Scoop and Score: Michigan, ND Season Preview

Who’s got it better than Michigan? Is their floor 9-3? How about Notre Dame? After opening the season at Texas, their schedule isn’t tough either. Steve and I share our predictions for our alma maters. Plus, I make fun of Steve’s diet.

Don’t Buy Jerseys

Think about the kids, Kevin. The kids! The No. 35 jerseys worn by Oklahoma City children have been good for nearly a decade, but now they’re worthless. Might as well burn ’em. This is a huge (as in widespread) little (as in not that important) problem in all sports—aside from a franchise quarterback, who doesn’t play for multiple teams?—but this NBA offseason has been a particularly strong reminder that fans should stick to nameless jerseys.

Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant, two rare superstars who stayed with one team forever, just finished their final seasons. And even Bryant didn’t make it easy on fans, switching his jersey number midway through his career. Are there any players like them left? Dirk Nowitzki comes to mind; it’s hard to see him leaving Dallas at this point. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli have made San Antonio a safe haven for jersey buyers. Among active players in the top 100 of games played, only one other qualifies: Mike Conley, who just signed a five-year extension to stay in Memphis.

We can’t predict where Damian Lillard’s career might take him. Or Gordon Hayward’s. Or Ben Simmons’. But we can’t trust them. Durant, Dwyane Wade, Al Horford, and Dwight Howard (again) reminded us of that over these past few weeks.

Alas, there is a solution: The t-shirt jersey. Much cheaper than its more authentic cousin, the t-shirt jersey displays the same information as the jersey but is affordable and more appropriate for public. In fact, my Jose Reyes Mets t-shirt jersey just became useful again. And that’s why I was joking earlier about burning your Durant gear. LeBron James returned to Cleveland and it’s not hard to see Durant doing the same in OKC, especially if he wins a championship in Golden State.

In 2014, the top-selling NBA jerseys belonged to James, Durant, Bryant, and Derrick Rose, all of whom have joined new teams (or retired) since. So go ahead and buy a No. 35 Warriors jersey. Just don’t consider it a good investment.

Former Michigan Football Player Volunteering Across America

Former Michigan football player Jibreel Black gave the NFL a try after graduating. He moved to the corporate world and tried acting before jumping at the opportunity of a lifetime — traveling across the country in a bus to inspire volunteerism. As part of a U.S. Bank initiative, Black is building homes, cleaning parks, and working with children. Read about his journey in my story for Michigan Today.

Daniel Murphy’s Contract

It came as no surprise when Daniel Murphy rejected the Mets’ one-year, $15.8 million offer last offseason. At the time, no player had ever accepted a “qualifying offer.”* Instead, Murphy tested the market and wound up with $37.5 million over three years from the Washington Nationals. If Murphy’s first half of 2016 is any indication, he made a mistake not accepting the Mets’ deal.

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RIP Pat Summit

Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in college basketball history, died Tuesday. The Tennessee women’s basketball legend is remembered fondly by all she encountered, and I tried to capture those feelings in a story for Excelle Sports. I only met Summitt once, but her attraction was evident.

The Mets Should Leave Las Vegas

There is talk that a Major League Baseball team will one day reside in Las Vegas. At the very least, the commissioner is open to the idea. Of course, there’s already a pro baseball team in Sin City: the Las Vegas 51s, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets. Aside from the awesome logo on their hats, having its top affiliate in Vegas has been problematic for the Mets. The 2,237 miles from Vegas to Queens are most between any AAA team and its big league club, making it difficult for players to get to New York in a timely fashion.

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What NBA Draftees Are Thinking

In the hours leading up to Thursday night’s NBA draft, many of the top prospects will be in hotel rooms watching TV analysts speculate where they’ll spend the next few years of their lives. The “experts,” like the players themselves, have little concrete information. One thing is certain: As much as the players dreamed about this day, by Thursday afternoon they just want it to end.

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One man's writing in one place.