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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Goodbye Kristaps Porzingis, Hello Dennis Smith Jr.

Start spreading the news. I’m leaving today.

These words so brilliantly sung first by Frank Sinatra has extra meaning today for New York Knicks fans.

The first blockbuster trade of 2019 in the NBA world occurred today, as the Knicks and Mavericks agreed on a 7-player swap.

Before we start analyzing the logistics of this trade, let’s remember that the Knicks are currently 10-40 on the season, and have the worst record in the league. Things can’t get much worse from here.

So with this blockbuster trade, the main trading piece is the “Unicorn,” also known by many as Kristaps Porzingis. Along with Porzingis, the Knicks also traded away promising young point guard Trey Burke, savvy veteran guard Courtney Lee, and their leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr.

But, let’s talk about what the Knicks gained, because the return was great. The Knicks received explosive guard Dennis Smith Jr., who just never found his rhythm in Dallas having to share the load with Luka Doncic. As well as Smith, New York also received sharpshooter Wesley Matthews, resurgent big man DeAndre Jordan, and two future first-round picks. But, many expert sources believe that Matthews and Jordan will be potential buyout candidates for the Knicks, who are now just waiting out the rest of the season in hopes of gaining that number one pick.

Porzingis is an interesting addition to a Mavericks team that can sniff the playoffs, but are just a little out of reach at the moment. Porzingis, 23 years old, is essentially the Andrew Luck of the NBA. We have seen glimpses of amazing from the young man, but after tearing his ACL in a career best scoring year in 2017 with 22.7 PPG, he has yet to touch the floor in over a year.

It’s not a question that Porzingis will be back at some point in the next year, and sources close to the Knicks have said he has been working out on the court getting shots up as of late.

But for the Knicks, this trade today was about looking towards the future. Porzingis is an expendable player for their organization, proving no value after missing over a year of action while taking up loads of cap room at the same time. Also, Porzingis is nearing his contract year, and the odds of the Unicorn resigning in New York were extremely unlikely.

Knicks fans, I have good news for you. You are rebuilding the right way. Let me tell you why. Dennis Smith Jr. was a star in the league last year, and needs to be the player that an organization can build around for him to succeed. With Luka coming into the fold this year, Smith had to change his style of play. But with New York, Smith will be given a chance to flourish, and that will be a scary sight for many teams around the league.

As well as getting Smith, you are also getting two future first-round picks. And, let’s be honest, you’ll probably get the first pick of the 2019 draft as well. Can somebody say Zion Williamson for the people in the back?

So, the future is looking bright for a true basketball city that has seen some of the most horrid basketball in the last decade than any other team. Be patient Knicks fans, because as gloomy as it may look right now, the rebuild is off to the right start.

With some of the most cap room of any team in the NBA right now, upcoming free agents like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving may soon be singing that old Frank Sinatra tune.

I want to be a part of it. New York, New York.

-Allen Perez (Senior at Kennesaw State University, Sports Director of KSU Owl Radio, radio play-by-play announcer for Kennesaw State Men’s basketball and sports talk show host) (Twitter: @therealATLfan, email:

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Tropicana Field Going Cashless

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

By now you have probably heard Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays will be a cashless stadium for all its games this year.

Here are some things to ponder, at least they have caused me some sleepless nights.

1. Is cash really an issue here, usually at Rays’ games if 5,000 people show up at game time, the crowd for night might double.

2. How the heck are we going to be able to play 50-50, a staple in most ball parks.

3. Lastly, the most recent info our staff at Craw’s Corner could find, still of purchases under $150.00, 23 percent of people pay cash.

Just wondering.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Dark Horse of the East

It is 2019, more than half way into the NBA season, and the Brooklyn Nets are currently a playoff team in a competitive Eastern Conference.

Yes, Lebron is not in the East anymore. Many will say the conference will be decided between the Bucks, Raptors, Celtics, and 76ers come April.

But, I am here to tell you that the Brooklyn Nets are a legit dark horse in the Eastern Conference. Here’s why.

When looking at the Nets 2018-2019 roster, novices who barely watch the game will probably not be able to name more than five players on this Kenny Atkinson led team. In fact, the starting lineup for the majority of this season has been led by former Los Angeles Lakers misfit D’Angelo Russell, as well as 2017 first round pick from Texas, Jarrett Allen.

Who is Jarrett Allen you might ask? Well, he is the only player in the NBA right now that has blocked both Anthony Davis and Lebron James at the rim this season. And besides that, he might have the best hair in the league.

This Nets team is filled with players that have never been able to find a true home in the league. It’s almost as if Brooklyn GM Sean Marks looked for players that coaches around the league have given up on when putting together this roster.

Shabazz Napier, Allen Crabbe, Demarre Carroll, and D’Angelo Russell; these are just some of the names of the contributing players on this Nets squad that are thriving with a team that many thought would fail.

Head Coach Kenny Atkinson predicates his system around ball movement, and that is no surprise considering he was taken under Mike Budenholzer’s wing during his time as an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks just a few years ago. And folks, this system is working.

Russell is having a breakout season for Atkinson, averaging 19.5 PPG while shooting 38% from behind the arc. The Lakers gave up on Russell, and Atkinson is making them regret that.

The Nets are quietly sitting four games above .500 in a season where many thought they would tank. They are primed for a playoff spot come April, and being 8-2 in their last 10 games sure helps.

This Brooklyn Nets team is fun to watch again. The Barclays Center has become the place to be if you want to watch great team basketball.

So ladies and gentlemen, do not sleep on this Nets team. They are just getting started, and are poised to make some noise in just a few months.

-Allen Perez (Senior at Kennesaw State University, Sports Director of KSU Owl Radio, radio play-by-play announcer for Kennesaw State Men’s basketball, sports talk show host, and lead NBA Beat Writer for Craw’s Corner) (Twitter: @therealATLfan, email:

Monday, January 28, 2019

Softball's New Slapstick Comedy- Duck Soup II

by Harry Cummins

     In 1933 Paramount Pictures released the film 'Duck Soup' starring the four Marx Brothers. The making of the movie was marred by bitter contract disputes, crippled relationships and a threatened walk-out by its principal players.

     In case you missed this original slapstick adventure, they are staging a modern-day revival in Eugene, Oregon right now featuring the University's women's softball roster, or what's left of it.  Like its forerunner, Duck Soup II is likely to become a box office disappointment, hindered by similar upheavals in production.

    By now, you have most likely heard the details of this absurdist tale.  The successful coach who left for more money.  The mistrust directed toward his replacement. Players claiming they were lied to and packing up their gloves for greener fields.  This all reminds me of the remarks from Groucho Marx himself when asked to explain the curious title of his new film to the confused media of his day.

     " You take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, then mix them all together. After one taste, you'll duck soup the rest of your life.'"

    As for me, one of my favorite sports feasts of the past few years has been attending the two-day Prefontaine Classic track meet at Hayward Field, then strolling to the 'Jane' next door to witness the Lady Ducks softball team clinch back to-back berths in NCAA Women's College World Series.

     We all know what happened to historic Hayward Field.  Now the wrecking ball is on the doorstep of the Duck's heralded softball program.

     The Master Chef of comedy, Groucho Marx, long ago concocted a warning for those consumers of high profile sports in our present culture.

      Two turkeys, one goose, and four cabbages can spoil a lot of things.



Sunday, January 27, 2019

Scout's Honor Podcast Breaks News On New Patriots Coaches and NFL Draft

This week's Scout's Honor podcast (@ScoutsHonorPod), hosted by Paul Crane (@PaulCrane7) and long time NFL scout Dave-Te' Thomas discusses the two coaches who will join the staff of the New England Patriots once the Super Bowl is done.

Both Greg Schiano and Bret Bielema are set to join the Patriots staff, but it might surprise some which of the two is about to be named the team's new defensive coordinator.

The podcast also talks about Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys and provides plenty of draft news on some of the players who spent last week working in front of NFL scouts and coaches at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

It's another must listen for football fans who will learn about some players they may not yet know, but will soon.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Reviews Are Ruining Sports

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Into my 7th decade I am for sure not “old school” and for sure I do totally embrace technology.

What I don’t embrace is all these replays and reviews by officials. My reasoning.

1. Games are taking too long and extended by stupid reviews.

2. The human element, second guessing and Monday morning quarterbacking are and always will be a staple of sports.

3. If Steph Curry goes 3-19 shooting, we shrug our shoulders and say it was bad night. If a referee misses one call out of 20 we want him fired.

4. When the last time you saw a great argument in baseball? Ruined by replay.

I could go on and on, as great readers you can I am sure come up with more, so I will leave you with this.

5. After these sometimes 15 minute reviews, 97 percent of the time it is announced and proven the officials got it right.

Agree or disagree, the comment section is yours.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Dialing From Distance - CCC Pair Dazzle As Nation's Best!

 by Harry Cummins

     The Cascade Collegiate Conference has been the season-long home to the highest scoring offense in the NAIA in the form of the Multnomah University Lions, who are averaging nearly 99 points a game.

      This week, the CCC can also lay claim to showcasing the nation's 1-2 ranked 3 point marksmen  in Multnomah teammates Justin Martin and Ben Grandle.  This prolific pair solidified their lofty statistical status recently when they each connected on 9  3- point baskets in the same game, a 115-102 Lions victory over New Hope Christian that featured 27 made 3's by the winners.

    Martin, the NAIA's leading scorer at 31.0 ppg, has now cashed-in on a NAIA leading 124 baskets from behind the arc, closely followed by Grandle with 96 3's this season. Each showed why they are more than adept shooters in their latest win as Martin (37 points) also registered a career high 13 assists to move into the Top Ten in the nation, while Grandle ( 29 points) pulled down 11 rebounds to post his 10th double-double performance of the year.

     For Justin Martin, the win over New Hope marked the astounding 12th time this season the diminutive 5'7 guard has scored 30 or more points in a game.  He has scored 40 points or more 6 times, including a NAIA D-2 record 71 points earlier this year that featured a CCC record 15 3's.

     The CCC also boasts the nation's leading shot blocker in Multnomah's  6'6" Stephan Zavydovskyy, who took over the NAIA lead with 6 blocked shots, to go with his team-leading 13 rebounds vs New Hope.  Zavydovskyy has also registered the NAIA single game high earlier this season with 10 blocks vs Simpson (Calif).

     The Lions (13-9) return to Cascade Collegiate Conference play with road contests at Southern Oregon and Oregon Tech this weekend.  Freshman Zach Richardson hopes to continue his resurgent play for Multnomah, lending further offensive firepower to the Lions attack after coming off a 26 point game vs New Hope that included 6 three pointers.  He joins Martin and Grandle to give the Lions three of the NAIA's top 10 players in 3 point baskets made.

     Defenses around the Cascade Conference have been put on cumulative alert.



Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Craw’s Corner Needs An NBA Writer

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Let’s face it, Harry Cummins is a GREAT writer. He is a premier journalist and is going to continue his awesome work with us doing features, covering baseball, track and field and tennis.

@wchoops is going to ramp up coverage of college basketball, golf, sports business and world famous power rankings.

Now what we need is someone to cover the NFL and/or NBA. Please contact us at

We appreciate your interest.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

'My Oh My'--Edgar Martinez Is In The Hall.

by Harry Cummins

     The longest line drive in Seattle Mariners baseball history has finally stopped rolling, 2,811 miles and more than 23 years later.

     Edgar Martinez's franchise-defining 11th inning double down the left field line off Jack McDowell in the deciding Game 5 of the 1995 ALDS was the signature moment in the esteemed and accomplished 18 year career of Martinez, who today was voted into his deserving place in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

     Congratulations 'Gar.  You were, and still are, the best reason to end any
 discussion of ever doing away with the Designated Hitter.


'Wanna $$See The Super Bowl?

by Harry Cummins

     A quick check this morning reveals nosebleed tickets for the Super Bowl at the aptly-named Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, are already super-sized at $3,151 apiece on ticketing websites such as Vivid Seats or Ticketmaster's NFL Ticket Exchange.

     Looking for a better deal?  More moderate dealers located on Craigslist are offering similar ducats for a discounted $2,500 per person.  Of course, if you happen to have 18 well-heeled, high-rolling buddies, you could procure a suite and all the trimmings for the biggest sporting event in the the land at a mere $374,589. That's about $21 grand per.  We didn't even bother to check on the cost of a good seat, or a comfortable hotel room within the same area code.

     It has been obvious for some time now, the Super Bowl is not the grandest spectacle in sports. It's closer to Grand Larceny!

     As for me, I will save money and fly to Detroit for the 2019 United States Figure Skating Championships next weekend.  There should be plenty of hard-hitting, knee-buckling excitement there, evidenced by the world-wide headlines from this event last held in Motown 25 years ago.

     Tickets start at $15.... in the also aptly-named Little Caesar's Arena.

     Pass the pizza!