A meeting between the Charlotte Bobcats and Power Forward Antawn Jamison has been scheduled for tonight in the Queen City.  The former Tar Heel legend will meet face-to-face with another legend from the hill to possibly decide the final stop in Jamison’s never ending NBA journey.  The 36 year old Jamison will also meet with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Visit www.breakdownsportsshow.com  next Monday when the fellas get together and discuss Jamison, the Bobcats and other news around the league!

 

The Bobcats used their entire 5 minutes on the clock searching for the right combinations of picks and or players to move out of the number 2 overall selection in last night’s draft before turning in the card making Michael Kidd-Gilchrist the newest member of the franchise.  The Kentucky standout was visibly shocked after hearing his name called.

MKG will likely become Charlotte’s hustle player/lock-down defender, a role most recently filled by fan favorite Gerald Wallace.  Tune in next week when the guys and I will breakdown the entire draft as well as this selection by Charlotte.  The new website should be up next week and you will be the first to view it right here!  Stay Tuned!

True Talk Goes Live!

Posted: June 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

As part of this ever evolving sports blog, I am proud to announce the live talk version of this blog.  The Breakdown will be a weekly sports talk show hosted by myself and two other avid sports fans.  As soon as i can get it available to you it will be posted right here on True Talk for you listening pleasure.

Thanks to all of my readers for making this possible.

The Bobcats have acquired a much needed perimeter threat.  Ben Gordon and a protected future first round pick has been traded to the Bobcats for Corey Maggette.  Now the Bobcats are still in need of just about every imaginable kind after the worst season in league history.  Sources say that the Cats may not be done trying to wheel and deal, they are currently scouring the NBA looking for potential trades involving the number 2 overall pick in this Thursday’s draft.

Charlotte has no real help at any position and new coach Mike Dunlap is concerned that this team has no outside scoring,

“Definitely, shooters,” Dunlap said. “The ability to make the 3[-pointer] is really important because it allows you to play inside. What happens [in the absence of quality shooting] is the defense collapses and it gets crowded in there.

“It’s always nice to have guys who can shoot a basketball.”

Now that the Bobcats have signed Gordon, the can focus on other positions in the draft.  The top two candidates as of now are Thomas Robinson, and Harrison Barnes.  Robinson displayed a great inside game during his time in college while barnes seemed to favor the mid to long range game.  Charlotte is definitely in the market for a number 3 small forward or wing scorer.  This would make Barnes the odds on favorite at the moment but with Robinson and the also coveted Michael Kidd-Gilcrest in the mix no one can be certain especially with the Cats trying to trade out of that number 2 spot in the draft.

After a very Happy Birthday for me, once again I am back at it bringing you the latest in Southern Sports.

Today the NFL Commissioner handed down suspensions to 4 players directly involved in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal.  Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita were all targeted for their roles in the bounties.

Jonathan Vilma was given the most severe punishment, he has been banned for the entire 2012 season all the way through the Superbowl.  He openly offered $10,000 dollars of his own money for anyone who could knock Bret Favre out of the 2010 NFC Championship Game.  Also it is believed by the league that he willingly impeded the investigation into the bounty program in 2010.

Anthony Hargrove received an 8 game suspension for the targeting of Fave in the Championship Game as well as withholding information during the leagues initial investigation.  The Commissioner released a full statement regarding the punishments:

“It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced,” Goodell said in the league’s statement. “Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field.” (www.profootballtalk.com)

Will Smith and Scott Fujita were also given suspensions for their roles.  Below is a clip of a blatant cheap shot delivered by Fujita on Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers.

These punishments are truly the first of their kind.  Vilma being suspended for the year has set an entirely new precedent for league action against players.  Personally, these suspensions are dead on.  Why should players get rewarded for injuring their own?  Aren’t they supposed to be united, as in a union?  Didn’t they ban together to fight the league just a year ago?  Are we supposed to feel sorry for them when they are trying to injure each other?

With those questions aside I must point out the difference between hurting the man in front of you and injuring him.  The two are as different as night and day.  All the way through the pee wees, pop warner, middle school, high school and college your job as a football player is to “hurt” the other team.  The point is to inflict pain without leaving them immobile.  You never want the other team to think they can hurt you so you just have to hurt them first.  You’ve heard all the cliché’s before, “Punch them in the mouth”, “Bloody their noses” , “Give them body blows”.  These are all just mid sets of the athlete to prepare them for the physical battle ahead.  Nowhere is there a directive to take out a guy’s knee, or this guy has a concussion, hit him in the head.  That’s injuring.

I have no problem with good form tackles, hard hits, or big plays, just keep it clean.  I pull for certain players and nothing would turn me off faster than knowing my favorite player lost his ability to play because a guy was looking for an extra 500 bucks.

Kudos to the league for stepping up and putting a stop to this embarrassment.

After what seemed an eternity of drafting, the NFL now has its newest crop of young talent ready to display before the masses.  There were trades galore during the primetime event Thursday, Friday and throughout out the day on Saturday.  Most of them were for good causes as fans and teams alike were delighted by the free movement in and out of rounds that allowed teams to actually get what they coveted.

As a southern style blog/report, we will focus mainly on the NFC South as I may choose to review others as I see fit(or upon request).  The Southern Division had two clear winners as the other two were riddled by either previous trades or penalty by the league.

The Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cleaned up early and often in hopes of returning to the forefront of a division they not too distantly controlled before.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

The Bucs really went after it in this draft.  First they traded down out of the top 5 and had a hand in making Cleveland trade up one spot for RB Trent Richardson.  With the 7th pick they took Alabama SS Mark Barron.  Instantly they gave themselves production in the back 7 they sorely needed.  Next at the bottom of the first they traded back in to select Boise St RB Doug Martin, complementing Blount in the backfield.  Hopefully this will take some pressure off of the struggling QB Josh Freeman.  In the 5,6, and 7 rounds they added youth and depth at positions of need adding a linebacker a corner, another running back and a tight end.  The first round alone is enough to give the Bucs an A but they kept at it in the later rounds giving this team a new look and hope for the near future.

Grade: A

Carolina Panthers:

Early on the Panthers looked to be the team that would land the top D-Tackle prospect in the draft were they to select Mississippi St. bulldozer, Fletcher Cox, in a mild upset the Panthers elected to go with the super talented inside linebacker Luke Kuechley.  Immediately fans jumped all over the pick wondering why they would pass on such a glaring need such as DT in lieu of a linebacker.  The Panthers would not be swayed as their very next selection caused even more heads to tilt in wonder when they selected a D-II offensive guard, Amini Silatolu.  After the early misdirection the Panthers got back on track using all of their remaining picks to hit major areas of need: DE, CB, WR/PR, and S.  After the initial shock of the early rounds(and a couple YouTube highlight videos) my nerves calmed and I began to appreciate the direction and overall quality of Carolina’s decisions.  Kuechly will be a stud and Silatolu will be a monter in the middle and Carolina is fast approaching one of if not the most talented Special teams units in the League.

Grade:B+

Atlanta Falcons:

Not much to see here as they gave up the farm last year to acquire WR Julio Jones.  Two offensive lineman, a full back, defensive end, strong safety and a d-tackle.  Most everything this team needs on defense was addressed in the draft.  The only thing missing now on defense is talent.  Julio better be good next year because they are going to have to score a lot of points in this division.

Grade: C

New Orleans Saints:

Oh boy, where to begin with the continuing disaster that is the NO Saints offseason?  How about the first round, no? Okay then how about the 2nd?  Not there either?  The 3rd? Yes finally the 3rd round selection of the Saints was a DE from Regina, Akiem Hicks.  And that pretty much does it for name recognition for the Saints draft.  A WR, SS, G, and Tackle  round out the late rounds.  Look on the bright side New Orleans, you still have Drew Brees, right???

Grade: D+

There you have it folks, NFC South draft wrap ups and grades to drink in.  The South should be interesting at the least to watch.  We very well could see a reversal of fortune for those that have held this division under there thumbs for a few years now.  The Panthers and Bucs are seriously gaining ground on Atlanta and New Orleans is only one more scandal away from being the ‘Aints again.

Keep it glued right here on True Talk, your source for Southern Sports!

The day is now upon us.  Gathered like children round the Christmas tree with butterflies and knots in our stomachs, anxiously awaiting the arrival of that final piece or maybe the cornerstone to a bright new future.

Football fans everywhere are checking Twitter feeds and Facebook posts hungrily devouring every draftniks newest trade scenario and mock draft.  Each one providing their own insight to what is, without a doubt, the most unpredictable spectacle in all of sports.

Now that we are entering the 11th hour, every GM, coach and owner is up to speed on the players they want in the draft and even a few that they think could be there with their pick.  The stage has been set, and the most prolific collegiate football players in the nation will gather with friends, families and former coaches and wait to hear the commissioner  announce their name and placement in America’s favorite sport.

The suspense is palpable and every nerve in the body is rapid-firing signals back to the brain faster than they can be decoded.  A hush comes over the capacity crowd in the Radio City Music Hall as NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, makes his long walk to center stage, note card in hand.  Lightly he adjusts the level of the microphone before making his opening remarks.  The buzz begins to build in anticipation of the draft’s most famous words before they are uttered for the first time in 365 days.  Teeth clinch, heart rates jump, sweat beads on the brow of fans all over the world as Goodell announces, “And with the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select…”

As fans we all have our preferences and predictions, both positive and negative, as to what direction our favorite teams will go.  Lost in all the hustle and bustle of this modern “holiday” is the birth of hope.  With each pick and trade that comes off the board hope replaces the anguish and frustration that all but one team felt as the final seconds ticked off of the clock signifying the end of the season.

With that new-found hope message boards, forums, team websites, fan pages and, yes, blogs much like this one, will collectively rejoice the coming of a new season.  And whether you take the time to think about it or not, you are filled with great expectations as whatever team you pull for is right back in the hunt for that ever so elusive Lombardi Trophy.

Every Team is back at 0-0 and with that beautiful statistic in place the mind can drift, wonder, and maybe even dare to dream that at the end of it all your team will be the one left standing in a perpetual blizzard of confetti as the star player looks into the camera in front of millions of fans to proclaim, “I’m going to Disney World!”

As I leave you with the taste of victory lingering on your mental pallets, just take a moment and remember the feeling that hope provides.  That warm fullness that wells up inside to the point of bursting.  Savor that moment, let it sink in and enjoy these few brief hours out of the long day, week, or month that has been eating at you.  Take this time to push back all the nonsense of your normal day-to-day and just relish this time out, breathe deep the minutes you have to sit back and embrace something so trivial yet so very, very important to, yes, the cultural fiber of our great nation.  Celebrate no matter what happens and let the games begin!

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Everybody remembers Michael Jordan.  He soared into our living rooms with flashy dunks, unbelievable layups, clutch shots, suffocating defense, oh, and those 6 NBA titles.  MJ was the best basketball player the world had ever had an opportunity to watch up close.  From the time he entered the NBA he began to take the sport over.  He joined with a little shoe company called Nike and released the first ever Air Jordan.  Not too long after that he hooked up with an upstart sports drink label named Gatorade.

The success never ended for Michael, he had won championships and awards at every level of competition.  Corporate sponsors lined up to endorse his every move.  He even made a kids movie with the characters of Looney Toons back in the 90’s, Space Jam.  It seemed as though MJ had the “Midas Touch”.

After the abrupt departure of music mogul, Bob Johnson, Charlotte was left a brand new franchise without an owner or a direction, Michael Jordan stepped up to the plate with the cash on hand and the dream of being the first former NBA player to own his own franchise.  The NBA could not wait to throw MJ back to the forefront of the league as ratings and attendance across the league had dipped markedly since Jordan’s final retirement.

Most remember Michael’s first attempt at a front office gig up in Washington when he infamously drafted Kwame Brown with the number 1 pick.  After a rocky tenure with the Wizards Jordan was unceremoniously fired.  He was never even allowed back into the facilities to retrieve his belongings.

Just a few years later Jordan was given permission to acquire the majority rights of the Charlotte Bobcats.  His first move as owner was to bring in those he was familiar with.  He chose Larry Brown to coach his team.  This seemed to many as the beginning of a great duo to get the reeling Bobcats back on track.  It didn’t last long.  Soon Jordan blew up the team that Brown had assembled and even gotten to the playoffs.  Brown spoke out against the moves by the front office and was shortly relieved of his duties.

What happened to that Midas Touch?  Jordan had gone from the most prolific athlete of a generation to an absolute atrocity behind the scenes.  His current Bobcats team has lost a franchise record 23 straight games and is 2 losses away from having the worst winning percentage in league history.

There is still time for MJ and his staff to right the wrongs.  They should be in good position to get the number 1 overall pick in this years draft where a certain collegiate stud is waiting in the wings to step in as the next Tim Duncan.  Anthony Davis is one of the best prospects at his position to come out since Kevin Garnett.  Jordan could get a longer leash if they manage to get Davis and truly try to build a winning program here in Charlotte.

The city of Charlotte deserves so much more from their basketball team than they are getting.  Even Jordan remembers what it was like to have to come here and play the Hornets in the “Hive”.  Those fans didn’t leave they are just waiting for their team to come back.

Jordan, you have gone from first to worst.  Now its time to dust off those old fingers and get that golden touch back and bring this city what it wants and needs, something you already have 6 of.

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NFL Films has been a staple in my life and has molded the way that I view football and its impact on the American Culture.  Today, NFL Films will unveil the premiere episode  that displays Tim Tebow as the 7th greatest Heisman Trophy Winner of all time.

Let that sink in a minute.

Ok, now that was the 7th greatest Heisman Trophy Winner of all time.  If we were sticking specifically to the college ranks then there might be an argument here, but this is NFL Films we’re talking about.

From USA Today:

1. Barry Sanders
2. Roger Staubach
3. O.J. Simpson
4. Paul Hornung
5. Charles Woodson
6. Tony Dorsett
7. Tim Tebow
8. Earl Campbell
9. Marcus Allen
10. Cam Newton

Tim Tebow ranks ahead of Earl Campbell, Marcus Allen, and Cam Newton.  The closest of the three would be Tebow to Newton, but you would have a hard time getting Newton away from the Panthers with a fourth round pick like the jets gave Denver for Tebow.  So what is this madness spewing from NFL Films?  Have they lost their minds?  I wish upon a star that Earl Campbell could show up in that powder blue uni’ and smash the NFL Films front office through a wall for such blasphemy.

It appears as though the film company has decided to just cash in as hard as they can on Tebowmania while leaving a little wiggle room for that new guy down in Carolina.  This list should at first glance make you laugh, then it should make you ball your fists and look for the first solid surface in which to put it through.  Absolutely detestable that they could muster the gumption to make such an inflammatory list.

Look if Tebow is a better NFL player/Heisman Trophy Winner than Campbell and Allen, why not have him a little higher on the list?  I mean no one of this Tebow generation really remembers Tony Dorsett or Paul Hornung right?  For that matter the only ones that know anything about OJ are the ones that watched him struggle to put on that little black leather glove.  So just go ahead NFL Films, put Tebow right up there at number 1.  You’ve already spit in our faces lets take it up a notch and see how far we can go?

Honestly this sort of thing frightens me as  an NFL fan.  How can anyone with any sort of self-proclaimed knowledge of the sport just accept this as truth and walk away?  This aggression will not stand with the Dude, man!  I don’t even like the fact that Cam Newton is on the list.  He was fantastic as a rookie but so were everyone of the other players on that list, well, except for Tebow.

For all that’s been said, this is just an attempt to boost ratings for a network that wants to drive traffic and nothing moves the needle right now like Tebow and Newton.  So, for all my moaning and complaining about this list, it is what it is, a marketing tool for the league.  Lets be honest with ourselves, they are the best in the world at marketing their product to the millions of baby birds with our mouths agape waiting for the next spoon-full.

***********Update************

NFL Films has released a statement to try and validate the placement of Tim Tebow on their top 10 list of greatest NFL players to win a Heisman Trophy.  Per Profootballtalk.com the official NFL Films Blog reveals the factors behind the selections:

Who had the best NFL career?
Who had signature plays and great moments?
Who had box-office appeal? Who sells tickets? Who sells jerseys?
Who has cultural resonance? Who passes the Mom test?

This helps a total of none when i look at this list.  It still makes me want to regurgitate my lunch.

NO

Last year about this time you could not read a single printed word about the NFL draft with out it inevitably leading to a backhanded remark to the potential number one pick, Cam Newton.  It began with the inflammatory comments about Cam’s willingness to be a star, entertainer, and icon.  From there it snowballed to an all out assault on his character.  In the end it had very little effect on his draft position as he went number 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers.

Fast-forward to this year and it seems that the same trend is continuing with this crop of draftees.  Recently, it has been reported through unnamed scouts that two of the top three projected picks are now character risks and teams should be wary of drafting these players early.  Robert Griffin III(QB, Baylor) has been reported, much like Cam Newton was, as a selfish, me first kind of player that has the makings of a bust in the NFL, while Matt Kalil (T, USC) is being touted as an entitled child.

These reports are coming from left field and no one is sure about the motives or the lack there of behind these allegations.  It’s puzzling to say the least.  I’m wondering why these reports would come out the week prior to the draft and why anyone would attempt such a brazen strategy to hurt the “stock” of a potential player.  The cynic in me says that these unnamed sources are just front office personnel that would hope for one of these players to slide to their particular team so that they themselves could select this player and rejoice in their victory.  However, the flip side of the coin is that these sources have actually found something of a red flag in these top prospects that worries them about their projection to the next level.

For these two specific examples, RGIII and Kalil, nothing leading up to the draft or during their careers have sent any negative vibes about their potential.  RGIII is a Heisman Trophy winner and each of his interviews have been exemplary.  The Baylor standout has awed fans and scouts alike on and off the field.  Nothing has even hinted that this future NFL QB is a selfish me-first player.  Is he just good at interviews?  Does he revert to his true form when the cameras are off?  Only a select few people know him in that context, unfortunately I am not one of them.  RGIII looks like a good prospect with a bright future with a team that will need him.

Kalil is somewhat more of an unknown quantity than his Heisman winning counterpart.  Matt is the younger brother of current starting center for the Carolina Panthers, Ryan Kalil.  It’s extremely hard for the general public to gain a proper perspective on an offensive lineman.  Offensive lineman live by the code of if you don’t hear their names then they have done their job.  This is what makes it so difficult to get to know them personally.  The main thing for an offensive lineman is to be noticed without being noticed.  Sounds tricky, huh?  They do that by creating gaping holes and lanes for their skill players to exploit.  Just think, who are usually the first teammates to reach the end zone in celebration after a running back breaks a long touch down run?  That’s right, the big guys up front.

So, why would we only hear about Kalil’s sudden entitlement issues 7 days before the draft?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I firmly believe that these two kids will get drafted 2 out of the top three spots and these recent reports will be listed as story lines all the way through the draft and mini-camps, OTA’s and training camp.  Only until these guys step onto the field and display their talents will these unfounded reports be validated or forgotten.

I’m sure that the two players described above hope that their rookie seasons come close to that of the previous years number 1 pick.  If they do we will all know that these sleazy shock news reports were just draft fodder to drum up controversy right before 8pm April 26, 2012 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY.