Kevin Durant to the Warriors

I had thought recently that Kevin Durant leaving the Okahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs was a very real possibility so it didn’t surprise me when I saw on Twitter that this happened

I absolutely love this move. Kevin Durant absolutely made the right move here. It was too big g of a risk for him to stay and watch Russell Westbrook leave next year and break up the team. Of course there is a possibility that Westbrook has already told him that he has thought about leaving at the end of next year. 

So many people make a lot of stupid points about athletes in team sports needing championships to solidify their place in history. Why is it that so many of those same people get mad at athletes doing whatever they can to increase their chances of getting that championship? I don’t want to see anyone in Oklahoma City question his loyalty. Need I remind you that the city took a franchise from another fan base? The team has been smart in its response. No Dan Gilbert style silly letters. 

It is so hypocritical to knock someone who leaves for a better opportunity. The great Richard Deitsch rightly took Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith to task for their stupidity and hypocrisy on this subject. 

Saw this interesting tidbit from Erik Koreen . Perhaps the extra year and more money doesn’t appeal as much when they are already making ridiculous money. 

Would love it if ESPN/TNT forced NBA to schedule Warriors games earlier

Muhammad Ali

As a fanatical sports fan I have long said that if I could go back to any era in sports it would be to go back in time and watch Muhammad Ali in his prime. 

Muhammad Ali passed away Friday at the age of 74. New York Times currently has a great tribute to him up on their main page. 

Titan of Boxing and the 20th century. Hard to argue with that. He was a larger than life figure. We live in an era when so many with the power to change things for the better don’t say anything because they don’t want to piss someone off and lose endorsement dollars but he was literally willing to give it all away to stand up for what he believed in. He lost over three years in the prime of his career while going head to head against the government.  A few hours ago I came across this online and it is transcribed below too. 

Pablo Torre correctly labeled him as the “Patron Saint of not sticking to sports.” I’ve thought about this a lot over the years but can you imagine how much bigger of a star he would’ve been in the ESPN era or even in this social media era? Muhammad Ali in his prime with Twitter & YouTube at his disposal to promote his fights? He’s already the most recognizable face on the planet. His endorsement potential would’ve put Michael Jordan to shame. 

The word gets thrown around a lot these days but Muhammad Ali simply was the greatest. He was retired before I was ever born but I have grown up being a fan. Through DVDs, documentaries & the internet I have watched a ton of footage from in and out of the ring. My dad always talks about what a big deal Ali’s fights were in Pakistan and how they would be broadcasted live in an era when live sports on television just didn’t happen all that often. 
One of my favorite sports memories is him showing up in Atlanta to light the cauldron at the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics. It is still incredible to watch all these years later. At those same Olympics he received a replacement for his medal from 1960

Over the next few days and weeks we’ll see a lot of great writing on the remarkable life Muhammad Ali lived. Tim Dahlberg wrote the obituary for AP and it really was incredibly well done. The story included this great nugget on the “Rumble in the Jungle” that I had never heard before. 

Ali won over a country before he won the fight, mingling with people as he trained and displaying the kind of playful charm the rest of the world had already seen. On the plane into the former Congo he asked what the citizens of Zaire disliked most. He was told it was Belgians because they had once colonized the country.
“George Foreman is a Belgian,” Ali cried out to the huge crowd that greeted him at the airport. By the time the fight finally went off in the early morning hours of Oct. 30, 1974, Zaire was his.
“Ali booma-ya (Ali kill him),” many of the 60,000 fans screamed as the fight began in Kinshasa.

Has there ever been a trash taker like Muhammad Ali? 

Jeremy Schaap narrated a great piece on  him for ESPN late Friday night. Part of it was written by the late great Dick Schaap

MSNBC did a great job with their coverage Friday night into Saturday morning with Brian Williams anchoring. Same with ESPN who actually went commercial free for at least five hours. 

Even at this age he kept an incredibly active schedule. We’ve seen him periodically show up at sporting events in addition to all the charity work he’s done. 

He chimed in on Donald Trump’s blatant racism and ignorant comments about Muslims this election cycle. 

What Am I reading and watching today?


Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un (“We surely belong to God and to Him we shall return.”)
Earlier today my maternal grandfather passed away. He was affectionately known as Papa to his kids, grandkids, great grandkids and by pretty much everyone else including neighbors, family friends and others in the extended family. The love and respect everyone had for him was always evident but especially so over the last three weeks. 

Please remember him and our extended family in your prayers today. 

He grew to love watching basketball because his grandkids used to watch it. All of his grandkids grew to love watching Jeopardy because Papa watched it. 

I’ve been thinking about this for the past month or so. The company I work for has been in the news recently. Before he was diagnosed with dementia he would’ve called to check up on me long before I had even had a chance to tell him myself. 

He lived an incredible life. He migrated twice and established great roots in his new country each time. He traveled the world. He was a man of faith. His countless hours of volunteer work will be remembered by all who knew him and benefited from it. It resonates even more for us in the current political climate. He devoted a good chunk of his life making sure those in America who were curious about Islam knew where to reach out and get the proper learning tools. 

I would urge myself and others to donate to Why Islam and other worthy causes and to help carry on this work. 

Manti Te’o story is crazy…..not sad.

Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax

This is among the craziest sports related stories I have ever heard. His statement to ESPN only creates more questions in the aftermath of past stories. ESPN played a video of him talking about “her beauty” in a prior interview. Manti Te’o’s father was quoted in this story in October saying “she” visited him in Hawaii.

They are already people out there questioning whether this relationship wasn’t about a “her” but a “him”.

While this story has been crazy so far, lets not call it a sad one. This is what a sad Notre Dame football story looks like and it is very much real.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

“Hello World?”

It has been reported for a while but Rory McIlroy was officially introduced as a “Nike Athlete” earlier today. This puts the two biggest names in golf under the Nike umbrella and predictably Nike already has a great commercial with them.

When Tiger Woods first signed with Nike this was the commercial Nike released.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

2013 BBWAA Hall of Fame voters should be ashamed of themselves

The Baseball Writers Association of America is a joke.

This Hall of Fame vote was a joke. The five people who sent in a blank ballot should have their votes taken away. The one idiot who voted for Aaron Sele should have their vote taken away. How does Mike Piazza get under 60% of the votes? What evidence is there against him? Will the reporters who kept votes from Piazza do the same with Jeter because he played on a team with so many known PED guys?  All writers should have to make their votes public. Here is a list of people who did make it public this year. Who are the eight writers who voted for Clemens but not Bonds? How do you explain that?

Hardball Talk has a good piece on Mike Piazza.

What happens in the next few years? The ballot is about to get really crowded. Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Jeff Kent, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux all get on the ballot in the next two years.

I’ve been mentioning on twitter how so many of these guys need to lose their privilege to vote. Journalists should be reporting the news, not making it. If you don’t vote for someone because they aren’t a “first ballot” Hall of Famer, you should lose your vote. A player is either a Hall of Famer or he is not. There is no in between. Worthy guys are going to get taken off the ballot because these writers want to be the story. Just look at next year’s ballot. Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Biggio, Sosa McGriff, Maddux, Glavine, Kent, Schilling, Bagwell, Mussina, Frank Thomas. Only ten can be voted for.

Here is a full list of who is eligible in 2014.

At this point BBWAA is the biggest joke this side of congress and the NRA.

As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.

Bill O’Brien needs to stop talking about loyalty

To me there are few things more annoying in sports then a college coach who talks about loyalty when it is so obvious that they don’t mean it at all.

Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien is just the latest one.

Here is what he told

“I’m not a one-and-done guy,I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.” 

He interviewed for a job with the Cleveland Browns this week. If he made a commitment and wasn’t going to “cut and run” why did he take the interview? His buyout is somewhere north of $9 million according to Fox and that is one of the two reasons he is still the coach at Penn State with the other being that he got an extra $1.3 million courtesy of the owner of the Buffalo Bills. Why didn’t he mention that in his statement?

I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t have a problem with college coaches making the jump to the NFL because of the limited number of those jobs and the chances to get them but please spare the BS about loyalty, commitment and integrity. Bill O’Brien is not the first or the last but it is a shame that we continue to let these guys have a pass.
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.


Here we go. It is game day and the countdown is on to one of the biggest games in Rutgers Football history.

I honestly don’t think I’ll be able to fall asleep tonight. Just spent sometime watching highlights from the 2006 game on Youtube. Enjoy.
I found a couple of cool Jeremy Ito stories earlier today. The Star-Ledger did sort of a “Where is he now?” piece. The other one isn’t directly about him but you must watch this piece Tom Rinaldi did for College Gameday this past weekend.

There will always be people in this area who will thumb their noses at college football. Steve Politi of the Star-Ledger has a column out today addressing them.
As always you can leave a comment here, reach me by e-mail or Follow sahyder1 on Twitter.