Celtics offseason: Who do they make a move for?

Celtics offseason: Who do they make a move for?

The Celtics went through a lot this postseason with their star player, Isaiah Thomas, having one of the roughest, yet most impressive playoff runs in recent memory. His sister passed away the day before Boston’s first playoff game. He knocked his tooth out in Game 2 against the Wizards just to come back in and win the game. Then, he was sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs after Game 2 of the series against the Cavs due to a hip injury. Although they were dominated by the LeBron James and the Cavs in the ECF, the Celtics are not down on themselves. They acquired the first overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft which was a result of arguably one of the worst trades of all time by the Nets (http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/05/nba-draft-lottery-2017-boston-celtics-why-lottery-pick-awful-trade-brooklyn-nets-kevin-garnett-paul-pierce-breakdown).

The Celtics will pick Markelle Fultz, a freshman shooting guard out of the University of Washington. They aren’t going to trade the pick. They aren’t going to draft someone else. They are going to pick Markelle Fultz. You know how I know that? Because it’s the smart thing to do and the Celtics are being really smart right not with all of their moves. They know that this five year rebuilding process is almost complete. They went from a team whose first option was Jeff Green and consisted of the worst teammate ever, Rajon Rondo, and a bunch of scrubs to a team who almost pulled off a 2-2 tie headed to Boston in the ECF against the second greatest player of all time surrounded by All Stars. No, no one thought the Celtics would beat the Cavs, but they surely proved themselves as a team on the rise who will take down LeBron in the future, just like they did before in the Big 3 era.

But, even with all the progress they made and the number one pick in the draft, they will still need more to beat LeBron. That’s where three free agents are inserted into the mix: Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and Gordon Hayward. All three are All-Stars. All three, if added to the Boston roster, could be instrumental in reaching the NBA Finals. It’s just a shame that only one of them would ever come to the Celtics. Why? Well, Paul George has hinted that he wants to go to the Lakers. If he wanted to win a championship he would come to the Celtics, but somehow he has it in his mind that if he joined the Lakers they would automatically be championship contenders. Good luck with that Paul. Good luck going through the Rockets, Clippers, Warriors, and Spurs to get there. Unfortunately, you have to be a super team nowadays to even have a shot at the title. Lonzo Ball will make them a better team, but I don’t think a team of Paul George, Lonzo Ball, and….D’Angelo Russell ??? can be considered a legitimate Big 3. The next guy is Jimmy Butler. He can score from anywhere on the court and is a top-10 defensive player in the league. But, he’s not going to Boston. You see, Jimmy is not a cupcake like Kevin Durant. He doesn’t just go to whatever team beats him in the playoffs. If I know Jimmy, he’s planning on building around the team he is already on and beating the Celtics next year, like they almost did until Rondo (who played out of his mind against the Celtics after being benched in favor of Michael Carter Williams in the regular season) went out for the rest of the series with a wrist injury. Last but definitely not least we have Gordon Hayward. Gordon played for Brad Stevens at Butler. Celtics fan already love him as fans cheered whenever he would make a shot in TD Garden…after they knew the game was out of hand of course. He is the best fit for the Celtics and I would actually be surprised if Hayward didn’t come really close to making a deal with the Celtics. Who wants to live in Utah anyway?

Josh Gordon: Addict/One of the Best WRs in the NFL

Josh Gordon: Addict/One of the Best WRs in the NFL

We have all heard the various news stories about former Browns QB Johnny Manziel and his partying habits that ruined his NFL career for the time being. Manziel is actually making an NFL comeback which I will definitely be writing about in the future. But, there is a different Browns player that has a similar story and could definitely make more of an impact than Johnny Football on a team.

Josh Gordon is a 25 year old wide receiver from Houston, Texas. The Baylor product has not had the smoothest NFL career. When he was at Baylor he was suspended by Art Briles for testing positive for marijuana. He then transferred to the University of Utah, but sat out the entire year and declared for the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft in which he was selected by the Cleveland Browns. As a rookie, Gordon was a top first year receiver finishing with 50 catches for 805 yards and 5 touchdowns. His next year, though, was his best and one of the best receiving years the NFL has ever seen. Gordon was suspended the first two games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but he came out firing after his suspension was up. He finished his sophomore year in the league with 87 catches for 1,646 yards (a Cleveland Browns record) and 9 touchdowns. In a two game span, he racked up 498 receiving yards (237 yds on 11/24 and 261 yds on 12/1). This marked the first time anyone in the league’s history has recorded two back-to-back 200-yd games. He also set an NFL record for most receiving yards in a two, three, and four game span. These numbers are unbelievable for two main reasons:

1) Gordon was suspended the first two games of the regular season. This means that every other receiver in the league had a two game head start and Gordon still managed to lead the league in receiving yards, make his first Pro Bowl, and be selected to First Team All-Pro.

2) Look at the quarterbacks throwing to Gordon that year. Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer were the three QBs used that year (because when was the last time the Browns stuck to one QB in a season?). I don’t even have to bring up the stats to know that not only was this year the most efficient year of each of their careers (except maybe Hoyer), but also that they really didn’t do anything else in their careers. Gordon made them better QBs (or at least made them look better).

Guess how many receiving yards Gordon has had in his career since this season.

He has tallied 303 yards and 0 touchdowns…all in the season following his breakout year. Why is that? Well, the next season Gordon was arrested for DWI and was suspended for 10 games. He only played in five due to a violation of team rules and recorded the stats mentioned earlier. The next season (2015), Gordon was suspended for the entire season  due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy again. The following season, Gordon applied for reinstatement into the NFL, but was denied in March 2016 because he failed another drug test. In July 2016, he was reinstated by the league and was cleared to participate in training camp, but was suspended for the first four games of the season. In September 2016, though, one week away from being officially reinstated by the NFL, Gordon entered rehab for alcohol and would not play a single game in that season.

It will now be four seasons since Josh Gordon amazed us with his play, but every year he seems to amaze us with his off-field problems. He has since been released from that rehab facility and has applied for reinstatement once again. I hope that he received the help that he needed and that he is actually ready to come back. He will hear in the coming months whether his reinstatement will be granted or not, but the Browns are still deciding whether or not they will keep him on the team if he does gain access back to the league. His future still remains to be seen, but I for one would love to see him back dominating on the field. Recent instagram posts by him seem encouraging as he seems to be training for a comeback much like his friend and former teammate and partygoer Johnny Manziel. All I can say for sure is that the Browns organization has not had great luck with star players lately.



When was the last time you heard the name Nate Robinson?

When was the last time you heard the name Nate Robinson?



Seriously. When was the last time you heard about him? The veteran played for 8 different NBA teams  averaging 11 ppg, 3 apg, and 2.3 rpg from 2005 to 2015. Robinson was not your typical NBA player as he was the first ever 3x NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion…at only 5 feet 9 inches tall. He was truly a remarkable player, to say the least. As a young player, Robinson used his gifted athleticism to make up for his below average height for the league. But as he grew older, he struggled to keep up with the other players in the league and his height definitely didn’t help him. Robinson’s last productive year in the NBA was with the Chicago Bulls during the 2012-2013 season where he played all 82 games, starting 23 and averaging 13.1 ppg in Derrick Rose’s absence. During the postseason, the Bulls made an unlikely run through the first round and taking the first game against the Miami Heat led by Robinson’s heroic efforts. The Bulls went on to lose the next four to the Heat who would eventually go on to become NBA champions, but Robinson showed promise when his number was called in the playoffs. The next three seasons were plagued by injury as Robinson moved from the Nuggets to the Celtics to the Clippers to the Pelicans appearing in 44 games and averaging just under 6 ppg. During his stint with the Pelicans, Robinson was waived after appearing in only two games with the team.

So where is he now? You may have heard that he was trying to play in the NFL and he actually had a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks, his favorite team growing up, but nothing came of it. Robinson played 14 games in the Israel Basketball Premier League as well, showing pretty good numbers (16.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game). Right now, though, Robinson plays for the Delaware 87ers, the D-league affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers. Robinson says that he is attempting an NBA comeback and he hopes teams can see that he can contribute on and off the court with his play and positive attitude.

You have to admire the tenacity and determination of Nate Robinson. After playing in 618 career NBA games at the age of 32, he still wants more. Robinson really does put “Heart Over Height” as the title of the book he wrote explains. Much like stars such as Spud Webb and Allen Iverson served as inspiration for him, Robinson can be a source of inspiration for others even if height isn’t the obstacle they are trying to overcome. Nate Robinson wants to play basketball and no one can tell him that he can’t. So, if you find yourself near Philadelphia or the University of Delaware, the school that hosts the Delaware 87ers, stop in to watch the former and hopefully future NBA star in action for an affordable price.

Nate Robinson Career Stats
NBA Regular Season: 618 GP, 11 PPG, 3 APG, 2.3 RPG, 0.9 SPG

NBA Postseason: 32 GP, 8.6 PPG, 2.3 APG, 1.4 RPG, 0.6 SPG

D-League Regular Season: 14 GP, 12.1 PPG, 4.1 APG, 2.3 RPG, 1.8 SPG