“The Last Dance” Lives Up To The Hype

Originally scheduled to air in June, The Last Dance couldn’t have aired at a more convenient time for sports fans. The ten episode documentary dives into the dynasty that was the Chicago Bulls, as well as presenting the backstories and lives of former players. That only scratches the surface of what is shown in the series. As a kid in the late 90’s, I was someone who idolized Michael Jordan like countless others. While other classmates were reading books, I remember going to the library and choosing Sports Illustrated magazines to read. If MJ was on the cover, I had to get it. I also used to watch Space Jam over, and over, and over again until I could recite the entire movie. I would watch replays on ESPN of past NBA Finals series in the summer. I would try to emulate Jordan while playing ball in the backyard. Needless to say, I was excited to relive some of that magic that I had revered so much when I was younger. There is an endless number of topics I could choose to go over including the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons, the “Dream Team”, and a handful of role players, but I’m going to try to focus on subjects that stood out to me. My favorite moments from The Last Dance are a reminder of why I fell in love with not only basketball, but sports in its entirety.

Michael Jordan is the Ultimate Competitor

After watching this documentary, it’s clear that Jordan is obsessed with winning. Another way of saying that is that it is obvious he hates losing. Which is part of what drove him into becoming arguably the best basketball player of all-time. It seems like he was always willing to compete no matter the situation. He played cards on the team plane, he played baseball, he was an avid golfer, and he even gambled with his security guards before games — throwing quarters. He craved competition like no other. MJ even said it himself, “I have a competition problem.” It’s been known for years that he wasn’t exactly a nice guy, particularly to his teammates. The series shows how he used to berate them during practice, at the hotel, on the plane, or in the locker room. He was unrelenting in terms of communication towards his squad. His teammates have said that it was fine because after all, it worked. Maybe MJ’s tactics and fear mongering were too harsh, though. Some people even claim that his method was completely unnecessary. It’s a topic that is still debated to this day. I can’t help but empathize with the guys that he tormented on a regular basis. It couldn’t have been easy to take so much verbal abuse, even if they were a good sport about it after all this time. I don’t buy the whole “You wouldn’t want to be Michael Jordan for a day” sentiment, but I do understand that it can be tough being that popular. It probably wasn’t healthy for MJ to be so overwhelmingly competitive either. Constantly trying to find someone to beat, trying to get people to get on your level just so you can keep the fire alive — had to be exhausting in some way. That trait coupled with his father’s death, getting mobbed at every corner, and feeling like you have an obligation to perform your absolute best every game will break a person down. Kudos to all the people around him that were there for him when needed. Whether or not Jordan was in the right, in the wrong, or somewhere in between — leadership always comes with a price. Possibly my favorite scene of this entire show was the powerful ending of the seventh episode, where Jordan gives a brief explanation as to why he was the way he was. Nearly on the verge of tears, he calls for a break.

Highlights, Highlights, and more Highlights

There were plenty of visually appealing clips from old Bulls games — highlights that merit being played forever. Watching Jordan’s ridiculous dunks, lay-ups, passes, etc. are always a treat. Not to mention, all of his most iconic moments that are engraved in our memories.

I enjoyed watching Scottie Pippen flying up and down the court as well, including some clips from college that I had not seen before. Pippen not only was a tenacious defender, he also had his share of posters too. As amazing as Mike was, Chicago never becomes a dynasty without #33.

Dennis Rodman was a player that every team would love to have. He knew what his role was and he played it to a tee. Watching him scrap for rebounds, dive for loose balls, throwing full court passes, and block shots is astounding. As Pippen stated in the documentary, Rodman fit like a glove in Chicago’s system.

Another reason why these highlights were sensational is because they were accompanied by an exceptional selection of music. Practically every clip was adjoined with songs that were prominent in the respective time frame. Spotify has the playlist if you’re interested, I’ve been listening to it quite often since it’s release: *Link below*


NBA Crowds Were Raucous Back In The Day

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The crowds today can raise the decibel level but it’s evident that they don’t compare to what they used to be like. Every playoff game had every fan on their feet, yelling and cheering their guts out. They were full of passion. I’m sure there’s several reasons as to why they’ve simmered down, but it’s definitely not the same. It could be because of ticket prices — they are now higher than ever before. The most passionate fans may not be able to afford them. I would argue that technology has played a role, too. It’s convenient to stay home and watch the game on your big screen TV. Back then, you didn’t have people staring at their smartphones all the time, either. It’s unfortunate that we don’t see these hostile environments in the league too much anymore, but times are always changing — for better or worse.

Dennis Rodman Being Dennis Rodman

(Via ClutchPoints)

Any guy that joins the “NWO” during an ongoing NBA Finals is a legend in my book. He also took a vacation to Vegas in the middle of the ’98 season. He changed his hair color several times, partied hard, had an eccentric wardrobe, and almost committed suicide. Despite his problems off the court, Rodman dedicated himself to working hard on the court. He was a tenacious rebounder, as well as a pest on defense. Like Pippen, he overcame poverty and made a name for himself at a small college. It was cool to see him expound on how he would study players in order to be in the best possible position to grab rebounds. In the documentary Rodman says, “I lived in the street for two years. I could have been a drug dealer. I could have been dead. I don’t know why I never did that drug stuff, but I never did. I’d just sit there and watch them do it.” Instead of becoming what he saw happening around him, he became a Hall of Famer.

The Memes

Get ready to see all of these photos on Twitter for years to come. An array of wonderful pictures that can be captioned with an infinite choice of words.

“The Flu Game” Had Nothing To Do With The Flu

(Via USA Today)

There have always been conspiracy theories about whether Jordan really had the flu during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. That was finally put to rest in the ninth episode of the series. On the night before Game 5, the Bulls were staying in Park City, Utah — a town about 40 minutes east of Salt Lake City. MJ’s personal trainer Tim Grover and longtime friend George Koehler were in the hotel room with him. Around 10 p.m., Jordan got hungry, so they started to call several restaurants around the area. Nearly every place was closed, except for one pizzeria. When the pizza was delivered, there were five guys that showed up. This raised a red flag with Grover, but I guess MJ was so hungry he didn’t seem to care. Apparently, Mike ate the entire pizza himself (Finally, something I have in common with him). In the middle of the night, he started throwing up left and right — continuing for about 20 hours until tip-off. He couldn’t hold anything down and stayed in bed all day. It’s quite a bizarre story when you think about it. Was the pizza intentionally poisoned? If so, how did the pizzeria know MJ was staying at that particular hotel? Why on earth would five guys show up just to deliver one pie? Either way, it didn’t matter because Jordan ended up scoring 38 points and hitting the game winner. “The Food Poison Game” doesn’t sound as provocative as “The Flu Game”, but sometimes urban legends are meant to be debunked.

Nike Strikes Gold

(Via Logolynx)

In 1984, Nike was widely known as a company that sold track shoes. They weren’t generating tens of billions of dollars in revenue like they are today. Converse was actually the official shoe partner of the NBA at the time. Some of the best players in the game wore them — including Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas, Mark Aguirre, Kevin McHale, and Bernard King. As a rookie, Jordan wanted to join that A-List group as well. However, Converse did not think a rookie could become bigger than the stars they already had. When they were no longer an option, Jordan wanted to sign with Adidas. The company with the three stripes turned him down also, though. Adidas had stated that they did not want to sign any basketball players and that making a basketball shoe wasn’t a possibility for them at the time. Oops. After some convincing from his mother, Jordan met with Nike and the rest is history. They agreed to giving Jordan his own signature shoe, as well as a $250,000 contract as a rookie. The expectation was at the end of year four they hoped to sell $3 million of Air Jordans. In the first year they sold $126 million. They had struck gold. It’s been over two decades since MJ played in the NBA and he is still one of the most recognizable figures in the world. To this day, people of all walks of life still buy many different types of Jordan’s shoes. The brand is worth north of $10 billion, in addition to the billions of dollars in profits it has generated over 35 years and it’s impact on sales of other Nike-branded products. It shows no signs of slowing down as the brand is present and growing. It proved to be a multi-billion dollar gamble that paid off for Nike. It’s crazy to think that if not for Deloris Jordan, an entire culture as we know it could’ve existed in a different setting. Way to go, Mom.

Could The Bulls Have Won A Seventh Championship?

(Via BleacherReport)

Even though the documentary was often negative towards management, including former GM Jerry Krause, they were critical to the franchise’s success as well. They made multiple smart moves including trading for Scottie Pippen, drafting Horace Grant and Toni Kukoč, as well as acquiring Dennis Rodman. Unfortunately though, they did not want to keep Head Coach Phil Jackson or Scottie Pippen around after the ’98 season. They were looking to rebuild with Jordan, having faith they could still be contenders. Of course, there was no way Jordan was sticking around without the guys that helped shape the organization. In the documentary, Michael says that they all would’ve signed a one year deal if it meant they could have a realistic shot at getting ring #7. It makes you wonder if they could’ve did it again after three-peating twice. Due to a lockout, that following season did not start until February 5, 1999 — after a new six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. All 29 teams played a shortened 50-game regular season schedule and the 16 teams who qualified for the playoffs played a full post-season schedule. That would have been beneficial for Chicago, for obvious reasons. Chicago against San Antonio is an epic Finals matchup that was potentially robbed from fans to witness. Jordan says that it was maddening for him choosing to retire, knowing they had another run in them.

The Bulls Dynasty Is Among The Best In Sports History

(Via ESPN)

Along with the Boston Celtics teams of the late 50’s/early 60’s, the Chicago Bulls teams of the 90’s were the best ever in the NBA. They had the best player, co-star, head coach, and management in the league for all six titles. It’s fun to debate and compare teams and players from previous eras to today’s game, but it’s an impossible task. Evolution continues in basketball, decade after decade. In ten years, it will look different again. That’s just the way it is. I love the NBA and always will, but it bums me out that it may be a while before we see a dynasty like this again, if ever. MJ and Chicago were largely responsible for advancing the NBA into the new millennium, as the late NBA Commissioner David Stern said himself. The NBA was not universally beloved worldwide until Michael Jordan came along. The determination, the drive, the chemistry, and the heart that the Bulls had is something you don’t see too much of anymore and I think that’s why those teams were admired so much. It’s not a knock on the league in today’s game — it’s just an example of how it has evolved. It doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce though, and that’s why this documentary was so refreshing. The Last Dance is an expression of why so many of us loved the 90’s and why we still love basketball now. The Chicago Bulls were the perfect representation for each of those things.

17 NFL Matchups To Look Forward To – Week to Week

The 2020 NFL Draft drew its best ratings ever last April – which wasn’t a surprise, considering the circumstances. I know tons of fans are missing sports, so we will take what we can get until everything returns to normal. Recently, the NFL officially released the entire 2020 schedule, despite being subject to change due to the pandemic. It’s anyone’s guess as to what the world will look like by August or September. Hopefully in some way, shape, or form there will be football played this upcoming season. Either way, it’s fun to look ahead and anticipate certain games. Here’s my picks for the most enticing matchups, one for each week of the regular season.

Week 1: Buccaneers at Saints

(via ClutchPoints)

It’s going to be weird seeing Tom Brady in a different uniform after he spent 20 years in a Patriots jersey. There’s a ton of hype around Tampa Bay’s team – particularly their offense. Rob Gronkowski even came out of retirement to join his former quarterback amongst a talented roster. Right out of the gate we will see if they can start with a bang against their division foe, the Saints. New Orleans has one of the best home environments in the league so it should be rocking, if there are fans in the stands.

Week 2: Rams at Eagles

Jared Goff and Carson Wentz were the top two draft picks in the 2016 NFL Draft. So far, those two picks have worked out, for the most part. Goff has been to the Super Bowl, while Wentz has a Super Bowl ring – granted he was injured and was not the starter. I’m interested to see if Goff can get back to being what he was in 2018, or if he will regress like last season. Wentz on the other hand, cannot seem to stay healthy enough to make it to the post season. Maybe this is the year he finally plays in the playoffs, or could it be time for rookie Jalen Hurts to step in and be the guy? That’s a storyline to watch for.

Week 3: Chiefs at Ravens

(via ClutchPoints)

Many people thought this would be the AFC Championship game last season. Baltimore was eliminated in convincing fashion, after having a remarkable regular season. Kansas City, of course, won their first Super Bowl in 50 years. Led by, arguably, the best player in football – Patrick Mahomes aims to repeat with another title for the Chiefs Kingdom. Baltimore has MVP Lamar Jackson, who is just getting started in what seems to be a long and successful career. Two of the best teams in the NFL dueling on a Monday Night? Sold.

Week 4: Patriots at Chiefs

A new era begins in New England and there is uncertainty if the Patriots will continue to be the most consistent franchise in the NFL. At this moment in time, we’re not sure who will be their quarterback, but whoever it is will have big shoes to fill. They do, however, still have the best head coach – maybe of all time. That always helps. They have a shot here early in the season to make a statement and beat the defending champs.

Week 5: Vikings at Seahawks

This was a fantastic game last season in primetime, so it’s only fitting that we get a rematch. Sunday night in Seattle is a special place. This could also have playoff implications down the line, so it’s sure to be another significant and thrilling contest.

Week 6: Packers at Buccaneers

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have faced off against each other twice in their careers, a split series. Let’s hope that both guys are healthy so we get to witness only the third ever meeting between the two future Hall of Famers.

Week 7: 49ers at Patriots

San Francisco went all the way to the Super Bowl last season, as they look to try and finish the job this time around. Jimmy Garoppolo and Bill Belichick will reunite in Foxboro after four years.

Week 8: Titans at Bengals

(via ClutchPoints)

Tennessee sets their sight on improving from last year’s victory in the Wildcard. Derrick Henry is an animal, but he needs help if they want to be a serious contender. For Cincinnati, it is a new beginning with Joe Burrow and company. I believe this will be a more than solid matchup, and it should be a good measuring stick to where both teams will be midway through the season. The Bengals have a chance to play spoiler against an assortment of teams this year – let’s see if Burrow is as good as advertised. Ryan Tannehill now gets to start from day one, so we’ll find out if he can build some more chemistry with the talented weapons he has around him.

Week 9: Steelers at Cowboys

What a classic encounter this is! I don’t even care what either of their records will be by this point, the history of the names alone make it worth watching. No I am not sucking up, I actually think these two teams have the most bandwagon fans in the league. However, that doesn’t strip away the fact that they are both quintessential NFL franchises — just enjoy the game.

Week 10: Bills at Cardinals

(via ClutchPoints)

The Cardinals scooped up DeAndre Hopkins who will be matched up at times with Tre’Davious White. That battle will, without a doubt, be a blast to check out. Kyler Murray and Josh Allen like to run around and do crazy things too, so this should be entertaining in more ways than one.

Week 11: Titans at Ravens

Here’s your rematch of the AFC Wildcard Round from last season. Tennessee stunned the masses last season after their convincing win against Baltimore. A chance for the Titans to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with. It’s a chance for the Ravens to claim some sweet, sweet revenge.

Week 12: Chiefs at Buccaneers

Yeah I know, again with these teams? I’m a sucker for the QB battles. Sorry, not sorry. Besides, it could be a wild shootout. This will be a fantasy lover’s delight. Easy choice.

Week 13: Colts at Texans

(via ClutchPoints)

This game usually has playoff implications and with the Titans sitting there, the stakes are even higher now in the AFC South. We will discover how much Philip Rivers has left in the tank, and if Houston can manage to make the playoffs for the third straight year. This will be the first meeting of two for Indianapolis and Houston, so it may not be do or die but it will give one of them the upper hand late in the year.

Week 14: Steelers at Bills

It’s going to be cold, it’s going to be ugly, it’s going to be hard hitting. A massive game in the back half of the season that will presumably have a lot on the line in the AFC playoff race. Count me in.

Week 15: Chiefs at Saints

* See Week 12

Week 16: Eagles at Cowboys

(via ClutchPoints)

If history tells us anything, the winner of this game will win the NFC East. Enough said.

Week 17: Seahawks at 49ers

What a white hot rivalry this has been for the past several years. The stakes will be mighty and the fireworks never fail to appear in this one. Get your popcorn ready.

Now we wait and see if football will be here on time, or later. Keep watching those replays and highlights to hold you over until then. We will get through this together, whether there will be fans in the stands or not. Stay safe, stay healthy, and don’t draft a quarterback in the first round of your fantasy draft.

UK leaps into March by winning the SEC

After coming up short-handed in the past two seasons, Kentucky spends their Leap Day bringing the SEC regular season championship back to Lexington for the 49th time in school history. The Wildcats defeated the Auburn Tigers in a 73-66 win. Kentucky was led by Immanuel Quickley with 18 points and 12 rebounds, as four UK players scored in double figures. The competition was a physical, “grind it out” game with a combined 23% three-point percentage between the two teams. A big run in the first half and free throws may have been the deciding factor in the matchup between the Tigers & Wildcats. The Cats shot an impressive 82% free throw percentage from the stripe to will Kentucky to another SEC regular season title under John Calipari.

With the regular season wrapping up and the postseason approaching, Kentucky will enter March with eight straight wins – and 12 of their last 13 games. In my opinion, if UK can continue this win streak, they could make a great case for a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The early losses continue to haunt their resume – but with some of the teams ahead of Kentucky losing, the gap is narrowing for UK to obtain a higher seed. Here is the latest bracketology on ESPN from Joe Lunardi:

Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

As unpredictable as this college basketball season has been, it would be nearly impossible to predict the destination for the Wildcats as of now. Until Selection Sunday, I’m not sure which region Kentucky will be placed or if they will be a two or three seed. Nothing would shock me at this point. I believe the fanbase should be rooting for a two seed to secure the easiest road possible, or a spot in the Midwest region. Playing in Indianapolis would be an advantage for UK with the Big Blue Nation behind them. We are only a couple weeks away from Selection Sunday, so it will be something to keep an eye on going forward. Where do you think the Cats will end up?

Let’s Be Honest — No One Enjoys Virginia Basketball

Last season in 2019, I was the first person to admit that I was completely wrong about the Virginia Cavaliers. Even though I had always believed that Tony Bennett was a fantastic head coach, I just could not fathom the idea that he would win a championship with his system. Especially after being the first ever number one seed to lose to a sixteen seed the year prior. It was a loss that was so historic and monumental — one that I did not think a team would recover from. I remember all of the jokes and the mockery on social media that lasted for months. The Cavaliers were not only a laughing stock, but also were a proverbial punching bag for fans across the country.

Sure enough, that only fueled the fire for what happened the following year. Virginia proved all of the doubters wrong and became the National Champions. What a statement that was! Kudos to that squad for coming back and shutting everyone up. I didn’t think they would be able to score enough points to accomplish it, but they did. I have since vowed to myself that I would never again claim that Bennett’s system is built for failure in this day and age. If it happened once, it could happen again. That being said, I think I speak for most hardcore college basketball fans when I say this: I really, really, hope they don’t win again.

Senior Forward Mamadi Diakite

The Cavaliers have certainly earned my respect, but the hatred has never went away. It’s not a hatred of the university, the fans, the players, or the coach. For example, while Malcolm Brogdon attended UVA, I thought he was one of the best players in the country. Hell of a player in the NBA too. What it boils down to is that I cannot stand the way they play the game. Even when they were more than competent on offense last year, I still loathed watching them. Watching Virginia play is like watching “The Blair Witch Project.” You’re intrigued until you realize nothing is going on. You’re waiting for the exciting, heart racing moment to be revealed, but it never happens. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the fundamentals. They set stone wall screens, shoot mid range shots, and their pack line defense is always among the best. Those are some things that are somewhat of a lost art in today’s game. That is where the problem lies, though. Virginia sets basketball back fifty years. The defense is so elite but the offense is usually so horrendous that almost every single game is a struggle. It’s like watching a tug of war between two people that are asleep. It’s that damn snail paced offense that kills me. If they played faster even by the smallest of margins, it wouldn’t be such a train wreck. You might still miss a thousand shots, but at least you weren’t holding the ball until the shot clock expires. If I was a UVA fan I would despise it too! They have to see it every single week! I have nothing but admiration for the season ticket holders, you each have the patience of a God.

After losing their three stars in Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, and De’Andre Hunter, I was interested to see how they would fare this time around. It turns out that UVA has regressed substantially this season. Newsflash: Those three players I just mentioned were very, very good. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to replace them, but I didn’t think they would be as bad as they are. We are already halfway through this year and right now Virginia’s record is a mediocre, 12-6 overall. They have no wins against any teams currently in the Top 25 and already have three losses at home. As expected, they still are a top notch defensive team as they rank number one in scoring defense. They allow just under fifty points a game. Their problem this year is that they cannot score. They are one of the worst in the country, scoring a dreadful 55.5 points a game. Let me tell ya, It’s unbearable to sit and watch more than ever before. If you do decide to do just that, I suggest you have someone there to watch it with you. It might help ease the pain by sharing your misery with another.

John Paul Jones Arena

Now some of you might say, “Well, how about you just stop watching them?” Believe me, I don’t go out of my way in doing so. However, I try to watch as many games as possible; being a basketball junkie will do that to you. If I don’t watch, how am I supposed to know how good they are when I fill out my bracket in March? The eye test are as important as the stats and record in my book. Is it worth the torture? Probably not, but then again, that’s what you get with following sports anyway. In conclusion, I just want to reiterate my sentiments here. I don’t hate Virginia, I just hate the system. I think that’s fair. Even some of your most loyal fans would agree with me. If it works, it works and it definitely has for them over the past few years. So I can see why they probably don’t care as much — they’ve got their title. That being said, that’s not the point here. The point here is that we all just need to be honest with ourselves and admit that none of us enjoy watching them. Even the media folks who praise them on a daily basis should just come out and say it. No one will judge you. One of my many desires in sports is for Virginia basketball to be irrelevant again so we can all move forward. Until then I will keep watching this paint dry. By the way, I actually do like “The Blair Witch Project.” It was the best analogy I could come up with.

Five reasons to be optimistic about Louisville Basketball going into 2020

After another loss to their rival, I’ve noticed that a good majority of Louisville fans are down on this team. I understand the frustration, and I know it gets old losing that game year after year. With that being said, don’t worry because I’m here to ease the pain with some cold hard facts opinions. This team is a contender. Cards fans should still be looking forward to what’s yet to come into the new year. Here are FIVE reasons why you should be excited AND confident about these Cards:

1. They are one of the best defensive teams in the country.

In what was a major issue for Head Coach Chris Mack in his first season at Louisville, defense is not a problem this year. It may not be the stifling, defensive presence they once had under Rick Pitino, but it is a force to be reckoned with. They don’t block a lot of shots and they may not force many turnovers, but what they can do is make you uncomfortable. They are a tall, lengthy team (especially in the frontcourt) and they’ve made teams take difficult shots with that pack line defense. They are in the top 20 in scoring defense and in the top 30 in three point field goal defense, with opponents only shooting 27.7% from long range against them. UofL’s best defensive performance came against Michigan, a team that averages 79 points a game. Against UofL, they scored an abysmal 43 points. Sure, it may not be the full court, in your face, smothering defense like they played in the past. Nonetheless, it’s still a strong and effective attack that will win them in tons of games in the gauntlet of the ACC.

2. They have a rising star in Stephen Enoch.

When Stephen Enoch transferred from UConn to Louisville, I’m not sure if anyone thought he would end up being a premier big man in college basketball. After all, he barely played at UConn. He didn’t show many signs of potential, let alone that he could be a reliable contributor to a top ranked team. His first season for the Cards was up and down, at times looking like a liability and other times looking like the best player on the floor. In fact, he was just that when Louisville fell to Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament. Afterwards, Enoch announced that he was returning for his senior year and since that game, he hasn’t looked back. This season he is averaging just under 12 points a game along with grabbing 7 rebounds per contest. He was UofL’s best option on offense against UK and frankly, I think he deserves more touches. He’s developed a fantastic post game, can shoot from the outside, and is a terrific free throw shooter. If Louisville wants to make a run in March, this is a guy that needs to have more opportunities come his way. I still believe we have yet to see the best version of Enoch, which has to make the fanbase hopeful.

3. Jordan Nwora WILL BE FINE.

Nwora was dreadful against Kentucky, leading to a mass level of criticism from fans on social media and other outlets alike. Most of the criticism being aimed at the fact that he disappears in the biggest of games. Which happens to be a narrative that I don’t think is necessarily true. He does tend to play ‘hero ball’ and absolutely does have games where he seems to be unexplainably absent. That being said, where in the world would Louisville be without Jordan Nwora? Even though Stephen Enoch is blossoming, this is still Nwora’s team. If he decided to leave for the NBA instead of coming back, this squad would not be a contender. This team needs him to be the best player, as well as their leader. He will still have games where we aren’t sure why he’s jacking up tough shots or simply not being aggressive. There will also be games where he scores 25 or more and plays like an All-American. You hope that the latter is more of the case for the rest of the season. I think that is something that will hold true. Trust me on this guys, Nwora will be more consistent than not going into conference play.

4. They may have found clarity at Point Guard.

If the UofL fanbase was honest, before the UK game they would’ve told you their biggest weakness was their back court. Particularly, the point guard position. It’s not that Darius Perry is a bad player, by any means. Perry is averaging 4.5 assists per game, which is triple the amount of what he averaged the three years prior. Not to mention the fact that he is a formidable on ball defender, possibly the best on the team. However, what Louisville needs is more scoring, movement, direction, and consistency at the position. Playmaking to be more specific. Nearly every championship team has had a terrific starting point guard. Even to this day, it’s still the most important position in college basketball. Like I stated, Perry is a fine player but I’m not sold on him being “the guy”. Interestingly enough, we weren’t sure if they had a better option. Until Saturday, the Saint Joseph’s transfer Lamarr Kimble and freshman David Johnson had not showed that they could take over the starting job. “Fresh” Kimble who is a senior, finally showed that poise and experience you would expect from a senior guard. Against UK, Kimble had a solid 12 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals. On the stat line, it doesn’t set the world on fire, but he played as good as this team would need him to. “Fresh” made some nice passes, was getting into the lane making tough baskets, and most importantly did not turn the ball over. Now this is just one performance, but I do think Kimble will get more minutes and possibly take over the starting role. For now, it’s just good to see that they have depth there. The shooting guard position is a different story, but let’s see how this point guard situation shakes out. Kimble could be the answer.

5. The ACC isn’t as tough this season.

I have no idea what the best conference is this season because college basketball is all over the place this year. What I do know is that Louisville’s path should not be as treacherous as it normally is in conference play. At the moment, only three teams left on the Cards schedule are ranked – Virginia, Duke, and Florida State. Of course, it’s still hard to win the road no matter who you play and there’s still tons of talent in the ACC, but it’s not a monster this time. North Carolina lost Cole Anthony and now might have their worst roster in years. Georgia Tech and Clemson are at .500, Wake Forest and Syracuse aren’t a threat, and UofL has already beaten Miami and Pittsburgh handily. Even the three teams who are ranked arguably had better rosters last season. I’m not saying it will be a cake walk by any means, but Louisville upgraded from last season and I’m not sure I could say the same about the other top teams in the ACC. This is as great an opportunity as UofL has ever had to win the conference.

This concludes the first ever post I have published on our website! I’m not going to lie, I’m giddy as can be. No, really I am. I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and I hope we all can accomplish some personal goals for 2020.

College Football Pigskin Pick ‘Em

Think you know College Football? Views From The 502 is hosting a “Pigskin Pick ‘Em” league for a chance to win a 50/50 jackpot! First place & second place CASH PRIZES. For only $20, you can pick all College Football Bowl games (against the spread) for a chance to win the cash prizes! Learn how to earn a FREE ENTRY by following Views From The 502 on Facebook, Twitter & other social media platforms. For more details on how to win the free entry or enter the contest, email us: viewsfromthe502podcast@gmail.com or call/text Tyler Hicks: (502) 794-3691.


Welcome to Views From The 502 – Three guys from Louisville, KY discussing the latest sports, news, & nonsense!

Nick Coleman, Tyler Hicks, & Ryan Williams are three passionate sports fans that live in Louisville. This podcast/blog was created in January 2019 as a way to express their opinions on UK/UofL athletics, as well as other college & professional sports.

Although we love to debate basketball, football, & other topics – our top goal is to entertain our audience. We love to joke, laugh, & create ideas that others can enjoy!

Join #VFT502 for our weekly podcast talking everything 502. You can listen to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, & Google Podcasts. Also, watch full episodes on YouTube! Like, comment, & subscribe for new content every week!