Lance Stephenson will be missed by the Indiana Pacers next season

Stephenson is capable of becoming the leagues greatest second round pick of all time. He gets paid though like the last guy on the bench. Stephenson is pretty much playing for free and for Larry Bird to complain about Stephenson doesn’t make sense.

I don’t think Bird understands how good of a player Lance Stephenson really is. Sure, Stephenson made himself a public target after hitting Lebron James in the chin and blowing in his ear, but Bird criticizing him I think was uncalled for. Without Stephenson, the Pacers lose to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.

People have been underestimating Stephenson his entire life. He quickly became one of my favorite players of all time when I heard about him in Sports Illustrated as a freshman. He is the same age as me so it gave me someone to follow. He was at the same high school that Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair went to. Telfair is a guy who I really admired because he jumped straight to the NBA from high school and was featured in a book and a movie.

Stephenson was the top player in his class. Then he got in trouble and lost all of his scholarships. He looked primed to attend Kansas before that offer was pulled. He went to Cincinnati for one year before jumping to the NBA. He missed time in college and didn’t put up flashy numbers. He ended up falling to the second round which pretty much means you don’t really have much of a chance to be successful in the NBA.

He had to earn every single second of playing time. He is a big part of this team and his play isn’t getting the credit it deserves. Paul George just said, “I don’t know” when he was asked if he wanted Stephenson back on the team next year. George will eat his words, I guarantee it.

The Lance Stephenson versus Paul George rivalry will be a great one because Stephenson will dominate it. Stephenson will get way better. George on the other hand is about to lose pretty much his only weapon. Have fun with that. Between Stephenson and Lebron, I don’t think George will ever get to the NBA Finals.

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Kevin Durant would be on the Bulls if David Stern didn’t change the high school to the NBA rule

The worst rule change in sports history has to be when David Stern announced the NBA would no longer accept high school basketball players to go straight to the NBA.

The number two high school sophomore in the country Harry Giles in the grey shirt will have to attend college (Thomas Frey)

The number two high school sophomore in the country Harry Giles in the grey shirt will have to attend college
(Thomas Frey)

The first class of high school players that weren’t allowed to the NBA was the Greg Oden and Kevin Durant class. Oden would have been number one pick to the Toronto Raptors and probably wouldn’t be this injured. The Chicago Bulls had the second pick which they traded to Portland. Lets assume that Chicago hadn’t traded that pick, because frankly, if Durant were available they wouldn’t have traded most likely. Chicago fans, your team had some decent guys, adding Durant would have meant championships. What a perfect place for Michael Jordan’s heir to play.

The 2004 and 2005 McDonald’s All American games were great. The practices of those years were more competitive then the 2006-2013 McDonald’s games combined. Their was so much on the line. Stern pretty much made the McDonald’s game pointless to watch. It is a great honor to be named a McDonald’s All American, but when the NBA isn’t on the line, it isn’t as important. It used to be the best.

I salute players like Brandon Jennings, Jeremy Tyler and Latavious Williams. Instead of going to college and making the greedy NCAA tons of money in exchange for pretty much nothing, they turned professional. Jennings and Tyler went to Europe while Williams played in the development league.

Why should a player risk millions of dollars and go to college? Lets take a look at some former rivals.com number one rated high school players.

Josh Selby was the number one prospect in 2010. He had eligibility issues and had to miss part of the season at Kansas. Then when he was able to play in mid-season he was out of the mix and could never get in the groove. He then declared for the draft. Instead of being a high pick out of high school and being richer then he could have ever imagined, he had to waste a year of his life in college and has never made more then a million dollars in a season.

Shabazz Muhammad exited high school as not only the top player of his class, but one of the best high school players in history. He had to miss time like Selby and had trouble in college. Muhammad would have been the first pick in the draft out of high school. After a year at UCLA he still was a first round pick, but he wasn’t a top ten pick.

I believe that Selby and Muhammad would be NBA stars if they didn’t have to go to college.

Their are many players who were ranked as top ten high school players that couldn’t go to the NBA and lost their draft stock in college.

Imagine if you knew you were going to make a minimum of ten million dollars in the NBA, would you want to take college classes?

One of the rarest feats in basketball

Not many active NBA players have won both a NCAA and NBA championship. Here they are.

Jason Terry helped lead Arizona to a championship in 1997. After being drafted tenth overall, he had an alright career, then he got to Dallas and picked up a championship ring in the 2011 NBA Finals.

Nazr Mohammed helped take Kentucky to two NCAA championships in 1996 and 1998. He has been all over the NBA and won an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005.

Richard Hamilton played magnificent for UCONN and for Detroit. In 1999, UCONN beat Duke in the finals to pick up the title. Hamilton was then drafted seventh overall and he hit his stride with the Detroit Pistons and helped lead them to the 2004 NBA championship.

Shane Battier was apart of the Duke team that lost to Hamilton and UCONN. Battier stayed at Duke and picked up a championship in 2001. He was then drafted eighth overall and had an okay NBA career. He eventually won back to back championships as a part of the Miami Heat. Even though he came off the bench, he was a key part of the team.

Corey Brewer helped Florida win back to back national championships in 2006 and 2007.  He starred with Joakim Noah and Al Holford, while Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey were the other Florida starters. Brewer was also a teammate of Jason Terry on the Mavericks when they were champions in 2011.

Mario Chalmers left Kansas right after he won the national championship. Chalmers hit a huge three that is one of the greatest plays in college basketball history. Without his shot, Kansas doesn’t win the game. He was a second round pick and is the point guard of the Miami Heat. Even though Lebron James and Dwayne Wade are on the team, Chalmers had his part in the last two NBA championships.

This is a rare list to be on.

 

 

Sports that I want to see the most

San Diego has a lot of sporting events, but there are some other places I would like to go.

I want to go to a SEC football game. Seeing a game in an atmosphere like that would be awesome. I love SDSU football, but there isn’t much fan involvement. I would also like to see a high school football game in either Texas or Oklahoma. I’ve read Friday Night Lights and its looks pretty legit.

I would also like to go to basketball games at Kansas, Kentucky and Duke. Those places had some of the best players and they have so much history. I want to see what the fan support and particularly the student section is like and how it compares to SDSU’s student section, The Show. The traditions are what appeal to me the most.

The next event I want to go to is a major horse race like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness or Belmont. Those tracks have so much history.

I went to the 2009 NBA Draft but I want to go to another draft. It was one of the best events that I have ever been to. The suspense that comes with each pick is hard to beat.

I’d like to go to every NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL stadium but there are a few I would like to go to more then others.

Fenway Park is a place that I will not miss for anything. If they announce theirs only two years left or something, I would make sure that I get there in time.

Wrigley Field is another MLB stadium I would like to go to. It wouldn’t be that bad if I never make there though. I would rather go to most of the other places on this list. Lambeau Field is sort of the same way.

I’d like to see all of these places but for now I have the Padres, Chargers and Aztecs to enjoy.

San Diego State basketball is going to prove you wrong this year

The NCAA Tournament is my favorite playoff to watch. Every team always has hope. Teams like George Mason in 2006 never gave up and they played there tails off and made the Final Four.

By the NCAA Tournament, my soul is entrenched into college basketball. The team just played in the Mountain West Tournament, Before that they had two months of heated conference play. By then you want them to win so bad. As a San Diego State fan, they always are the underdogs against the schools from a big conference. I don’t like it, it makes me wants the Aztecs to win more. So know what, I do like it. The chance to see future NBA players always is appealing to me. I want to beat them bad though. The game that sticks out to me is the UCONN game. They finished 34-3. But because they lost in the Sweet 16 they finished 11th in the final poll. They lost to Jimmer twice and the national champion. Thats it. 11th is disrespect on all levels.

Right now, SDSU is back in the top ten and I’m excited. A school not in the big conferences don’t get much respect. There 10th, but there only loss is to #1 Arizona. This is another year there gonna prove all the voters wrong. Butler making it twice to the Finals shows that a small school is close. George Mason and Wichita State have come close. This could be the year that a big school doesn’t win it. Why not San Diego State?

They play better defense then anyone. The Arizona game was a lot close then the boxscore final of 69-60. They were down 62-58 with under two minutes left before Aaron Gordon made an And-1. Even though they lost, SDSU was only down four to a team still undefeated who has beaten Duke, Michigan and UCLA.

SDSU plays great defense, they have one of the best point guards in the country in Xavier Thames. Winston Shepard has become a great player and I don’t think hes even close to his full potential. I will be surprised if he isn’t a lottery pick after his junior year. Maybe even this year if he becomes dominant. He gets better every game I think.

SDSU has two big men who outscored Joel Embiid and Perry Ellis who play for Kansas and both are projected high first round draft picks. Skylar Spencer and Josh Davis are absolute beasts. Spencer is one of the best shot blockers in the country while Davis is one of the best rebounders.

JJ O’Brien is a very good scorer and rebounder. He also can shoot the ball. When he has a good game, the Aztecs are very hard to beat.

Then you have guys like Dwayne Polee, Aqeel Quinn, Matt Shrigley and Dakarai Allen who have all brought there A-game on defense and they can also be depended on to score. This is a great team and I think they go to it least the Final Four. I think they will pair the West bracket with Arizona and SDSU as the top two seeds. Then when they meet in the Elite 9, the Aztecs will get revenge and win.

The coaching staff has lots of postseason experience. They are magnificent recruiters and Steve Fisher is a winner. He took Michigan to three Final Fours and he won a national title. He built SDSU from scratch and had them ranked as high in 2011 as #4. One guy on that team came to SDSU straight from high school was was a rivals.com top 150 player and that was Kawhi Leonard. They weren’t ranked to start that year. They weren’t ranked this season to start the year either.

Its a great time to be a SDSU basketball fan. This is a team everybody will pick as the team to get upset early in the NCAA Tournament. That won’t happen this year. Let your tournament bracket ride with SDSU. It takes picks like this to win bracket leagues.

Why not the Aztecs?

The Aztecs went into Kansas and beat them 61-57 on national television

I predicted this game to be a Kansas blowout. I was very wrong about that. San Diego State really stepped up yesterday.

The Aztecs led by as much as 11, but they saw it dwindle down to one in the final minute. Luckily, Xavier Thames hit all of his free throws and SDSU hung on for one of the biggest wins in Aztec basketball history.

Skylar Spencer had a great game, he scored 13 points, grabbed nine rebounds and block an incredible six shots.

The other big man Josh Davis also had a great night. Davis was a force pulling down 14 rebound and adding in ten points. Thames finished with 16 points.

The Kansas big men did not fare as well. Joel Embiid, the projected number one overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft according to nbadraft.net and Perry Ellis, the projected 26th overall pick, combined for just 16 points and 17 rebounds. Just to put those draft picks in perspective, SDSU has nobody expected to be drafted this year. Winston Shepard should be drafted pretty high in the 2015 draft, and after yesterday, I think Skylar Spencer will one day be drafted.

The Aztecs defense played great and held Kansas to a 29.8 field goal percentage while also forcing ten turnovers.

The #13 Aztecs host Boise St. Wednesday at 8 o’clock.