Lentz: View from the Nosebleeds – Weekend Three-Pointer

After this past weekend, you thought I'd only talk about one story? Please. Here are the three most entertaining things from the weekend.

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Lentz: View from the Nosebleeds – Weekend Three-Pointer

Eric Lentz, Sports Editor

All Work AND Play


For basketball fans such as myself, the NBA is a yearlong sport. From late September to late October, it’s training camp and preseason. Late October to mid-April is the regular season. Right after that, to the beginning of June, is the NBA Playoffs.  Then the NBA draft is usually the third week of June, followed by free agency that begins on the first of July with Summer League days later.  Free agency eventually dies down after teams fill out their training camp roster spots, so that leaves nothing left but trades, theories, and videos of NBA stars playing pick-up for fans to salivate over.


By Frenchieinportland [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
Damian Lillard bringing the ball up in a 116 – 96 point win over the Sacramento Kings on February 27, 2018.

Portland Trailblazers’ star point guard Damian Lillard has made the most of this dry period of NBA coverage by breaking some reporter news, such as Chris Haynes’s new job at Yahoo Sports and Sam Amick moving to The Athletic from USA Today, hanging out with 2K Studios in Beijing to launch 2K’s online game exclusively for the Chinese, enjoying some backyard boxing and announcing a new album would be coming out next summer under his stage name Dame D.O.L.L.A.

On September 12, a fan called Lillard out on Twitter with, “people should be upset they favorite PG been everywhere but the gym this summer…not one open run or workout.” Lillard responded with “My workouts don’t require a camera crew.” Much to the delight of the 36 thousand people who liked the tweet. Three days later, Lillard decided it was time to give this fan a sense of security and comfort in his game as the season nears by finally posting a video of him working out. Check it out here:













The Wrath of Saban?


This past Saturday, September 15, was just like any September Saturday in the south: full of college football. Except with the questionably highly anticipated match-up between Ole Miss’s Whatever-They-Are-Nowadays and Alabama’s Crimson Tide at Vault-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford. According to David Brandt of Associated Press, Ole Miss had the eighth best offensive team out of 128 in the nation, but a No. 123 worst defense out of the same 128. Well, after playing the number 1 team in the nation in Nick Saban’s Alabama team, I’m sure the former has dipped significantly. The Rebels’, excuse me, the Landsharks’ defense did what they do best… which was absolutely nothing as Alabama scored 49 points in the first half, to win 62-7.

Sports-books had the total point over-under at 71 points correctly expecting Alabama and their Heisman candidate quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, to stroll into the end zone and falsely assuming Ole Miss’s star snap-caller, Jordan Ta’amu, would show off his own skills. Ta’amu did however show a flash of magic after connecting with wide-receiver D.K. Metcalf on a 75 yard touchdown pass in the game’s first 11 seconds. Hope faded quickly as Alabama got four touchdowns of their own in the next 11 minutes.

247Sports’s Kirk McNair had an excellent excerpt detailing where Ole Miss went wrong in his article “Notes From Alabama’s 62-7 Win Over Ole Miss”:  “And under the heading of, ‘Yeah, I Remember That,’ in 2011 in Gainesville, Fla., the Gators opened the game with a long touchdown pass. Alabama won 38-10. In the press conference following the game, then-Florida Coach Will Muschamp said (approximately), ‘Well, the first thing we learned is that you don’t piss them off.’ ”

Was this the full trademarked wrath of Nick Saban? No, which is odd because of Ole Miss’s and Alabama’s supposed “rivalry.” Alabama could have and would have easily won by a hundred of Saban truly put the pedal to the metal. The game was so one-sided that he put in his third string quarterback, behind Tagoviola and Jalen Hurts, Mac Jones, who was in the game before the end of the third quarter.

Vault-Hemingway Stadium boasted it’s eighth largest crowd in stadium history at 62,919 people. 10 minutes into the game fans were already leaving the stadium to trek back to the storied Grove.


The Buffalo Bills Have Finally Made Headlines


When the San Diego Chargers were up 28-6 over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, September 16, at halftime, no one was truly surprised at their performance. Especially after losing 47-3 just a week previous to the Baltimore Ravens. Well, one man, Bill’s cornerback Vontae Davis, couldn’t take it anymore and retired; one and a half games into the season. One and a half games. He retired at halftime!


Chris J. Nelson [CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons
Vontae Davis on the sidelines during his time with the Miami Dolphins.

Vontae Davis is a 2-Time Pro-Bowler and a 10 year NFL  veteran. This past February 26,  he joined the Bills on a one year, $5 million contract with $3.5 million guaranteed. His now former teammate, Lorenzo Alexander, said after the game, “I never have seen that. Pop Warner, high school, pros. Never heard of it. Never seen it. It’s just completely disrespectful to his teammates.” Alexander went into more detail with ,”He didn’t say nothing to nobody. I found out going into the second half of the game. They said he’s not coming out, he retired. That’s it.”

Look, there’s been a lot of wild sports stories in the past year: Cleveland Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith throwing soup at his coach, the Seattle Mariners fighting in the locker room, even the tunnel fiasco between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets led by Chris Paul. But a guy retiring mid game?! This is new territory.

This entire fiasco is why professional sports teams should be allowed to make trades in the middle of games. For the pure hilarity of the event. I can see it now…

It’s a divisional match-up between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks in early February right before the trade deadline. Both teams have shot poorly leading to a 78-74 score with Dallas on top with five minutes left in the game. Pete Pranica, the Grizzlies Fox Sports South TV Play-by-Play announcer, says, “Now up to shoot his fifth and sixth free throws of the game is Dirk Nowitzki. Coach Carlisle to make a substitution. While he does that, our sideline reporter, Rob Fischer, is here to comment on that last time out from Coach Bickerstaff to stop the run. Fish?”

“Yeah Pete, before we get to that, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Dallas Mavericks have traded Wesley Matthews to the Chicago Bulls for Cameron Payne and a 2020 second-rounder. Which is why he was subbed out for Seth Curry.”

Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz maturely reminded everyone to consider the player in a tweet about an hour after the news went out. “It may seem funny but he’s gotta be going through something to just quit like that!” More details are ensured to come as time passes on.

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