RIP Anthony Mason

I remember watching Anthony Mason and how he was just so dominant on the floor. I wanted no part of defending him. He was just so powerful. Yet because I was still very young, I didn’t get a chance to really appreciate how great of a basketball player he was until I watched this highlight reel clip on YouTube.

I would have loved to have a guy like him on my team.

RIP Anthony. You were great to the game.

What does the future hold for Draymond Green and the Warriors?

Draymond Green becomes a restricted free agent after this season.

When the Warriors drafted Draymond Green a few years ago, I was really excited. I had watched Green play at Michigan State since his freshman year and I was very familiar with his skills. He was a player with no place, as his size, frame and athleticism wasn’t a prototype of a successful NBA player. Nevertheless, he had many great qualities and in time, could evolve into someone special.

Fast forward to now and Green is one of the most important players on the Warriors. He’s been getting praise for his ability to shut down defenders down the post and up top at the guard position. His versatility has allowed the Warriors defense to shoot up the top of the ranks in the NBA. Additionally, his offensive numbers have risen. He is still a work in progress and his deep-range shooting at times has hurt the Warriors. But overall, he’s a great asset to the team and has been so key for the Warriors ever since he was named the starter following David Lee’s struggles.

He becomes a restricted free agent after this season, meaning the Warriors can match any offer another team gives Green. The organization, including head coach Steve Kerr, has expressed desire to keep Green with the Warriors. If that’s the case, how come the team hasn’t given him an extension and risk him hitting the free agency market?

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My favorite A’s player from my childhood retires: Thank you, Mark Ellis

Last night, my favorite Oakland A’s player from my childhood announced his retirement. Mark Ellis joined the A’s in 2002 and was so consistently amazing with the team until his trade to Colorado in 2011. Even though he wasn’t a big name like Miguel Tejada or Erich Chavez, he stuck through some tough years for the team but remained professional.

Drafted by the Royals in 1999, Ellis came to Oakland with Cory Lidle in a three-team trade in 2001 for Angel Berroa, A.J. Hinch, and Ben Grieve.

“It was definitely time,” Ellis told The Chronicle on last night about his retirement. “My kids are getting older and I kind of realized it was time to do something else.”

What made him so endearing for me was that he always seemed to be clutch at the plate. But his offensive stats aren’t what made him a player with so much longevity, rather it was his defense. His .991 career fielding percentage is fifth best all time among second basemen. He even set a then record .997 fielding percentage in 2006. It still shocks me that he never won a Gold Glove in his career.

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Giancarlo Stanton’s new helmet has a pretty cool facemask

Giancarlo Stanton’s new helmet has a pretty cool facemask

I like the design. It’s personal but not over the top. This is a different kind of look the facemasks we’ve seen before and I think it works well with the overall aesthetics.

For The Win

(USA TODAY Sports) (USA TODAY Sports)

Giancarlo Stanton will step into a batter’s box for the first time Thursday since taking an 88-MPH pitch from Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers directly to the face in September.

The pitch resulted in a gruesome laceration, multiple fractures, and dental damage.

It also had many calling for better helmet protection, something Stanton’s new helmet has.

The custom-made helmet made by Schutt Sports has a faceguard and a nifty letter “G” woven into its frame. According to the Miami Herald, the faceguard has “a carbon steel frame that can withstand 100-mph pitches.”

via the Miami Herald:

Stanton wanted something that would not only protect the side of his face, but a helmet that would allow him open sight lines and freedom of movement.

The one-of-a-kind…

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Check out the Cleveland sports activity book

Remember the series of Cleveland sports coloring books that came out? Creator Scott O’Brien has unveiled his latest project: The Unofficial Cleveland Sports Activity Book.

The description from the site:

An entertaining activity book for the whole family, with puzzles and games inspired by our favorite moments from Cleveland professional sports in the past year!

The Unofficial Cleveland Sports Activity Book, 2015-16 contains 28 pages of games and activities that were inspired by our favorite moments in Cleveland sports over the past year. Includes mazes, mad-libs, a crossword puzzle, coloring pages, word hunts, connect-the-dots, bingo pages and a lot more – all inspired by Cleveland sports! Great for the whole family.

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Browns unveil tweaked helmet design and new Dawg Pound logo

The Browns are getting a new uniform this year and today they unveiled their new helmet and and alternate logo. I was hoping for big changes. Instead, the changes are minimal.

Let’s first look at the helmet. The Browns are adding a brighter shade of orange to their identity, which means their logoless helmet will remain logoless, just with a different shade of orange. And instead of a gray facemask, it is now brown. The brown facemask is a first in the NFL I believe and it adds some identity to the helmet. I actually like this change. I was hoping for a logo on the helmet but that wouldn’t work for me. The Browns will always be a team without a logo for me and they stuck with it.

Here is a word from the team:

Our updated helmet logo is reflective of today’s modern Cleveland – the design honors the past while evolving into the future. The iconic brown and white stripes stand tall over the orange helmet – a new orange color that matches the passion of the Dawg Pound. The new brown facemask represents the strength and toughness of Cleveland.

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How the Timberwolves-Rockets sleevefest uniform matchup doesn’t bother me

Sleeves are bad. But the designs are nice.

I don’t like sleeved uniforms in the NBA. In fact, any sleeve uniform I just cringe when I see them. Yet for some reason, this matchup right here doesn’t bother me. I don’t know why.

First, this is the Rockets’ Chinese New Year uniform and it actually looks really good. Aside from the sleeves, the design is simple yet still captures the identity of the Rockets team. As a one-time deal, this one actually looks like it belongs in the NBA. In fact, this seems like a design I might see in a league in China.

The Wolves, out of all the sleeved jerseys out there, have one that doesn’t offend me so much. I like it also because of the simplicity. Black is a safe color to go with when it comes to sleeves and the side panels work really well with their identity.

So in a battle of very ugly jerseys, the two that were least offensive to me met on the court tonight. If you just look away from the sleeves, these jerseys aren’t too bad.