Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Coronation of King James

     LeBron James has been the best player in the NBA regular season since the 2004-05 season when he averaged 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. However, postseason failure has followed him year-in and year-out. After 9 years of pain and suffering, King James finally has an opportunity to claim his crown. LeBron has homecourt, momentum, and karma on his side, what more could he ask for?

LeBron & Wade after last year's Title loss

     Game 5 in Miami should be the final game of this series. The Miami Heat, as a whole, are better than the Oklahoma City Thunder. They proved it last Thursday, they proved it on Sunday, they proved it yesterday, and it will be confirmed tomorrow. Last year in the Finals, the Heat ran up against savvy veterans in Dirk Nowitski, Jason Kidd, and Jason Terry that had previous finals expirience. They know what it takes to win, and they are doing just that.

The Big Three's Introduction

     Once this series is over, the real fun will start. The reason the whole world hates LeBron is not, because he predicted 8 NBA Championships, but because that kind of success really is a possibility. Nobody would care if Metta World Peace had done that when he came to the Lakers, because they are not a threat to do so. Once Michael Jordan broke into the realm of champions, he did not stop winning until he retired for a second time at age 35. At age 27, LeBron James has 6-8 more seasons of dominance left in him. By 2020, LeBron James could be a 5-time MVP and 6-Time Champion just like MJ.

King James

    The World's worst nightmare is now here. LeBron has done everything that he needs to do, and now his team is in perfect position to win the NBA title. The Haters have prepared excuses: "What about that foul on Durant in Game 2?", or "LeBron was on the sideline at the end of Game 4", but in all honesty, none of that even matters. He has done great things against the Pacers, against the Celtics, and against the Thunder, all series' in which the Heat trailed at some point. In 10-15 years, when LeBron, D-Wade, and maybe even Chris Bosh are making Hall of Fame speeches, the only things that will be remembered are the facts. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Plight of Floyd Mayweather

Via Benjamin McKnight III

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Literally Sports.

Anyone who pays attention to boxing, or sports news outlet for that matter, is completely aware that Floyd Mayweather has been out of commission since June 1st, 2012. And for those who still aren't aware, here is what happened; back on December 21st, 2011, Floyd Joy Mayweather, Jr., was sentenced to 90 days in jail for domestic battery charges pressed by his ex-girlfriend. However, Mayweather didn't go to jail right away; his lawyers reached an agreement with the judge to postpone his term so that he could squeeze in one more boxing match. So, 27 days after beating Miguel Cotto in a split decision to win the WBA Super Light Middleweight title, Floyd began to serve his jail sentence.
     Now, just over two weeks after his time behind bars began, his lawyers are seeking for a change from the solitary confinement that he is currently in to house arrest, according to the Associated Press. Their reasoning; the lack of quality in living conditions, food, and no access to the prison’s workout facilities, as well as his deteriorating emotional state, is putting the rest of his career in jeopardy. Mayweather’s personal physician, Dr. Robert Voy, estimates that Floyd is taking in less than 800 calories per day, which is much less than the 3000-4000 he normally intakes. He also states that Mayweather isn’t drinking enough water, though that is by personal choice; the prison doesn’t give him access to bottled water, and he normally “doesn’t drink tap water.” It has even been claimed that his jail cell, which is 7x12 feet, is “barely enough floor space for pushups and sit-ups;” he can forget about roller skating to whatever part of the cell he needs to get to. The prosecutors have argued that his declining health is all by choice, because he apparently refuses to eat much of the food offered in the prison, in addition to his lack of preference for tap water. Talk about a drastic change in lifestyle.
     From a personal standpoint, I have never been of Floyd Mayweather. He is the type of athlete whose arrogance is far from entertaining, contrary to the likes of Muhammad Ali, and his oh so often ignorant statements, coupled with his reckless use of his money, makes him a living stereotype as a Black man. Regardless of anyone’s like, or lack thereof, for Mr. Mayweather, one thing should be unanimously agreed upon; he deserves the time he got for his offense. Any attack on another person is serious, especially one who is obviously weaker that the attacker, and deserves punishment. In a case like this, though, it doesn’t hurt to wonder how much more time Floyd would have received had he been an Average Joe with a nine-to-five job and a one-car garage. In the past, I have seen other athletes in the past get preferential treatment for a serious offense that would normally garner much more time if the offender wasn’t famous, such as the case of New England Patriots wide-receiver Donte Stallworth. I’ve had multiple adults tell me that “Status is everything,” and that statement always holds true when I read a new story on a celebrity getting in trouble with the law. Heck, even the famous people themselves acknowledge that such statements are true, just ask Oklahoma Raiders defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi.
          I honestly believe that Floyd Mayweather is just experiencing a big culture shock in jail. Thanks to his constant boasting of his posh living space (thank you, MTV Cribs), we all know that he isn’t used to the type of living conditions presented in a prison, much less in solitary confinement. Now he wants out, and his lawyers are fighting to “save his career.” Quite honestly, I think he needs to stay right where he is for the remaining 70-plus days of his sentence. He hasn’t even been in long enough to display “good behavior” and get out early. This has nothing to do with my distaste for Floyd, but everything to do with fairness in the justice system for everyone, from your lower class citizens to the global icons. Our justice system, in most cases, treats our celebrities as if they are above the law, which results in many of them doing things that you wouldn’t see a normal citizen do, like a highway death race. The only way to minimize the foul activity by America’s stars, and show that the American justice system can be fair more often than not, is to treat them like a normal citizen when they screw up. Obviously, those who are big fans of Mayweather want to see him released so they can watch him box again. Just look on Twitter, and you’ll find a large amount of “#FreeFloyd” tweets. But when fandom gets in the way of one’s vision of what’s right and wrong, then there’s a problem. If Floyd Mayweather were to hit my mother, best believe I’d have a big problem with him (that is, if my father didn’t get to him first). So, why in God’s name do I see people saying that Mayweather should be out of jail? He committed a crime, and now he’s serving the time as a result of it. This isn’t a case where there was a faulty argument or lack of evidence that would lead anybody to logically believe that he should be free. It was a clear cut, trial-verdict-sentence case that ended in him being guilty. If the man sitting next to me on the bus were to commit the same offense, I’d want to see him in punished by the law as well; no crime should ever go unpunished.
     At this point, I am very sure that Mayweather is having second thoughts on laying hands upon the mother of his children. Maybe this time behind bars will be a lesson learned for him and teach him not to make the same mistake. Nevertheless, he is not exempt from the punishment as a result of his action. Come August 30th, I’ll gladly watch Floyd Mayweather Jr., walk out of prison as a free man.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baseball's Rising Stars

Bryce Harper & Stephen Strasburg

     Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are arguably the two brightest young stars in Major League Baseball, and they are playing on the same team, the Washington Nationals. The "Natinals" of years past are gone, and a new beginning has come. After two years of the worst record in baseball, they selected with the #1 overall pick two outstanding prospects in Strasburg & Harper. Both players have proven their potential as of late, and that has resulted in a 1 game division lead through 56 games. 

     Right-Handed Pitcher Stephen Strasburg (6'4, 220) was drafted number 1 overall in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals. However, soon after his Major League debut a year later, his pitching style "The Inverted W" led to an injury that required Tommy-John Surgery. Now, in 2012, he is back in action and in rare form. As of June 9th, 2012, Strasburg leads the MLBs with 92 strikeouts, has a record of 7-1, and an astonishing 2.41 ERA.  In fact, his only loss on the season came in a game where an unfortunate incident with "Hot Stuff" ointment caused a poor pitching performance. Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said, To the analytical eye, he throws his four-seam fastball up to 97 mph, the two-seamer 91-93 mph with late life, he has absolute confidence in the breaking ball, and a change-up." The statistics show that most players just cannot get a hit off of him. 

     Bryce Harper (6-3 205) is an amazing left-handed talent that could realistically play any and every position on the field. In High School, he was a pitcher with a 95 MPH fastball, and a strong-armed catcher that could throw out runners at  any time. He got his GED at the age of 17, enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada and in his only year broke the school record with a mind-boggling 31 home runs, vaporizing the previous record of 12. Harper was drafted number 1 overall in the 2010 MLB draft by the Washington Nationals. After spending a year in the minors, he was rushed to the majors a month early due to an injury to Nats star Ryan Zimmerman. So far, Harper is hitting .285 with 6 Home Runs and 17 RBI. To put this in perspective, he is ahead of where Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. were at this point in their careers.

     I believe that these two young players are well on their way to great careers. Strasburg should be voted to the All-Star game next month, and Bryce Harper has the potential to be voted Rookie of the Year. The Nationals may not have known just what they were getting themselves into when they drafted these guys, but they are already reaping the benefits. Look for alot more out of of both Harper & Strasburg in the future: Home Run Titles, Golden Gloves, Triple Crowns, Cy Youngs, MVPs, and World Series'.

Word to the Wise: Get out and see these guys as soon as you can, because the tickets are selling out as soon as they are available, and the prices are rising as we speak. The Sports Junkies, a DC sports radio show, are already using Harper's name for a line of "Cised for Bryce" T-shirts.