In a Game Full of Stars, Craig Sager Shines The Most

It’s amazing that after 17 seasons covering the NBA, Thursday night’s Game 6 was Craig Sager’s first time working the Finals.

Sager joined the ESPN/ABC broadcast team, working the sidelines along with Doris Burke while rocking another one of his iconic suits. In 2014, Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. For the past couple years, he’s gone through multiple treatments including chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and bone marrow transplants.

After a few returns, covering marquee games and events for Turner Sports, Sager revealed in an interview with HBO that his leukemia was no longer in remission. Recognizing his juggling of work, travel and treatment, ESPN will present Sager with the Jimmy V Perseverance award in July. It’s even cooler that they and Turner could team up to give him his first NBA Finals assignment

On the court, LeBron James was the star. He recorded 41 points for the second straight game and has willed the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit to Game 7 on Sunday. Cleveland could be the first team to win a Finals after being down that much, and it would be even more impressive to do so against the 73-win Golden State Warriors. Off the court though, literally, it was Sager getting standing ovations from the Cleveland crowd.

Before the game, Sager spent time FaceTiming with University of Pittsburgh running back and Hodgkins lymphoma survivor James Connor. A mentor of Connor’s was shooting the game for WJET and connected the two on the phone.

After the game, James shared a really special moment with Sager.

“First of all, let me ask you a question: How in the hell did you go 30-plus years without getting a Finals game? That don’t make no sense. But I’m happy to see you, man. Much love and respect, and I’m happy we were able to win this in front of these fans. We really appreciate you.”

Leave it to Richard Jefferson to add some more humor to it. Game 7 tips off at 7 PM Sunday on ABC.

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At Least The Chicago Bulls Have Benny…

It’s not easy being a Bulls fan these days. The team missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The veterans on the roster didn’t want to play in their new head coach’s system. Their star, Jimmy Butler, didn’t make it any easier. It was a hot mess.

Some of the few bright spots from the 2015-16 campaign included Etwaun Moore breaking out (like most backup Bulls guards do behind Derrick Rose) and Doug McDermott dunks. The BRIGHTEST of spots though, as it has been for a long time, was team mascot Benny The Bull.  The #BestInTheBiz has had a good year appearing in ESPN ads, bringing joy to children everywhere on off days, and giving you a reason to visit the United Center while the team struggled to themselves.

Saturday night, Benny went FULL BENNY during a stoppage in play between the Bulls and Cavaliers. It was a dance medley of epic proportions that also included help from one of the game’s officials. While the Bulls won’t be in action this postseason, at least you can replay great entertainment like this…over and over again.

Stay tuned for more on Facebook and Twitter.

NBA Logos Mashed Up With 80’s and 90’s Cartoons

“Graphic Commando Unit” Vanilla Lab created a series of “mashup” designs with NBA logos and classic cartoons. The design firm is based in Barcelona and get a lot of their inspiration from “magazines, posters, album covers and skateboard decks.”

Seeing that we all love our sports and nostalgia, this seemed perfect to share. If they or anyone could combine MLB logos and Hanna-Barbera characters, I would be eternally grateful.

Chicago Bulls/Transformers

 

Brooklyn Nets/Ninja Turtles

 

Washington Wizards/G.I. Joes

 

Denver Nuggets/Flinstones

 

Boston Celtics/Ghostbusters

 

Vancouver Grizzlies/Care Bears 

Apparently they didn’t get the memo in Barcelona about the team’s move to Memphis, even though both Gasol brothers (from Spain) played there. 

 

Orlando Magic/Jem

 

Miami Heat/Snorks

 

Toronto Raptors/Dino Riders

 

Cleveland Cavaliers/Masters of The Universe

 

 

Seattle Sonics/Inspector Gadget

I like the throwback to the Supersonics. Need to get a team back in that city. 

 

Los Angeles Lakers/Smurfs

 

What other sports and cartoons would you like to see mashed up, let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

NBA Trade Deadline Watch – All The Deals Made

It’s an exciting day for the NBA and basketball fans alike. The trade deadline was 2:00 PM CDT and moves were made up until the last second, as expected. This is where Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo’s The Vertical thrives, mercilessly dropping #WojBombs and news like crazy.

Here we kept track of all the moves made as they were reported.

Justin Holiday to Chicago

Lance Stephenson to Memphis for Jeff Green

Joel Anthony to Philadelphia

Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta 

 

Markieff Morris to Washington

Brian Roberts and Miami’s 2nd round pick to Portland

 

Foye to Oklahoma City, Augustin to Denver

Shelvin Mack to Utah

 

Frye to Cleveland, Varejo to Portland in 3-way deal

 

Thornton and Motiejunas to Detroit

Jarnell Stokes to New Orleans

 

For more, follow along on Facebook or Twitter!

Early Reports on 2016 NBA All-Star Reserves Comfirmed

A week ago, the Eastern and Western Conference All-Stars were selected by fan voting and announced on TNT. The NBA on TNT crew will do the same tonight at 6 PM CT, but a few reporters are spoiling the news a little early.

Delaware Online engagement editor Carron J. Phillips reported 6 hours before the announcement show that reserves joining the East (Kyle Lowry, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade) and West (Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry) will be…

 

 

Then just over an hour before the TNT announcement show, Atlanta Hawks beat writer Chris Vivlamore reported the same reserve rosters.

 

[Update]: NBA on TNT announced and confirmed the All-Star Reserves.

 

 

For more, follow along on Facebook and Twitter

NBA Announces All-Star Game East & West Starters

Starting for the Western Conference:

 

Starting for the Eastern Conference:

and Dwyane Wade, but of course the NBA social media team didn’t make anything cool for him…

D-Wade

Kobe Bryant was the leading vote getter. The reserves will be named on January 28th, as voted on by coaches. I expect Jimmy Butler, Andre Drummond and Draymond Green to be included, who were all snubbed from being starters (Thanks a lot, FANS.)

Who else belongs in the NBA All-Star Game? Who doesn’t belong? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter!

2015-16 NBA Season Predictions

Tuesday night, a new NBA season tips off with 3 games featuring the league’s biggest stars. TNT will feature a doubleheader with the Cavaliers and. Bulls in Chicago (7 PM CT), then the Pelicans visiting Golden State for the Warriors’ banner raising ceremony (9:30 PM CT). Also facing off will be the Pistons and the social media savvy Atlanta Hawks. Sure it will all be going on before the World Series, but that’s what sports bars are for with multiple monitor setups.

A new season means new storylines and intrigue that only the NBA can produce. The defending champion Warriors are very much the same team, built to score plenty and defend as well as anyone. The Spurs Big-3 (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker) have one last ride (at least) in them with rising superstar Kawhi Leonard and newly added LaMarcus Aldridge. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving still rule the Eastern conference, but the Bulls are playing the Star Wars “rebel” role with a healthier Derrick Rose and new head coach Fred Hoiberg. Don’t forget Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have a new coach too…

There’s plenty of drama I could go on about and plan to cover for each team, but for now we’ll just make some predictions for who will be making the playoffs and who will be taking home hardware by the end of the 2015-16 season.

Eastern Conference Playoffs

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Chicago Bulls
  3. Washington Wizards
  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Toronto Raptors
  6. Boston Celtics
  7. Indiana Pacers
  8. Milwaukee Bucks

Eastern Conference Finals

Bulls vs Cavs

1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs 2. Chicago Bulls

Western Conference

  1. San Antonio Spurs
  2. Golden State Warriors
  3. Memphis Grizzlies
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder
  5. Los Angeles Clippers
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. New Orleans Pelicans
  8. Minnesota Timberwolves

Western Conference Finals

Spurs vs Grizz

1. San Antonio Spurs vs. 3. Memphis Grizzlies

NBA Finals

BASKET-BKN-BKO-NBA FINALS-GAME 5-SPURS HEAT

Spurs vs. Bulls (Spurs in 6)

Most Valuable Player

AD MVP

Anthony Davis (NO)

Defensive Player of the Year

Tony Allen DMVP

Tony Allen (MEM)

Rookie of the Year

Jahlil

Jahlil Okafor (PHI)

Coach of the Year

Billy Donovan

Billy Donovan (OKC)

Sixth Man of the Year

Taj

Taj Gibson (CHI)

Most Improved Player of the Year

NBA: OCT 23 Jazz at Clippers

Rudy Gobert (UTA)

ALL-NBA First Team

Stephen Curry (GS)

James Harden (HOU)

LeBron James (CLE) 

Anthony Davis (NO)

Marc Gasol (MEM)

Marc Gasol

All-NBA Second Team

Russell Westbrook (OKC)

Kevin Durant (OKC)

Kawhi Leonard (SA)

Blake Griffin (LAC)

Pau Gasol (CHI)

Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls

How do your predictions look? Let me know on Facebook and Twitter