The Utah Jazz clinched their first playoff birth 2012, and fell short in Conference SemiFinals. Will Gordon Hayward depart Utah in his free agency? Continue reading
Welcome back to NewsFlash, your weekly run through of this week’s Flash episode.
With as much free time as I have in the day, many of my close friends find it odd that I decided to start my own blog while also writing for another and my college newspaper. I honestly don’t blame them for their confusion either, seeing as I write a minimum of six articles a week without counting this blog.
One of my passions in life is writing, if the above statement didn’t make that clear enough. I find it to be relaxing and a good way to let out any emotions I have built up without the need for expressing them outwardly. I like to think I am a friendly and open person, but emotions and I tend to lack an understanding between us.
The reason I made this blog was to talk about things that my other outlets wouldn’t let me put out on their medium. Having my friend Collin and his pal Richard help out is just a bonus that helps me keep the site updating more frequently with content. With the creation of this blog, I allowed myself to open up my horizons and move past some previous attempts at putting myself out there.
Before this blog, I frequently tried my hand at running a Youtube channel, as many people in my age group do. Starting out I did fandubs of popular anime with friends back in middle school before branching off with people I met through those projects to do bigger things. I still offer my voice and talk to many of those people to this day, but my focus has shifted dramatically.
Following that stint, I moved my content into Pokémon related content. Mainly focusing on competitive battling and team analysis, I uploaded weekly for nearly an entire year before school caught up with me and I stopped altogether. It was fun to make content exclusively for my favorite game franchise, but towards the end I just felt that wasn’t for me.
Cue my introduction to DBZL or Dragon Ball Z League. A completely community run league where AIs battle it out in the PlayStation game Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3. The characters in the game are split into themed teams and on the forums the people on each of those teams customize their characters and battle it out like an actual sports league. I saw this and since I was a big fan of sports and Dragon Ball, I jumped right in and started playing.
I made some close friends as I became more active, I frequently talk to many of them. At the start of season six, I decided to make a fan run podcast about the league and posted about it on the forums. Thus, the Y-Cast? Was born. We are currently in the third season of the podcast and have made a dedicated channel for it and any related content. I have taken a step back and rarely involve myself with the league as a player anymore, but I do edit and make graphics for the podcast and keep myself updated on my team.
The last project I truly worked on independently of a joint work was Super Smash League. An offshoot of DBZL where I implemented the same aspects but instead with Super Smash Bros. 4 on the Wii U. I recorded it every Sunday, but do to a lack of interest and scheduling conflicts, I have put that to rest now.
I have a podcast that I still plan on doing once my current semester of college ends, and I hope to continue it through the next school year once I have a format down. It will be uploaded on my personal Youtube channel and SoundCloud, while a post will be made about it on the website once it is updated too.
Outside of the podcasts, none of those forms of content creation caught my interest. I plan on trying a scheduled live stream where I play games with friends and host live Q&As or podcasts soon, but that too is just part of what I want to do.
The videos on Youtube I enjoy the most are the people who can break down a topic in depth and provide detailed insight into why something is how it is or why something happened. I follow dozens of creators who make videos that analyze shows and movies, or breakdown concepts for them. It intrigues me when people that had nothing to with the project can provide such insight into the medium.
I want to try my hand at this video essay style when I get the chance because I feel it is right for me. I don’t care how successful they are; I just want to get my opinion and insight out there on topics concerning more than just sports.
That was the main reason this blog exists. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports and consider myself an expert when it comes to the NBA. But I don’t want that to be my only product.
I like so much more than just athletics. I have vested interests in movies, animation, video games, books, comics and so much more. Limiting myself to only sports on the other two websites isn’t good for my writing style and I will not continue that trend.
As I exemplified with my recent article on the Timberwolves and what they can do to get better, I am not against posting interesting sports articles here. I just intend to make them the minority. Collin is the sports guy on this site, I want to be something different.
I have many ideas that will bring more to the table than just my weekly Samurai Jack review and occasional look into other things. I want to start talking about other shows that I am passionate about, like One Piece, and games that I recommend people to play.
The entire name for the site was spawned purely from the affection I have to my favorite superhero, Booster Gold. His comics are dorky, sci-fi adventures through time, but at the same time provide insight and a deeper understanding for one of the laughingstocks of the DC comicverse. I can always turn to his comics to have a good time, and that is what I want this site to be for other people.
… plus the name was really catchy…
Eventually I will implement video and audio into my content here on the site, but until I can find a good way to do so I hope you readers can still find something to entertain yourself with while you read.
To quote the namesake of my website,
“Well, how about the 411? I’m pure gold, ladies and gentlemen. I am the greatest hero you’ve never heard of… till now!”- Booster Gold
After getting two consecutive number one draft picks, one of their own and the other being picked and traded to them for Kevin Love, the Minnesota Timberwolves have some large expectations building with every season that passes.
After Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007, the T-Wolves have been one of the franchises at the bottom of the league. None of the players, headlined by Al Jefferson and Sebastian Telfair, from the KG deal are still in Minnesota and nothing came of any of the picks.
Fast-forward a year later and Minnesota had the number three-pick in the draft. They really liked what they saw in Love when he worked out for them, but the general feel in the league at the time was that he was a stretch at the third spot. Most front offices thought they would trade down and take him at four or five, instead they made a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies that sent O.J. Mayo – the player they took at the third slot – and other players for Kevin Love.
Love played six seasons in Minnesota and people thought the front office was going to build around him for the future. That plan never came to fruition and in the summer of 2014 the Cleveland Cavaliers made a call to ask on Love’s availability once they won the draft lottery. The Wolves loved Andrew Wiggins and were ready to pull the trigger on the deal, however, Cleveland wanted a guarantee that Love would resign with the team in the following offseason. Kevin told his agent he wasn’t interested and the deal seemed off.
That all changed when LeBron took the blankets off of his secret project and announced he would be returning to Cleveland after four years in Miami. That broke the barriers around the Love-Wiggins deal and following the draft, Love was gone and Wiggins was in.
Other than Wiggins winning the Rookie of the Year award, Minnesota had another less than stellar season. Que lottery victory and the subsequent drafting of Karl-Anthony Towns and the outcry of a franchise turnaround. With a core of Ricky Rubio – Wiggins – Towns, people were raving about the young guns in the North.
Move forward another year and Towns is named Rookie of the Year, yet no postseason berth for Minnesota. They landed the fifth pick in the 2016 draft and grabbed the supposed replacement for Rubio in Kris Dunn. As we near the end of the ’16-’17 season, nothing seems to have worked.
Dunn has not panned out despite showing small glimpses when he gets time as a backup to Rubio and Tyus Jones. Wiggins and Towns have hit it off after starting two-guard Zach LaVine went down with a season ending ACL tear as they fight for the final playoff seed in the West. This raises a very important question for Minnesota: What do they need to do to get over the hump?
Minnesota has a multitude of options and avenues open to them if they truly want to stop the 13-year playoff drought that plagues their fan base. Cap space is partially open, for now, they have assets other teams might want and a good young core that they can experiment with for years to come until they find something that works. They just need to reach out and take a few swings.
The simplest option would be finding players in free agency that would be willing to come to Minnesota and play with Towns and Wiggins. Many players might jump at the opportunity for the right price and that is a good sign. The Wolves badly need to find someone to fill the power forward spot that can complement Towns downlow and many options are available this summer. The issue with this scenario is finding the right price that won’t break their cap space completely.
Next up is a trade. Minnesota has a lot of younger players that are going to be up for extensions soon, *cough* core of the team *cough*, so they have people to move if they want to remain flexible with under the cap. Players like LaVine and others are valuable for teams that are rebuilding and if they fetch a good price, why not pull the trigger?
LaVine’s presence is redundant since his skillset is nearly identical to Wiggins and they are proven to play better without him. Meaning they are free to dangle him in front of teams like Philadelphia or Orlando who might bite and send draft picks and veterans in return for the two-time dunk champion. This is a gamble on the ceiling LaVine might have versus building around the two sure fire players they have now.
Finally, they could draft well. This has proven to be a safe route, but with their young core improving every year, they won’t be able to do this forever. After this draft, they won’t have high odds of being one of the worst teams in the league anymore and they will have to move to one of the other paths. If they miss the playoffs again this season, which is seeming likely, they will likely have a lottery pick in the upper single digits that might field them another franchise talent in a loaded draft class.
Only time will tell which way they will chose to build around Towns and Wiggins, but for now let’s see what players might head to Minnesota to help them improve in the wild, wild west.
With Wiggins and Towns locking down the starting three and five spots respectively, and an improved Rubio at the one, that leaves two starting jobs open. If they due trade LaVine for a higher draft pick or he comes back less than 100 percent from his injury, that will still leave big gaps.
JJ Redick is a name that pops out instantly to me as someone who would fit well in Minnesota. He is a great shooter and solid defender, a large improvement over LaVine in that particular category, who can come in and make big shots and help spread the floor. His veteran presence in the locker room will be good for the younger team. It will take a pretty penny to gain his services, but it might just be worth it.
Serge Ibaka is a rental that might help the depleted Raptors in the playoffs, but that is still no guarantee they will pay to keep him after this year though. His defense has taken a step back as he works more on his offensive game, but he is still an above average defender who can spread the floor with his three-point shooting. Another big contract player who could help right away in a starting role.
Paul Millsap appears to be out in Atlanta after his recent injury and if he wants to make some money and be the veteran leader on a team that fits him, Minnesota might be the perfect match. The criminally underrated forward plays constantly well on both ends of the floor, and looks to be at his peak. For the right offer, they might get him at a discount. He is probably the best fit for them at that position since he can spread the floor, rebound, post people up and defend well.
Blake Griffin is the longshot here. He will want the max of the max and rightfully so. The Wolves would love to have the dunking machine who can spread the floor, but with Wiggins and LaVine, if they want to keep him, coming up on their first real NBA deal extension and Towns following a year later, committing 30 plus million to Griffin might not be high on their priority list.
Derrick Rose has looked healthy with the Knicks, and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau knows his game well. Should the team really want to move Rubio and run with Tyus Jones and Kris Dunn for the future, Rose at a bargain salary, under 15 million for two or three years, might be a great fit. He doesn’t need to be the primary scorer and if his passing skills can improve, his career might have a small resurgence.
The Timberwolves have a bright future ahead if they just stick their hands out and grab the necessary pieces to improve.
The MVP race this season is arguably the best we’ve seen in the decade. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are having historical seasons respectively. However, the light being shed on Harden’s MVP case is leaving Houston’s accomplishments in the dark.
The Phoenix Suns have had nothing short of a rough season. In the most Suns like fashion, they took an L Friday night, but Devin Booker won.
Children of the 90’s, fret no longer. The Power Rangers movie we all deserved has arrived, and I give it two thumbs up: