» Pro Sports Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:34:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Victor Martinez’ extraordinary season Sun, 28 Sep 2014 22:03:53 +0000 victor martinez

Victor Martinez had a career year at the age of 35 for the playoff bound Detroit Tigers. Here are a few things he accomplished this season at the plate.

  • He is only the third player since 1914 to play at least 50% of his games at DH and have 33+ doubles. 32+ home runs and 3+ stolen bases.
  • He was 93-for-276 with two strikes, a .337 average, the second best behind Todd Helton, since 1914.
  • His 93 hits with two strikes were the second most since 1914, only trailing Matt Carpenter (95, ’13)
  • He averaged 1.31 extra-base hits per strikeout. (via @aceballstats on Twitter)
  • He became the third player since 1990 to have 30 or more home runs, and 42 or less strikeouts. (Barry Bonds ’04, Gary Sheffield ’92).
  • Became first Detroit Tiger since 1901 to have 30 or more home runs and 42 or less strikeouts.
  • First American League DH to lead the league in on-base percentage since David Ortiz in 2005.


Stats via the Baseball-Reference Play Index

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Pinkie Picks: NFL Week 2 Sat, 13 Sep 2014 10:28:37 +0000 Here’s the standings from last week. We’re not very good at picking games. Mr. Worldwide Jim Wombwell has the lead for week one.

Jim Wombwell 10-5
Ryan Ritchey 10-5
Nick Evans 9-6
Josh Wilson 9-6
Nick Curran 8-7

And now here’s Week 2.

Nick Evans
Nick Curran
Josh Wilson
Ryan Ritchey
Jim Wombwell
SURVIVAL PICK Packers Packers Broncos Packers Broncos
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Higher Payrolls in MLB No Longer Means More Wins Thu, 11 Sep 2014 16:41:15 +0000 Major League Baseball has changed a lot since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  The Yankees dominated the game year after year, buying players, having the highest payroll, which led to more wins. Skip ahead to the year 2012 and that all changed, rather quickly. The small market teams earned TV deals, upping their payroll and they were able to compete with the bigger markets. Also the use of advanced statistics has come into play heavily in the past three seasons. Add both of those things together and the higher the payroll, no longer means, the higher the wins.



If the season ended today, here would be the playoff teams, ranked in order by current payroll.

1.   Los Angeles Dodgers (83-63): NL West leader by 2.5 games, $229,335,934

4.   Detroit Tigers (80-66): 2nd AL Wild Card, $163,635,500

6.   Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (90-55): AL West leader by 9 games, $154,546,500

7.   San Francisco Giants (80-65): NL Wild Card leader by 4 games, $149,089,475

9.   Washington Nationals (82-62): NL East leader by 8 games, $136,856,579

14. St. Louis Cardinals (80-66): NL Central leader by 3.5 games, 111,250,000

15. Baltimore Orioles (86-59): AL East leader by 10 games, 107,466,653

19. Kansas City Royals (80-64): AL Central leader by 1 game, 92,185,521

26. Oakland Athletics (81-64): AL Wild Card leader by 1.5 games, $82,320,900

28. Pittsburgh Pirates (76-69): 2nd NL Wild Card, 71,929,333

Taking a look at those payrolls along with their win totals the Dodgers should have the most wins in baseball based on payroll, but they have the third most. Out of the top ten teams in payroll not in the playoffs right now you have the New York Yankees (2nd), Philadelphia Phillies (3rd), Boston Red Sox (5th), Toronto Blue Jays (8th), and Texas Rangers (10th). Three of the top ten payrolls belong to the American League East and none of them would make the playoffs while their rival Baltimore at 15th, would.

Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s the only teams in the playoffs were the higher pay rolled teams. You didn’t see the Kansas City’s or the Oakland’s in contention for a playoff spot, let alone leading a division. Oakland went five straight seasons without winning more than 81 games, while the Royals are looking for their first playoff berth in 28 years.

Revenue has increased dramatically over the last 10-15 years allowing Kansas City, Oakland, and Pittsburgh to keep their talented players for more than two seasons and having to let them go. 10 years ago the Pirates wouldn’t have been able to sign Andrew McCutchen to a 6 year, $51.5 million deal, like they did in 2012. Teams are more competitive than ever, even in the smallest of markets.

The Angels have one of the higher payrolls in baseball, but arguably their best player and the best player in the American League, Mike Trout, is making a whopping one million, of their 154 million plus payroll. Younger players are at a premium now and the longer you can keep those players and add even younger ones behind them the better you will be. Right behind Trout before he got injured was Garrett Richards. He was the number one starter on the staff, based on production and he made 520,000 this season. The Angels have used their money wisely with their young players.

Money is the number one thing in baseball, because it is a business, but that hasn’t correlated into wins. I don’t see money leaving the eyes of front offices throughout the league, but having it, means the least now, than it ever has in baseball.

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Strait 8: Top 8 Things from NFL Week 1 Mon, 08 Sep 2014 22:36:34 +0000 The NFL is back. Yes, finally, and after a full day of action on the field we’ve got the Top 8 things that happened in Week 1’s games:

1. No list would be complete if I failed to mention that the cheerleaders are back. The Steelerettes, the Flight Crew up in New York, the Honey Bears in the Windy City and of course the world famous Cowboys cheerleaders. I don’t need to say much more, the pictures will do all the talking.


Yay! Football!

2. Some fantasy owners took a blow and the injuries may have helped out others. Good news is it may just be for the first part of the season, and I’d much rather see my players out early in the season rather than late in the season. Of course the suspension of Wes Welker didn’t help anyone except people who own Emmanuel Sanders. Cam Newton was a last minute scratch for the Panthers throwing Derek Anderson into the starting position. Tyler Eifert was having a pretty decent first quarter for the Bengals until he was put out of the game with an elbow injury. He had 37 yards on three receptions and looked like he was going to have a bigger game than star wide receiver A.J. Green.

Speaking of Bengals. How about Mike Nugent? Dude was spectacular for any of his fantasy owners and heartbreaking for others. Nugent had five field goals, not in the game, but in the first half. In standard scoring leagues his performance was worth 17 points. He was given the opportunity for a sixth field goal in the third quarter but it was blocked. He finished with 16 fantasy points on the day, and you can’t really ask for more out of your kicker.

Ben Tate went down for the Browns as well, putting the load on rookie running-back Terrance West. Tate went out with a knee injury but West stepped up to give the Browns a needed spark on offense. West ended up with 100 rushing yards on 16 carries.


3. Crime on the punters never gets old, and if you weren’t able to see the Steelers/Browns game then you missed the funniest thing from today’s action. Mid-way through the second quarter in Pittsburgh, the Browns were forced to punt to Antonio Brown. On the return Cleveland punter Spencer Lanning became an obstacle for Brown. The star wide-out began to hurdle and crushed Lanning in the face as he drove him into the turf. This event made bars around the country erupt into laughter. Brown was flagged for showing no mercy, but actually it was unsportsmanlike conduct in the eyes of the officiating crew. Apparently, the NFL frowns upon players kicking other players in the face.

antonio brown


4. Then there was this. Maurice Jones-Drew, now with Oakland, was rocked by Quintin Coples for the first-ever “fumble-punt.”


The NFL will likely look into making fumbles more interesting after this play.


5. Remember Steve Smith? Well, he’s still around and he’s still got it. Smith left Carolina during free agency in the offseason and signed a three-year deal with the Ravens back in March. The 35-year-old shredded the Cincy defense in the fourth quarter of today’s game. Trailing 15-10, Joe Flacco found Smith wide-open behind the Bengals secondary. Smith caught the pass with Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones trailing close behind. Jones attempted to tackle Smith but Smith threw a huge stiff-arm his way to send the defensive-back to the ground.


6. Players weren’t the only ones on the move during the offseason, broadcasters are valued talent as well. Today was the first time we were able to get a look at the new broadcast lineups from CBS’ studio team and the lead-commentating team for FOX.

FOX’s commentating team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman received a new addition on the sidelines this season. They spent the last 19 seasons with Pam Oliver doing sideline interviews with players and coaches and give the viewers an inside scoop on game plans and injuries. Oliver was replaced by Erin Andrews and Oliver was sent to the second team of Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch.

CBS changed their studio team by replacing hall-of-fame tight end Shannon Sharpe with an eventual HOF tight end, Tony Gonzalez. Dan Marino was sent packing for a defensive player who just retired as well. Bart Scott had an 11-year career as a linebacker in the NFL. Only time will tell how well the new members of the cast will do, but I will miss Sharpe and his repertoire of awesome suits.


The face says it all.

7. A few games came down to the wire on Sunday, two even went into overtime. The Saints and Falcons were forced to go to overtime after a shootout in Atlanta. The Falcons may be a force to reckon with in the NFC South. Notable receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White are back for Atlanta. Atlanta began a comeback against the Saints in the second quarter, and the game would finish on a 52-yard field goal in overtime to result in Atlanta’s 37-34 win. Matt Ryan threw for 448 yards in the game.

The Bears and the Bills were the second game to go into overtime. The Bills led Chicago 17-7 at halftime. The game would eventually go into overtime and the Bears would be upset at Soldier Field after Dan Carpenter’s 27-yard field goal for a 23-20 win.

The Browns and Steelers nearly went into overtime. It looked as if the Steelers would roll over the Cleveland Browns after they led 27-3 at halftime, but the Brownies would manage to score 24-unanswered points to tie. It would end in disappointment when the Steelers kicked a field goal as time expired and handed Brian Hoyer, the Destroyer, his first loss as a Browns starter.

Philadelphia forgot it was week one of the NFL season and decided not to show up until the second half against Jacksonville. The Eagles were embarrassed in the first half at home by the one of the worst teams in 2013. Philly couldn’t even muster a field goal in the first half against the Jags stifling defense. Did I really just write that? Jacksonville held Nick Foles and his offense to just 129 total yards and forced them three turnovers in the first half. The Eagles would get it together in the second half and blew the game open late in the fourth quarter for a 34-17 win.


8. Finally, in the night cap. The Broncos met the Colts for the first time since Week 7 last season. You might recall, at that point the question was: “Will the Broncos go undefeated?” Well, we found out that, in fact, they were not invincible and the Colts handed Denver their first loss of the 2013 season.

It was not the same story this year. The Denver Broncos exacted their revenge in their first game of the season and Peyton Manning was Peyton Manning, and the Broncos defense looked strong. So strong, Andrew Luck and his Colts put up a big goose-egg until the last 20 seconds of the second quarter when Luck barely managed to sneak the ball over the pylon before going out-of-bounds.

The Colts would come back in the fourth quarter but come up short on a play that not even a video game could come up with. Luck tried to sneak the ball across the goal line but was stopped, running back Ahmad Bradshaw stole the ball away from his teammate and ran around to take the ball into the end zone. While it was incredibly smart of Bradshaw the play was called dead because Luck’s forward-progress was stopped.

Manning finally beat his former team and joined Brett Favre as the only other quarterback to beat all 32 NFL teams with a 31-24 victory.


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Pinkie Picks: NFL Week 1 Sun, 07 Sep 2014 03:45:51 +0000 We’re going to do this every week. And we’re doing this in an attempt to make you feel better about yourself. Because our picks are likely to be awful. Here we go.

Nick Evans
Nick Curran
Josh Wilson
Ryan Ritchey
Jim Wombwell
SURVIVAL PICK Eagles Eagles Panthers Eagles Eagles
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Could the Heat-Pelican Exhibition be Louisville’s NBA Audition? Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:32:28 +0000 NBA ExhibitionAfter the successful exhibition game in Lexington last October involving the New Orleans Pelicans and the Washington Wizards, many of Louisville’s NBA hopefuls were clamoring for an NBA exhibition game for the KFC Yum! Center. That wish came true when it was announced that Louisville’s very own NBA quality arena would indeed host an NBA pre-season game with the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans on October 4, 2014.

This marks the first NBA exhibition to be played in Louisville since Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls matched up with the Sacramento Kings at Freedom Hall in 1996 and the first ever in the Yum! Center.

The game is already generating significant buzz as fans will get a chance to see the NBA’s biggest player in Lebron James (assuming he renews his contract) along with one of the league’s fast rising stars, Anthony Davis. It has also energized local NBA enthusiasts who are hopeful that Louisville will eventually land a team of its own.

WDRB’s Eric Crawford sees the enthusiasm but writes that it’s only one exhibition game and is unlikely to lead to an eventual franchise. While this may technically be true, Crawford is forgetting the significance of what the game does mean for Louisville’s ongoing NBA debate. It keeps the conversation alive and gives NBA supporters something to rally around and discuss during a time when developments for a local franchise are slow.

Yes, an exhibition game’s result is essentially meaningless in the larger context of the NBA season, but it will be the result in the stands rather than the one on the floor that many observers will be paying particular attention to.

NBA2LOUFor those on both sides of the debate, the game will serve as a gauge for NBA fandom in Louisville. The annoying contingent of pessimists and naysayers around town have droned on and on about how the city only cares about college athletics and needs to stick with the minor leagues.  This game provides this so called “college town” an opportunity to showcase that there is interest in the NBA, and fans are willing to pay money to watch it.

An arena filled with empty seats will no doubt motivate critics to use it as indisputable evidence of the city’s supposed apathy toward anything that doesn’t involve University of Louisville athletics. Fortunately that scenario is as likely as the Milwaukee Bucks winning this season’s NBA Finals.

Louisville has shown it has an appetite for basketball at all levels and as of now there are no other sporting events scheduled on the date of the game that could draw away ticker buyers. The chance to see the NBA Championship trio of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh in person will likely be too much for fans to pass up while the presence of ex-Kentucky Wildcats Anthony Davis and Darius Miller will draw in Big Blue loyalists as well.

The larger the crowd, the bigger the victory for NBA loyalists who can throw it back at the naysayers – a group who initially opposed the construction of a riverfront arena but now conveniently embrace.

Aside from being fodder for debate, a good attendance is important for the city in bolstering its attractiveness as a future NBA host. It could lead to future exhibition games and catch the attention of league officials along with NBA media members such as last year’s game in Rupp Arena did when it drew nearly 15,000 – the 2nd largest NBA exhibition crowd of the night. You can also be sure that Louisville’s political and business leaders will be observing the turnout as well.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday, April 19th at 10:00 a.m.

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Wildcats To Draft ‘Cats: Who Goes and Who Stays? Tue, 15 Apr 2014 01:59:25 +0000 Since John Calipari has taken the helm at Kentucky, he has always said their season doesn’t end until after the NBA Draft. His “players-first” mentality is admired and annoyed simultaneously. Kentucky will always have at least one huge draft prospect, while others will have to make the crucial decision on returning to Lexington or diving into the riches of the NBA.

Willie Cauley-Stein‘Cats keep their Willie. Lee returns, too.

Willie Cauley-Stein could have left Kentucky after his freshman year. The 7-footer was heavily sought after, but the uncertainty of where he would be drafted kept him in Lexington. Another year, another decision loomed. This time, many will have to wonder if his ankle injury suffered in the NCAA Tournament game vs. Louisville is what ultimately keeps Cauley-Stein in Lexington for another season. With his decision to stay, I wonder what kind of domino effect it will have on other players. Does this mean Dakari Johnson is gone? What is the extent of that ankle injury?

Marcus lee

This time of year has almost as much guessing as the recruiting process that brought these extraordinary athletes to UK. As of today, two players have decided to stay at Kentucky for another season and forego the NBA Draft. The simple fact that Marcus Lee had a “decision” to make has to reflect on the kind of prospect he can be. Right now, I see more of his all-state volleyball player rather than his basketball skills. Lee’s decision to stay was an obvious one, and I’m excited to watch him for another year.


Who Goes?

Julius Randle

The most obvious defection is Julius Randle. He is a guaranteed lottery pick, and will more than likely not fall out of the Top-10. While I’ve heard comparison’s to LeBron, I rarely saw that at Kentucky. Yes, he can drive to the bucket at 6-foot-9, two-fifty and dunk all over you. However, Randle needs some handles and needs to develop that outside shot away from the paint.

James Young

James Young is a freak athlete with a streaky outside shot. Coming out of high school, he had the reputation as a knock down outside shooter. In my opinion, Young was not a knock down shooter in his first year at UK. He can score in bunches, and has the size at 6’6” to be a match-up nightmare. If his shot is off, he doesn’t have a lot of bright spots in other areas of his game. His attacks at the basket are often through a lot of traffic, and his decision on when to drive or retreat needs to improve at the next level. And defense? Don’t get me started. Just watch the national title game if you need a refresher.

Dakari Johnson

Maybe a surprise to some, but I believe Dakari Johnson will not return to Kentucky. With the additions of Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles, Kentucky will have a very loaded front-court. Especially wiith WCS and Lee returning to school, I think Johnson will declare. Johnson can claim that he was chosen to start over a veteran on a team that went to the championship game. He played very well in considerable minutes, and played his best on the biggest stage. I hope I’m wrong, but I think he’s gone.

Who Stays?

Alex Poythress

We already know about Cauley-Stein and Lee, so who will join them on the UK roster next season? My most obvious answer here is Alex Poythress. I really wonder if he will be the most highly ranked recruit to ever stay at a major program all four years. At this point, I can’t see Poythress leaving for the NBA until he graduates. While he did improve this past season, Poythress just hasn’t shown enough to get himself into the draft. The battle for playing time will be rough once again with a true power-forward Trey Lyles coming next season.

To Tough To Call

Andrew Harrison

The only other players that have a legitimate shot at the NBA next season is Aaron and Andrew Harrison. Today, head coach John Calipari revealed his “tweak” that spurred his ‘Cats to an improbable national title shot. He had to get Andrew Harrison to pass the ball more. Andrew Harrison is not a true point guard, he’s not a freak athlete and he won’t blow by you. He’s very strong on the drive and made better decisions as the year progressed. His size will always be a problem for smaller guards, but smaller guards have seemed to be a problem for him as well. (See also: Russ Smith (LOU), Bryce Cotton (PROV), Shabazz Napier (UCONN).

Aaron Harrison

Aaron Harrison is labeled as a shooting guard, but he didn’t shoot the ball exceptionally well all season. He was never a knock down shooter, even though his clutch shots in the NCAA Tournament made most question the size of his…uh..guts. Like his brother, he made a living off driving to the basket.

Why They Stay: NBA Draft projections do not favor either of the Harrison twins. Coming into Kentucky, they were labeled as lottery picks. Now, they are fringe first round selections. Contracts become non-guaranteed after the last pick of the first round. Would that be enough to scare the Harrison’s back to Kentucky?

Why They Go: A small rumor began days after the championship game that the Harrison’s didn’t believe they were showcased well at Kentucky and were leaning towards the NBA Draft. In my opinion, the system head coach John Calipari runs does not showcase any one person. The dribble drive is supposed to unleash every player, not just ones named “Harrison”.

With incoming competition from point guard Tyler Ulis and shooting guard Devin Booker, will that push the Harrison’s away from Lexington? They came into this past season as THE guys. Keep calm, the Harrison twins are coming. Next year, they will no longer be the new kids on the block. Ulis is a pure point guard that is an extremely willing passer despite having a deadly jumper. Devin Booker could be the first knock down shooter for Kentucky since Doron Lamb left in 2012. Both Ulis and Booker can and will compete for starter’s minutes. I don’t know if the Harrison’s want to run the risk of being shuffled to the bench.




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Kentucky One-And-Done’s Proven Productive In NBA Sat, 12 Apr 2014 00:24:50 +0000 A recent article from Sports Illustrated attempts to examine each draft class since the “One-And-Done era began in 2006. Not shocking to anyone that hasn’t been living under a rock since 2008, Kentucky is well represented in the analysis. The article labeles players as stars, rotation players, bit contributors or busts. Just how well have the former ‘Cats fared? Remarkably well, actually.

Archie Goodwin

2013 saw only two ‘Cats enter in the NBA Draft, and only one of those players has been able to take the court. Archie Goodwin is labeled as a “bit contributor”. While he’s not apart of Phoenix’s starting rotation, he has been a solid addition to the Suns bench. Nerlens Noel is still recovering from his torn ACL that he suffered at Kentucky, and his grade is labeled as N/A. The  SI article does not list any “stars” for this draft class. The highest ranking player was former Kansas Jayhawk Ben McLemore, who was graded as a rotation player.

Anthony Davis

2012’s biggest star came straight from Lexington to the NBA, and has earned his star ranking. Anthony Davis is backing up his #1 overall draft pick status and has the highest ceiling of anyone in recent memory. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist makes the list as a rotation player for Charlotte. MKG has steadily improved his game since entering the league, and is finally on a team headed to the playoffs. Marquis Teague makes the list as a bit contributor, which may be somewhat generous. I’m not sure I could grade him as a “bust”, but Teague’s absence from the floor in Chicago, his D-League stints, and a trade to Brooklyn makes “contributor” seems generous at best.

Brandon Knight

In 2011, Kentucky’s Brandon Knight and Enes Kanter both make the list as rotation players. Knight blossomed in Detroit, but was traded to the Bucks after the Pistons acquired Brandon Jennings. A change of scenery hasn’t stopped Knight’s progression as one of the most explosive young guards in the league. Enes Kanter has always been a solid but quiet contributor for the Jazz. He is now labeled as their starting center. Both Knight and Kanter’s grades are hurt by the fact that neither player will be playing playoff basketball for the foreseeable future.

John Wall Demarcus Cousins

201o was Kentucky’s best year for producing the best crop of NBA talent. John Wall, Demarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe were graded as stars. Wall is also living up to his #1 overall draft pick status and has the Wizards heading to the playoffs. With his emotions in check, Cousins is one of the best scoring centers in the league. Bledsoe’s star ranking was perhaps a stretch, despite the fact that he has anchored a serious playoff push for the Phoenix Suns. I see why the article names him a star, but I just haven’t felt like he has made the impacts of Wall, Bledsoe and Davis. Mixed in with all the great reviews 2010 had to offer, here comes the bad. The one Kentucky player that received a bust grade was Daniel Orton. His lack of playing time in Oklahoma City and being cut by the horrendously bad Philadelphia 76ers makes you think the grade is fair. Orton was scouted with a tremendously high upside with a huge body to boot. For one reason or another, Orton’s game just hasn’t cracked into that potential he was scouted with.

Terrence Jones

I personally believe the article has completely missed one Kentucky player. I would firmly place Terrence Jones on the list and give him the grade of at least a rotation player. Jones has played some dynamite basketball for Houston, and his a key cog in their push towards a deep run in the playoffs.

You can read the article and it’s entirety right here.

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Former Teammates Make NBA history (together) Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:43:12 +0000 Last night was a historical one in the NBA for two players. Dirk Nowitzki passed Oscar Robinson on the all-time scoring list, placing him in the top 10.

steve-nash-dirk-novitzki-kobe-bryant-la-lakers-at_3522737Also last night, Steve Nash passed Mark Jackson to become the 3rd all-time leader in assist behind only Jason Kidd and John Stockton.

Take a look at the two names from last night. Nash. Nowitzki. Any casual NBA fan will know that Nash and Nowitzki played together for 6 season in Dallas, which leads to the question, ‘how many of Steve Nash’s assist, were to Dirk?’ According to ESPN Stats and Information, Steve Nash dished out 797 assist to Nowitzki in the regular season alone.

But wait, Jason Kidd who is the number two all-time assist leader also played in Dallas with Drik (4 seasons). The Kidd-Drik, combo lead to 753 assisted buckets. Dirk Nowitzki got over 1,500 of his baskets from the top 2 assist leaders in NBA history.

While Nash is starting to slow down, you can pretty much say it will be impossible for him to catch up to Kidd (12,091 assist) before his career ends, but Drik is just a couple hundred points away from bumping Hakeem Olajuwon (26,964 points) off the 9 spot.

Here’s to future hall of famers.

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Gorgui Dieng, Rookie of the Month. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 13:49:06 +0000 Former Louisville big man and current Timberwolves center, Gorgui Dieng has been named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in the NBA.


Louisville fans may remember Dieng as a player who seemed to barely understand the rules of college basketball as an incoming freshman, who quickly blossomed into one of the best big men in the game 2 years later, taking the cards all the way to the championship.

Dieng had seen limited minutes until the month of March and despite his great college career, seemed he would be nothing more than a 3rd string center in the NBA.

Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic had struggled with injuries through January and February and when coach Rick Adelman got word that Pekovic would be sidelined for most it not all of March, he decided to insert Dieng into the starting 5.

Dieng managed to pick up 5 double-doubles in 6 games, including a game where he pulled down 21 boards while scoring 22 points. Dieng is the only rookie in franchise history to record a 20-20 game. In his 14 games during the month of March, Dieng averaged 8.6 points and 8.3 boards.

Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin said about Dieng,

It’s been a great sighting. He got his opportunity, but what he’s doing with his opportunity is something special. Two or three years from now, he’s going to be a really special center in this league. But he’s been poised throughout the year.”


Gorgui-Dieng-2013-nba-draft-fashion-suitDieng was drafted 21st by the Utah Jazz and the decision by Minnesota to trade for him has obviously paid off. The question now becomes, with just a handful of games left, do the Timberwolves stick with their breakout rookie at center, or do they try to work Pekovic back in who had admitted that although cleared to play, he’s struggling with the pain.

I love basketball, you know? Whether it’s on the street, outside, whatever. I just love playing basketball, and I choose to be a basketball player. So I need to make it fun. -Gorgui Dieng



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