boat, and late nights around the bonfire, it’s time to take the foot off of the gas, slow it down, and find your center with this week’s SSM…

The NBA is getting close, to a return to play
Positive tests for players and staff, causing some dismay
Adam Silver, the commish, says it’s no guarantee
That if the virus continues to spread, the season will finish completely

More COVID news effecting sports, this time the NFL
Teams are allowing fans to change their season tickets, opt out or sell
Bears, Bills, Jets, Texans, Giants and Patriots have so far allowed this plan
Who wants to see any of these teams live anyways, not even die hard fans

Speaking of the NFL, Tom Brady at it again
Flirting on Instagram, with his boy Julian Edelman
Cam Newton is now in town, the new king of Foxborough
With Belichick and Cam, Pats might go 16-0

Deron Williams is finally off the books, for The Brooklyn Nets
Bobby Bonilla continues to fleece The New York Mets
A big week for hilarious contracts, we have to say
Good for Deron Williams, and Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!