Remember the (Awesome) Name
I’m usually not one to put too much stock into fans complaining about their favorite players not getting enough media attention.
While some sports certainly get more attention from the major networks, the players that get talked about the most are usually the ones who are most deserving of it.
ESPN bigwigs didn’t just decide to anoint Steph Curry and LeBron James as the best players in the NBA, they earned it themselves.
But with that said, there is one NBA star that is unjustly flying way under the radar this season, and it’s about time he got his due. Toronto Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan, for years one of basketball’s last remaining midrange artists, should have become a household name last year when he made his second All-Star team and emerged as the heart and soleul of the only semi-serious competitor to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.
And yet he seemingly remained in the eyes of the public just another one-dimensional role player on a team led by fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry, despite greatly outperforming his backcourt mate in the postseason.
So far this year, DeRozan is leaving no doubts as to who the Raptors’ best player is. Through five games, the 6’7” Compton native is averaging a league-leading 35.8 PPG on 55-percent shooting, eviscerating opposing defenses with a dizzying halfcourt array of turnarounds, floaters, and Eurosteps.
While this pace is almost certainly unsustainable, squint and DeRozan has looked an awful lot like Michael Jordan, you know, the best player in basketball history. And if that’s not worthy of some attention, I’m not sure what is.
Silver Lining in Cleveland
Don’t sing too many sad songs for the Cleveland Indians. After all, they managed to stretch the World Series to seven games against an absolutely stacked Cubs roster despite playing with an injured Danny Salazar and without stars Carlos Carrasco and Michael Brantley.
Play this series again with both teams at full strength, and there is a good chance it goes the other way (not that that is too much consolation, there are no do-overs in life). Still, Indians fans can take pride in knowing that their manager may have just changed the way baseball is played.
Throughout the playoffs, Terry Francona used Andrew Miller, one of the most dominant relief pitchers ever, not in the ninth to close out games but in the middle innings before a starter had to go through the heart of the opposing batting order for a third time.
With the exception of a flukish David Ross home run off a fatigued Miller in Game 7, the approach worked brilliantly, turning the ballgame into a six-inning affair for the Tribe.
Don’t be surprised if more teams follow suit, stop trying to recreate the career of Mariano Rivera, and just use their best relief pitcher in the highest-leverage situations.
Can Daniel Craig Kickbox?
So apparently Idris Elba is doing professional kickboxing now. The 44-year-old suave-as-all-hell British thespian just added another impressive item to his resume that includes starring roles on acclaimed TV programs The Wire and Luther, winning his first professional kickboxing bout last week in London.
Don’t believe me? There’s footage of the fight, recorded ringside by Madonna for some reason. I’m not making this up. So what do you say MGM, can we just make this guy James Bond already?