Sunday State of Mind: November 1st-November 7th

Photo: PBS

The colors are changing, but the sports world is not. We look back at the week that was in this week’s SSM.

World Series Champs, your Atlanta Braves
A bonus Astros loss, what baseball fans crave
A total random champ in the MLB
Finally Atlanta fans filled with major glee

Bad week for the Bills, lost to the Jags
No TD’s on either side, not riches but rags
Real life Spiderman meme, two Josh Allens
Final score of 9-6, two teams with no talons

Speaking of bad weeks, Odell Beckham Junior
Got divorced from the Browns, should’ve happened sooner
OBJ got his wish, went and got waived
Time for a new team, and a path to be paved

Aaron friggin’ Rodgers, what a wild week
Talked on McAfee’s show, one hell of a streak
He missed this week in KC, after a positive test
For COVID 19, needs a PR life vest

More bad PR, from the NBA
Two awful owners, who maybe just might pay
For their terrible actions, probably time to go
The Suns and The Blazers, both guys really blow

A Tradition Unlike Any Other – NBA “City Edition” Jersey Analysis

Look at all those beauts.

A great start to the week for all of us uniform analysts out there. The NBA dropped their 2021-2022 “City Edition” jerseys on Monday. One of our favorite traditions around here is being completely uninformed fashion critics. As we did last season, we are here once again to provide commentary that no one asks for or needs.

Atlanta Hawks – pretty clean. Yellow sucks as a main color but the “Atlanta” font has a nice throwback feel.
Boston Celtics – these looks like a team whose uniform budget ran out of white thread to fill in the letters and numbers.
Brooklyn Nets – always a good idea to throw back to the Jason Kidd/Richard Jefferson/Kenyon Martin era. Turns out the Nets Big 3 in the early aughts might end up being better than their current Big 3.
Charlotte Hornets – if you are privy to migraines, don’t dig too deep into these bad boys.
Chicago Bulls – the throwback font on “Chicago” is cool, but the basic number font doesn’t pair well, be better Bulls.

Cleveland Cavaliers – at time of writing, the Cavs have yet to post about their City Edition jerseys; simply shocking that an organization so well run would miss something like this. If you really want to get an idea, go watch Hoosiers.

Dallas Mavericks – not a bad effort here. Just surprising that the player they chose to model is never healthy enough to wear any of their uniforms.
Denver Nuggets – not only are these fun, but educational! I liked that Denver incorporated the ABA ball, and had no idea before today that their old logo was a miner. Also, the rainbow/mountain look always plays for the Nuggets in the uniform game.

Detroit Pistons – aren’t these pretty much just…their normal uniforms with the colors flipped? Only redeeming quality here is a that hint of Grant Hill era green/turquoise on the shorts.

Golden State Warriors – same vibes as the Pistons here for me. These are basically jerseys we’ve seen before, with one saving grace: the “splash” feature is awesome.
Houston Rockets – these are slick. I always liked the Barkley/Pippen/early Yoa Ming era Rockets jerseys, and it’s a nice touch incorporating that with their current logo on the shorts without it looking dumb.
Indiana Pacers – my answer to the above tweet? That these are only temporary.
Los Angeles Clippers – wowzers these are clean. Nothing crazy, crisp letter & number font, great shade of baby blue. Not many wins for the Clips so far this year, but this is one.
Los Angeles Lakers – “lost” is an appropriate word the Lakers used in the above tweet. I get what they were going for here, but I think it’s a miss. If you’re one of the most storied franchises in NBA history and you City Edition jersey looks like the Charlotte Hornets Starter pullover jacket we all had in the 90’s, you missed.
Memphis Grizzlies – anytime you have the opportunity to lean into some of the greatest uniforms of all time, you need to take it. Opportunity squandered.

Miami Heat – year in and year out, the Heat are at the top of any type of alternate uniform list, and nothing changes here. The ability to pull off all of the neon blues, pinks, etc. puts them at an unfair advantage. Excellent as usual.

Milwaukee Bucks – kind of cool, I guess. The side panel with all of the greens and purple works, but another weird letter/number font combo.
Minnesota Timberwolves – Kevin Garnett would be proud, and so am I. Nice and easy look, the accent trees on the belt and shorts, with the throwback font as a cherry on top.
New Orleans Pelicans – looks like the Pelicans and Pistons share the same design team. This is just their normal jerseys, right?
Oklahoma City Thunder – “Welcome to Create a Team on NBA2K22, this is the first screen where you start designing your team’s uniforms!”
Orlando Magic – one of life’s most intriguing questions; what is with the Orlando Magic’s infatuation with the color orange?

Philadelphia 76ers – nice 70’s ABA vibe here. The multi-colored side panel gives off a little Nuggets/rainbow feature as well.

Phoenix Suns – the Suns haven’t posted about their City Edition jerseys at time of writing. But, it doesn’t appear they changed anything from last year. Those were perfect, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Portland Trailblazers – not a huge stray away from their normal threads, but this still plays. How about the argyle-ish side panel, when was the last time we saw that on an NBA uniform?

Sacramento Kings – the lion logo is above par, the rest is fine. I’m going to use my joke from last year’s review (because it was so hilarious), I can see thousands of bros at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza rocking these bad boys solely because is has โ€œsacโ€ on it, which is approval enough for me.

San Antonio Spurs – all in on these. Bright colors really work when teams try to think outside of the box on uniforms, and the Spurs’ color history works perfect for this.

Toronto Raptors – the Raptors kind of have a Magic/orange obsession with gold; very random. But you have to give some points here for the old school logo. A dinosaur dribbling a basketball, how absurd.

Utah Jazz – no social media post, and based on the picture above it doesn’t look like the Jazz put too much effort into their City Edition jerseys this year, sad!

Washington Wizards – ending with a winner here. Fairly basic design, love the font from the Washington B*llets days. Well done in our nation’s capital.

Another year, another mediocre City Edition jersey review. This is a fun thing the NBA does every year, and while I’m sure they love the conversation and extra dollars that come with it, the misses are almost always as good as the hits.

Steal and Score: 18 NBA Players Caught In Healthcare Scam

Photo: 1000 Logos

Eighteen former NBA players were charged and brought into custody Thursday after authorities discovered an insurance fraud plan aimed at the league’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan.

The charges allege that the group of retired players attempted to defraud the plan of approximately $4 million dollars in awards. The plan allegedly involved submitting fake invoices for medical services or equipment needed by players after their service in the NBA had ended.

Pretty serious shit. The list of all 18 players can be found in the link above. The three biggest names in the list of fraudsters was Tony Allen, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, and Darius Miles. Allen played 14 seasons between the Celtics, Grizzlies, and Pelicans. Davis was in the league for nine years with the Celtics, Magic, and Clippers. Miles was an eight year veteran with the Clippers, Cavs, Trail Blazers, and Grizzlies.

This had to have been the biggest steal in all three of these guys’ careers, right? According to basketball reference, Allen averaged 1.4 steals/game in his career, Davis 0.7, and Miles a shade under a full steal per game at 0.9.

No individual stats were immediately available on how much each of these three received from the scam before being caught. But, if we’re going by pre-retirement compared to post-retirement careers, all three are right around their playing days’ stealing average.

After today, all three of their post-retirement numbers sit at 1.0 steals/retirement. Compared to their on court careers, Allen dips a bit, but marked improvement by both David and Miles.

You often hear that even though professional athletes bodies may break down during their playing careers, their competitive drives never leave. Props to these three for continuing working on their stealing ability post-career.

Who Wore it Best? 39-30

Photo: Dr. Odd

We’re sadly on the downhill turn of “Who Wore It Best.” In this edition, we get into the 30’s.

39 – Dominik Haลกek

Photo: NHL.com

Hot start for hockey! Haลกek was one of the greatest goaltenders to ever do it. His career spanned four decades (1980-2011), and included two Stanley Cups, two Hart Memorial trophies, and six Vezina trophies.

Honorable Mention: Larry Csonka

38 – Pavol Demitra

Demitra seemed to be on track to becoming one of the best Czech players in the game. He recorded 768 points in 847 games before sadly passing in a plane accident in 2011.

Honorable Mention: N/A

37 – Patrice Bergeron

Photo: CBS Sports

Bergeron has been a steady force for the Bruins since 2003. A part of the 2011 Stanley Cup winning team, Bergeron also made All-Star games in 2015 and 2016.

Honorable Mention: N/A

36 – Jerome Bettis

“The Bus” comes rumblin’, stumblin’, bumblin’ onto our list at 36. Bettis won a Super Bowl (in his home town of Detroit), was a two time first team All-Pro, and made six Pro Bowls.

Honorable Mention: Gaylord Perry

35 – Kevin Durant

An easy choice for what ended up being a stacked slot. Durant is potentially (based on how much you love/hate Lebron) currently the best basketball player on the planet. In a career with plenty of years left, Durant has already put together an incredible resume. The Slim Reaper has two NBA titles (Finals MVP in both), a regular season MVP, six first team All-NBA selections, and 11 All-Star appearances.

Honorable Mentions: Phil Niekro, Frank Thomas, Aeneas Williams, Tony Esposito

34 – Shaquille O’Neal

Another loaded number of selections here, but the most dominant big man of all time takes the cake. The Big Diesel’s career accolades are almost too much to list: four NBA championships, three NBA Finals MVPs, fifteen All-Star games, and eight first team All-NBA selections.

Honorable Mentions: Nolan Ryan, Kerry Wood, Hakeem Olajuwon, Walter Payton, Thurman Thomas, Earl Campbell

33 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

For as much good as Kareem has done off the court, he was as great on it. Six rings, a matching number of MVPs, 10 first team All-NBA selections, five first team All-Defensive teams, and lead the NBA in blocks in four separate seasons.

Honorable Mentions: Eddie Murray, Scottie Pippen, Zdeno Chรกra, Henrik Sedin, Dustin Byfuglien

32 – Magic Johnson

Photo: Curbed

We all know how good Magic was as a player. For as good as he was on the court, he may have found his true life’s calling as a hot take artist.

Honorable Mentions: Steve Carlton, Sandy Koufax, Marcus Allen, Jim Brown

31 – Greg Maddux

Photo: Taddlr

Maddux is the second of the 90’s Braves big three to make the list, with Tom Glavine making the cut at 47. Mad Dog ended his 22 year career with 355 wins, 18 Gold Gloves, and four Cy Youngs.

Honorable Mention: Reggie Miller

30 – Terrell Davis

Probably going to be our shortest career to make the list. Davis only played in the NFL from 1995-2001, but was good enough to make the Hall of Fame in 2017. In seven seasons, he racked up two Super Bowls, an MVP, and three first team All-Pro selections.

Honorable Mentions: Tim Raines, Martin Brodeur

The 30’s were by far our most expansive edition yet. Huge names and the honorable mention lists were incredible, specifically 32-35. One can only assume the list is going to keep improving into the 20’s.

Who Wore it Best? 49-40

Photo: Dr. Odd

There’s no better feeling than seeing an old friend, and boy do we have that feeling now. Who Wore It Best is back, and we’ve made it into the 40’s.

49 – Ron Guidry

Photo: Pinterest

Guidry had an above average 14 year career with the Yankees. He won 170 games, two World Series rings, and the 1978 Cy Young. That same year, he went 25-3, threw 16 complete games, and notched a stellar 6.1 hits per nine innings.

Honorable Mention: N/A

48 – Daryl “Moose” Johnston

Not exactly a selection based off of stats. “Moose” lead the way as Emmitt Smith’s fullback en route to three Super Bowls in the 90’s.

Honorable Mention: Rick Reuschel

47 – Tom Glavine

Glavine was a part of one of the strongest pitching rotations in baseball – the 90’s Braves with Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. He won 305 games, a World Series, and two Cy Young awards.

Honorable Mention: John Lynch

46 – Andy Pettitte

Photo: Newsday

Not a lot of talent to pick from at 46, but Pettitte will do. He won five World Series trophies with the Yankees, notched 256 W’s, and made three All-Star games. He also had that pesky PED issue but…ya know.

Honorable Menions: N/A

45 – Pedro Martรญnez

Photo: Fansided

Going against our better judgement here and not choosing MJ; he may just show up later. Pedro is a flawless choice at this slot: the member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class won a World Series, three Cy Youngs, made eight All-Star games, and lead the MLB in ERA in five different seasons.

Honorable Mention: Bob Gibson

44 – Hank Aaron

Photo: CBS Sports

An absolute jam packed category at 44. Hammerin’ Hank won the World Series with the Braves in 1957, won three Gold Gloves, two batting titles, and made the All-Star game TWENTY FIVE times…yes, that is not a typo.

Honorable Mentions: Jerry West, John Riggins, Chris Pronger

43 – Troy Polamalu

Polamalu was a shutdown safety for the Steelers from 2003-2014. He won two Super Bowls, was the 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and was a four time First Team All-Pro.

Honorable Mention: Dennis Eckersley

42 – Jackie Robinson

Another no doubter here. Robinson makes the list for breaking the color barrier alone. On top of that, he was a hell of a great player; a World Series champion, MVP, batting champion, and Rookie of the Year.

Honorable Mention: Ronnie Lott

41 – Dirk Nowitzki

Photo: CBS Sports

One in a few of the last batch of superstars to stay with one team their entire career. In his 21 seasons in Dallas, Dirk lead the Mavericks to their only NBA title, was the 2007 MVP, and was a four time first team All-NBA selection.

Honorable Mention: Tom Seaver

40 – Gale Sayers

Photo: WGN

Sayers makes the cut after only five full seasons for the Bears, with injury cutting short what could have been an incredible and long career. In his short time in the NFL, he still managed to be a five time first team All-Pro, lead the NFL in rushing twice, and earned a spot on the NFL’s 50th, 75th, and 100th Anniversary All-Time Teams.

Honorable Mentions: Shawn Kemp, Mike Alstott, Henrik Zetterberg

Wow…who knew the 40’s would be so strong? Baseball really held its own here, pitchers specifically. Poor showing by the NBA here, even worse by the NHL. Maybe they’ll recover in the 30’s? Only time will tell.

Sunday State of Mind: March 1st-March 7th

NBA All-Star Sunday is our focus this week. We recap an enjoyable Sunday night, event by event, in this week’s SSM.

The premiere event in our basketball binge
Was the Taco Bell sponsored Skills Challenge
A long shot winner, Domantas Sabonis
Dribbling, passing, shooting, guy could not miss

Next event up, the three point contest
From behind the arc, let’s see who’s best
Trey’s were falling, it was a tree point flurry
An obvious winner here, the man, Steph Curry

The dunk contest was the halftime show
We had Obi Toppin and two names you won’t know
It was Anfernee Simons of Blazers fame
Who won the contest, and cemented his name

Now the main event, Team Lebron vs. KD
Alley oops, no defense, and plenty of three’s
A glorified scrimmage, but it’s always fun
170-150 was the score, Team Lebron won

Another ASG in the books, a way different look
Great job by the NBA, and all who partook
A normal All-Star weekend next year, fingers crossed
Without events like this, sports fans would be lost

Sunday State of Mind: February 8th-February 14th

Happy Valentines Day! A holiday associated with poetry is a perfect time to drop this week’s SSM.

The Tampa Bay Bucs had their Super Bowl parade
Appeared the entire team was drinking vodka lemonade
The visuals from the entire day were just so great
Who says no to next year Brady getting number eight?

The Houston Texans have released JJ Watt
An organization in flux, change happening a lot
A formerly great offense, and that defense was mean
Next year looks like it’s trending towards 0-16

The Cubs and Jake Arrieta are running it back
The Cy Young winner, rejoining the pack
In a rotation that’s lacking, Jake could be a guide
And stabilize a weakness next year on the North Side

We got old school Melo this week, absolutely silly
Sixteen fourth quarter points in a win against Philly
Carmelo had 24 points as the Blazers sixth man
Portland fifth in the West, things going to plan

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 Donฤiฤ‡, 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.