Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Midweek #HotSportsTakes: Zen in NY and NFL Free Agency Opens!

The Knicks have been comically bad lately, but can the Zen Master and his 11 rings (plus 2 as a player) turn things around?
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe) and Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin)

Midweek #HotSportsTakes is a new weekly segment here on SuiteSports, where we will offer shallow and somewhat incendiary analysis on random hot-button sports topics of the day.

So, here we go...

On Phil Jackson Joining the Knicks by Week's End

JP: Oh, come on! Don't fix anything or instill common sense/basketball knowledge here Phil! Things were just getting fun.

JC: Phil Jackson isn’t worth the money he demands even as a coach – he certainly doesn’t deserve more than that for a front office position.

Paying Phil Jackson $15 million to “fill” a job opening that doesn’t currently exist cements Jim Dolan as the worst owner in American professional sports.

On Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross Agreeing to Pay for the Majority of Miami's Stadium Renovations

JP: This sets a great precedent for other cities to follow: Stand your ground, the team isn't actually going to move! Well, unless you're Seattle. Props to Miami for figuring this out after the Marlins robbed the city blind.

On the Nets Signing Jason Collins for the Rest of the Season

JP: Well, the Nets are 7-2 in nine games since signing Collins, and he's giving a thin team between 10-15 bench minutes a night. This sounds like an incredibly boring story though, is this dude gay or something?

JC: This is a bad signing – not for any socio-political reasons, but because Jason Collins just isn’t good at basketball anymore. He doesn’t bring enough to the table to justify a playoff team carrying him through the end of the season.

On NFL Stars Being Cut: Possibly Darrelle Revis, DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers, Lamarr Woodley, Champ Bailey, Miles Austin, etc.

JP: If you would have told me three years ago that Darrelle Revis, DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers and Lamarr Woodley were all potentially being cut in the same offseason, I would have thought the NFL simply abolished defense. But injuries to Woodley, slowed production from Ware, an inflated salary for Peppers and insanity from the Bucs could lead us to that reality very soon.

Each of these guys could help a contender get over the top (except a still chronically injured Woodley), but I think we have to start questioning the way NFL contracts are structured. By back-loading deals and not guaranteeing money, you essentially hope that a player retires or takes a restructure before they reach the final few years of their deal.

If they don't, they're cut, no matter who they are.

It's unfair to the players, and bad business for the NFL, as franchise players are tossed on the scrap heap, detaching casual fans from the product.

JC: The NFL’s salary cap structure is broken if it becomes the right financial move to cut elite players from your roster. The NFL should lock out the players to fix the issue.

On the 49ers Trading for Blaine Gabbert and Jonathan Martin

JP: Solid move by Jim Harbaugh, who gets another failed quarterback to transform into a scrappy winner, plus a player he successfully bullied into a solid career at Stanford.

JC: The best organization in the NFL is making savvy moves – buying low on high-reward prospects. Blaine Gabbert will learn under Colin Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh and go on to thrive for another team.

On Andrew Bynum Grabbing 10 Boards in his Pacers Debut

JP: I really hope we get a Pacers-Warriors final, just so I can see Jermaine O'Neal and Andrew Bynum gruesomely injured on the same play. Oh, who am I kidding, neither of these guys will be healthy that late in the year.

JC: Adding another productive big man makes Indiana the prohibitive favorite in the East. Nobody else (especially Miami) can deal with that much size. Paul George is Indiana’s best player but the Pacers will make the Finals because they have size. All these stat geeks want to talk about is shooting threes, but basketball games are won in the paint.

On the Stress Fracture in Joel Embiid's Back

JP: You need to knock Kansas down a few seeds now. Based on their ghastly performance against West Virginia, I'm pegging them as a 12, so this makes them a 14, at best.

JC: Joel Embiid is nothing but the second coming of Greg Oden – a good college big man who gets hurt and never makes an impact in the NBA. He will be a total bust.

On Tracy McGrady Getting an Independent League Spring Training Invite

JP: I mean, if Jose Canseco can keep playing indie league ball, why not T-Mac? He won't declare bankruptcy in the middle of every season, and he also hasn't totally lost his mind.

JC: He still won’t win in the playoffs.

On The Broncos signing Aqib Talib

JP: Seems like a steal on the surface for Denver, and if they can bring in DeMarcus Ware even more so. The Broncos are in "win now" mode, and if they don't take home the Lombardi this year, the window may slam shut with an injury-prone/aging quarterback and the bloated salaries of several injury-prone/aging defensive stars.

JC: Signing Talib away from the Patriots is the No. 1 story of NFL Free Agency. They steal the Patriots’ best defensive player and best hope of defending Denver’s offense and turn a position of weakness into a strength. The Broncos have already locked up another AFC Championship.

On Spring Training Opening for Your Favorite Baseball/NCAA Football Team

I hear the pads are really poppin' in West Lafayette. Rumors are, Purdue could beat a Division I team this year.

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