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When New York Teams Get Desperate

New York City is known as the city that never sleeps – and full of extremely harsh critics. So if you play for a professional team in the Big Apple, expect no pity from fans and the media alike. With the mentality of aiming to live up to the the expectations of others, New York teams have took drastic measures to bulk up their teams by adding players that either makes the group better – or worse. Let’s take a little closer look at some of the failed deals these past 5 years.

NY Yankees. The team recently traded for OF Vernon Wells, who’s an All-Star, about 5+ years ago. The team’s age average falls in the mid-30s and soon enough, these players will retire. A bad and desperate move on the Yankees part. Think A-Rod, the highest paid player who is currently on contract with the team, le sigh. But with the most money, they are constantly known as the evil empire.

NY Mets. This National League team hasn’t done amazing this past decade. They last made the World Series in 2000 when the Yankees beat them and haven’t made much impact since then. They’ve had Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, Jose Reyes, etc – which played on an All-Star level, but not big enough to help the team garner another championship title.

NY Jets. Two words. Tim Tebow. Many people already knew this was a bad idea especially when they had Mark Sanchez and Tebow compete for the starting spot, and of course, Sanchez would take it for seniority reasons. Tebow played a few minutes, something he was not used to, causing a non-cohesive chemistry between teammates, coaches, and management. And they didn’t make the playoffs. It’s surprising to see that Rex Ryan is still the team’s head coach.

NY Knicks. This team has gone through a wild roller coaster for the past decade, and they are slowly regaining natural, competitive form. But remember when players such as Steve Francis, Tracy McGrady, Mike Bibby, Zach Randolph, etc. played for the Knicks at one point during those ten years? Sad to say, but their big bucks went to waste as the players did not perform up to superstar expectations. Let’s hope this does not happen again though.

NJ/Brooklyn Nets. They once the “team to beat,” but suddenly has lost that. With Deron Williams and Joe Johnson on the roster, many people thought they’d maintain that winning status. But rumors have circulate that D-Will’s constant bad behavior has caused strain with the coaches. Will they succumb to a curse?

Despite some flaws and little bumps along the way, these teams have had a fair share of successes. Every move made can be unpredictable and the result can differ with each team. It all takes a good bet and strategy for deals to play out the right way.

 

Nike Ever Present as Prince is Crowned King

 Nike Ever Present as Prince is Crowned King

Prince Fielder won the 2012 MLB Home Run Derby last night, launching a record-tying 12 bombs in his final round.


Nike

Baseball

2012 Home Run Derby

Prince Fielder

It was perhaps fitting that Prince Fielder won last night’s MLB Home Run Derby wearing the sparkling, new Nike “King of the Diamond” pack Air Max MVP Elite Nike cleats. Part of the King of the Diamond pack which also included a Lunar TR1 Trainer and special edition Home Run Derby batting gloves, the gold cleats symbolized the supremacy of eight of the games greatest and emerging hitters. While not everybody donned the gold cleats (see Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista), suffice it to say that Nike hit it out of the park with this new All Star Game pack. Nike followed up on their 2010 All Star Game Pack featuring an Orange Air Max Diamond Elite cleat (http://www.solecollector.com/niketraining/?p=1630) with the 2011 Home Run Derby edition Huarache 2KFresh cleats (http://www.solecollector.com/niketraining/?p=5087). This year marked the third year with a flashy cleat release for MLB All Stars.

Fielder, with 12 bombs in the final round (to best Bautista’s 7) finished last night with a total of 28 in the three rounds to become the second player in history to win multiple Derbies, one behind Ken Griffey Jr.’s three. Fielder tied a finals record with his 12 (a mark set last year by Yankees’ second baseman Robinson Cano) and became the only player to win a Derby while representing both leagues (the AL this year and the NL, as a Brewer, when he won in 2009).

 Nike Ever Present as Prince is Crowned King

Jose Bautista and his Reebok cleats. Courtesy whatproswear.com


Jose Bautista
Reebok

Mark TrumboAngels
Jose Bautista came out strong in the first round, leading the pack with 11 but faltered in the second, advancing to the finals only after a “swing-off” with the Angels’ young slugger Mark Trumbo. Bautista looked good in the swing-off needing only his first two swings to advance as he sent rockets out into the left field seats but he looked sluggish (no pun intended) in the finals, failing to match the intensity of Fielder, who routinely put balls onto the fountains, drilling shots over 450 feet. One of the most exciting outcomes of last night’s Derby however, did not even come in the finals. Mark Trumbo arrived on the scene hitting absolute bombs and his performance demonstrated the impact of his presence in the game. This was especially nice to see in the face of the incredibly rude Kansas City fans who booed him (along with AL Captain Cano, who had a whopping total of 0 homeruns in his first and only round), because Trumbo was taken by Cano instead of hometown hero Billy Butler. I for one, was extremely glad to see Trumbo there asserting himself as the All Star he was chosen to be.

 Nike Ever Present as Prince is Crowned King

Mark Trumbo impressed with 14 homers over 2+ rounds

Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

US Sprinters Justin Gatlin and Allyson Felix demo the new track unis (photo from Nike)


London

Nike

2012 Summer Olympics

Track and Field

With the 2012 London Olympics rapidly approaching, the world’s most successful sportswear company is at it again. Nike unveiled their official uniforms for American athletes of various disciplines last month and I for one am a huge fan. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/london-2012-olympics-uniforms-nike-track-field-speed_n_1600677.html#s=1104251) With these sleek get-ups, Nike has combined the perfect amount of minimalist athletic design with an appealing infusion of their regular flashy materials and patterns. If points were given for appearance in the Olympics, the Americans would score solid 10.0’s all the way. Not only are these new track uniforms (officially called the Pro TurboSpeed suit) incredibly flashy but they will reportedly cut milliseconds (which can be the difference between medalling or not medalling) off US times. With the release of the official 2012 US uniforms, its time to countdown the best US olympics style moments in history…

#5 Shaun White, 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver

 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

White celebrating on the podium

In a revolutionary collaboration with the skate company Burton,    White and his fellow US snowboarders came out with the perfect look, one that combined the necessary elements of patriotic representation of our nation’s flag and the style of clothing native to snowboarders. It helped that White absolutely obliterated the competition as well.

 

 

See White’s championship run amongst the entire competition (which featured impressive get-ups from practically every nation participating) here…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGzqxNkt3q0&feature=related…Skip to 58:30 minutes for White’s final run and the ensuing trophy presentation.

 

#4 Jackie Joyner-Kersee / Florence Griffth-Joyner 1988 Summer Olympics, Seoul

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Florence Griffth-Joyner

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Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Two of the greatest American female track  and field stars, the many-time gold medalists looked dashing as they raced their ways to medals in the heptathlon (Kersee) and set records in the 100m (Joyner). The uniforms looked bold and stylish, with the red base accented nicely by the white border and stars down the sides. Kersee was on-hand for the 2012 unveilings as well.

See them in action here:

Kersee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z-QfDiV2XA

Joyner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWzAaydIJcA&feature=related

#3 Lindsey Vonn, 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver

 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

Vonn mid-race

Vonn thankfully lived up to much of the hype surrounding her 2010 Olympics performance, taking home a gold and bronze and continuing her dominance in ski world championships. She also made a huge splash in the February 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit addition and also she wasn’t in a bikini for the ski race, she still managed to crush it with this sleek getup from winter gear company Spyder.

 

#2 The “Dream Team” US Men’s Basketball, 1992 Summer Olympics, Barcelona

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The '92 Squad in their home white jerseys

Although Nike unveiled new basketball uniforms for the 2012 team, a proclaimed dream team in their own right, the original team takes the cake, with Champion uniforms that epitomized the street styles of athletic world of the early 1990s. It helped that they happened to win gold.

#1 Jesse Owens, 1936 Summer Olympics, Berlin

jesse owens 3 Nike 2012 Summer Olympics United States Uniforms Released

 

 

Practically anything that Jesse Owens had worn would have made #1 on this list because of the significance of his competing and his victories. In front of Hitler and all that the Nazis stood for, Owens won four gold medals and cemented his place as an immortal US athlete and one of the greatest runners in history. His uniform did him justice, with its USA logo placed directly above his heart.

NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

Maybe it’s the tedious, commercial-ridden NBA Draft 2012 program or the prolonged decision period between each pick and round, but the boys this year certainly livened something up. And we’re not talking about the Million Dollar Smile.

Boys become men, and college athletes become professional players. And so it goes: black suits and white, wrinkled button-downs become sleek sport coats and crispy, checkered tops. A swift congrats is in order for these draftees, who chose to forgo the age-old (classic) backpack-and-slacks and instead, adorn their flat-rimmed team hats with Stern and swag.

And now, for our version of the NBA draft 2012 in Dapper

#1 Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors

If the Geek-Chic Squad (Lebron, KD, Westbrook, that’s you) is leading the way in NBA swag, then Mr. Terrence Ross has it down to a tee. The bow-tie has never looked so cool.

David+Stern+Terrence+Ross+2012+NBA+Draft+Ki21JZlad23l NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

#2 Dion Waiters, Washington Wizards

You know Dion’s mother chose this tie, and we love her for it. An homage to Syracuse, and the shirt-and-tie combo conveniently coordinates with the Cavs logo. Adorable!

Dion Waiters 1024x576 NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

#3 Jeremy Lamb, Houston Rockets

If you ignore your instinct to tuck that pocket-square back where it belongs (the pocket), then you can eye those sharp black buttons on Lamb’s collar tips.

David+Stern+Jeremy+Lamb+2012+NBA+Draft+ofYBH4rD1wBl NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

#4 Damian Lillard, Portland Blazers

Broadway meets B-ball, but we’ll take it.

crop NBA Draft Basketball t640 damian lillard NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

#5 Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets

Maybe its the eyebrow, maybe its the height, but this man shouldn’t ever wear anything that is prompted with: “Can I pull this off?” This finely tailored look suits first-drafted Davis.

void0 NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

And for the anti-draft. Well there’s just one. We’re sorry Austin Rivers, but even the actual McDonald’s staff got a new uniform this month.
nba g rivers15 400 NBA Draft 2012: picks, plans and pocket squares

Why Miami Should Embrace Being the Underdogs

Miami

LeBron

Thunder

Durant

The Big Three
2012 NBA Finals


lebron durant Why Miami Should Embrace Being the Underdogs

LeBron and Durant in Game 1


About a year ago today, LeBron and Miami faced Dirk and Dallas in the 2011 NBA Finals. It seemed a foregone conclusion that Miami, following the infamous “Decision” of that previous summer in which LeBron “took his talents to South Beach,” would walk away with their first championship under the reign of the Big Three. To call Dallas an underdog was a vast understatement. Aged and perhaps too reliant on their star power forward, Dallas nevertheless managed to shock the basketball world by becoming the 2011 NBA Champions. Now, for the second straight year, Miami is in the 2012 NBA Finals and despite many labeling the Thunder as the favorites, the pressure on Miami is even greater.

Miami, however, is a different kind of underdog than was Dallas. With experience in the finals that the Thunder don’t have, and a Big Three that (on paper) ought to be far ahead of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden, Miami doesn’t seem like the underdog. Yet the Thunder, after dropping Games 1 and 2 to the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, won four in a row and cruised to the Finals. This came while Miami struggled with the Boston Celtics and thus prompted many to label the Thunder as favorites. Miami faced elimination in Boston, down 3-2 going into Game 6, when they rebounded to win the next two and make the Finals by the skin of their teeth.

For comparison’s sake, Dallas beat the Thunder in the 2011 Western Conference Finals in five games but everyone thought they reached the end of the road in the finals. Understandably, Dallas, with Dirk playing out of his mind, defeated an inexperienced and too-young Thunder team. The 2011 Miami team differed greatly from the 2011 Thunder with stars in the primes and plenty of playoff experience and were thus the heavy favorites. This year, with Russell Westbrook having been the league’s best point guard, Kevin Durant affirming his place alongside LeBron and Kobe as the best players in the league, and James Harden drawing comparisons to Spurs’ great Manu Ginobli, the Thunder are a different team. Coupled with Miami’s Conference Finals struggles, the Thunder have been labeled the Finals favorites.

For too long, it has seemed like everyone from Miami fans, to Coach Erik Spoelstra, to LeBron himself have thought that simply because LeBron, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade were on one team, they would win, not only regular season games but titles. That they didn’t need cohesion or humility or indeed a point guard because other teams would simply roll over and concede victory.  Yet Dallas didn’t do it last year and if Game 1 in 2012 proved anything, it was that the Thunder aren’t going to do it, as they battled back from a 13 point deficit to defeat Miami 105-94 last night. See the New York Times' game wrap-up here: www.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/sports/basketball/with-poise-and-power-thunder-rally-in-nba-finals-opener.html?ref=sports.This Miami team needs to embrace their underdog status and fight back throughout this series the way the Thunder fought back in Game 1; by regrouping at halftime and not giving up on each other or on the game.  They need to rally when down in the series, as they are now, and repeat the perseverance they demonstrated in Boston in Game 6 of the Conference Finals.

If Miami wants to win this series, they need to drop the fanfare, tune out to all media outlets, and focus on their coach, their strategies, and their games. In short, while the Big Three must dominate, they also must act like any of the other 9 players on the Miami roster by bearing down and getting things done. There is a time for individual leaders but Miami will only win if they find the balance between supporting each other and encouraging dominance from the Big Three.

Oscar Athletes: Ballgowns for the Ballers

If you watched last night’s 84th Annual Academy Awards, you know these Oscar Athletes made sure style didn’t go unrecognized. Yes, my readers, ballgowns are not just for the Hollywood celebrities. Athletica and A-Lister alike: all dressed up and somewhere to go. In this case, it was the Vanity Fair After-Oscar party. Now, I always thought this party was for those who didn’t snag an invite to the main event. On the contrary, statue-holders and statue-ladies all swarmed to this A-bar for garb and gossip.

First things first: who knew that Tim Tebow was the life of the party? Not exactly by-the-bible, but because he’s such a sweetheart, we will let it fly.

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Tim Tebow and Amy Adams

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It’s a Tebow-Tennis-Club! Tim, sandwiched by Serena Williams (yellow) and Venus Williams (raspberry). Both girls look quite lovely.

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Tim Tebow, Jon Hamm and a whole lot of love.

On another note: shout out to Sean P. Diddy Combs for supporting the Oscar-winning documentary “Undefeated.” Now, we know P. Diddy isn’t technically a pro-athlete, but Undefeated is heard to be a tear-jerking Football docu.

P. Diddy says that he cried “four times.” Nothing like a rapper with a soul.

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Okay, fine, so I’m officially obsessed. But nothing says haute like this athlete-designer duo. (David and Victoria Beckham)

Lastly, I’m sure you’re all wondering why I have cleverly evaded the topic of NBA All-Star Weekend. Truth be told, the event was an absolute bore.

Skills Test: Kyrie Irving didn’t shrug a shoulder or grimace at the fact that he totally blew the skills competition. It’s like the event never happened for him at all, especially after it took him every ball in the basket to knock down a shot.

Three-Point Contest: Alan Houston, you’re truly an incredible B-balller. Everyone else, nobody noticed you even stood at the 3-point line.

All-Star Game: East vs. West was really a “Who Cares Less” run-around. After Lebron gave up the winning shot for a failed pass and turnover, I think everyone realized they had just wasted three hours of their day.

Dunk Contest: I’ll be posting a story I wrote last year about this fine version of American competition. There’s nothing to be said about this year’s comp. Agreed?

Beyonce and Jay-Z, The Sweetest Style

I know I am a couple days late on this shot, but could Beyonce and Jay-Z could any cuter? Jay-Z, part owner of the NBA New Jersey Nets, took recent Mommy and wife Beyonce to the Knicks – Nets game. The Blue Ivy Carter Baby-momma had a little bit of pregnant leftover chub, but that’s okay. Just because she is 1) gorgeous and 2) the epitome of awesome, we don’t care at all.

Also, props to the two of them for totally dressing and acting laid back and cool.

ccb74 beyonce jayz linsanity Beyonce and Jay Z, The Sweetest Style

To be honest: I simply can’t stand seeing absurd superstars, sitting court side, all jazzed up. Beyonce and Jay-Z both nailed down the right swag for the big game.

Beyonce: Rag & Bone tuxedo jacket; Christian Louboutin pumps and to top it off: nOir Brooklyn Bridge two-finger ring. It’s like she’s been waiting for this game to wear that ring.

Beyonce Jay Z Knicks Game Jeremy Lin Pictures 300x300 Beyonce and Jay Z, The Sweetest Style

Though, I can’t decide which bothers me more: B’s 5-inchers, or Z’s Tims. What are your thoughts?