Monthly Archives: April 2012

Sitting Down With NFL Draft Prospect Chandler Jones

Where do you think Chandler Jones will get selected at?

Mike Ortiz Jr.: Why did you choose Syracuse University?
Chandler Jones: The reason I chose SU was because my brother went to school there and I followed him

Ortiz Jr.: What was your favorite moment at Syracuse?
Jones: My favorite moment at Syracuse was winning the pinstripe bowl at the Yankees stadium.. That moment will never be forgotten

Ortiz Jr.: When you guys won the Pinstripe Bowl, whose idea was it to high five everyone while running through the snow?
Jones: I don’t think it was anyone’s idea to run and high five everyone.. It was just the moment.. The fans stuck around to watch the ending ceremony and there were hills of snow do we climbed them

Ortiz Jr.: How did you like it?
Jones: I loved the pinstripe bowl… We went on trips everyday.. We had a little money to send.. It was the time of our lives

Ortiz Jr.: Take me through a whole day at the NFL combine.
Jones: At the NFL combine I’d wake up for a drug test at 5am. Eat breakfast. Sit through NFLPA meetings for about 3 hours. Go back to the suite to search and then meet with teams all the way until 11:30pm.

Ortiz Jr.: What was it like having your Pro day at Syracuse?
Jones: Having a pro day at Syracuse was pretty…Less nerve wrecking and I felt at home and more comfortable.

Ortiz Jr.: What do you think you can bring to an NFL team?
Jones: I think that I can bring pure heart and dedication…Someone that has the potential to dominate a season.

Ortiz Jr.: Would you rather be teammates with your brother or play against him?
Jones: It does mater if me and art were on the same team or not.. I’m just glad that we both have the opportunity to play pro.

Ortiz Jr.: Has your brother given you any advice throughout this process?
Jones: My brother told me everything to expect going through drills and meetings which gave me the edge over other prospects.

Ortiz Jr.: Have you improved on anything since leaving Syracuse, if so what?
Jones: Since leaving Syracuse I’ve became a better player, man and teammate…Coach Marrone did a great job of developing me into a complete player.

Ortiz Jr.: Do you stay in contact with any of your old teammates and coaches?
Jones: I talk to almost all of my teammates via twitter and all my coaches via texting 24/7
Ortiz Jr.: What was the best advice that you’ve received and from who?
Jones: The best advice I received was from myself and my heart on making my decision to make a transition to the NFL.

Ortiz Jr.: Where do you think you’ll be selected at?
Jones: I don’t know where I will picked…I just want to play football again.

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Vote For Cam Newton: See His Campaign

Does Cam Newton have your vote?

You see advertisements all the time from people asking for your vote. Most of the time these people asking are government officials, senators, politicians, something along those lines. However, for Carolina Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton he’s asking for yours.

Posted on Youtube by SportsNationESPN, Newton in a seven minute long video pleads his case to be on the cover of this years edition of EA Sports, NFL Madden 13 video game.

With just about one day left to vote as the winner will be announced at 5 P.M. Eastern time on ESPN’s television show, Sports Nation aired on ESPN 2, Newton, is looking for all the votes he can get.

Matched up against the number sixth seed, Detroit Lions wide receiver, Calvin Johnson who lead all wide receivers last year with 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns is hard player to go up against. Though, despite facing a very notable player, Newton, is the number one seed.

Newton, NFL rookie of the year winner through for 4,051 yards last season, an NFL record for a rookie quarterback also rushed for 14 touchdowns, that too an NFL record for most rushing touchdowns by any NFL quarterback ever.

To get to the Madden Cover vote finals, Cam Newton etched out San Francisco 49ers linebacker, Patrick Willis by six percent winning, 53 percent to 47 percent of all voters. As for Johnson he dominated Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers winning by 34 percent, 67 percent to 33 percent of all voters.

So, in the second year of the Madden cover voting, does Newton have the upper hand as the number one seed? He did make a seven minute long video? Or does the number six seed, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson have the upper hand?

No one knows and no one will know, until tomorrow at 5 P.M. Eastern time.

Newton’s video is up to over 140,000 views and is still climbing and just incase you haven’t viewed Newton’s ad for the 2013 EA Sports NFL Madden video game’s cover boy, then here it is below:

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Sitting Down With University of Buffalo’s, Javon McCrea

Sitting down with big man, Javon McCrea.

Mike Ortiz Jr.: When did you begin playing basketball?
Javon McCrea: I started playing basketball when I was 6 years old. Me and my uncle use to go out and play on the Fisher Price Hoops every day.

Ortiz Jr.: What was your best moment during high school?
McCrea: My best moment in High School had to be making it to the state championship finals. It was something me and my friends/teammates talked about doing our whole basketball careers.

Ortiz Jr.: How does it feel to be your High School’s most leading scorer of all time? Also when did you break that record?
McCrea: I broke the record my senior year. I believe mid way through. It felt good to accomplish something so big. My name will never be forgotten in Newark Basketball. It feels good to say that.

Ortiz Jr.: Take me through the game where you set the section V record for most blocks in a game?
McCrea: The previous two years we lost in the sectionals round. So I was determined to change that. I knew they would double team me a lot so my teammates would have to help me out. I wanted to focus on the defensive end of the floor rather than the offensive end. So I result I ended up with 18 blocks I believe.

Ortiz Jr.: Out of all your awards, honors, and accomplishments, which one stands out the most to you?
McCrea: The regional championship trophy my teammates and I received. We all just worked hard to get that.

Ortiz Jr.: Why did you choose the University of Buffalo to play basketball at?
McCrea: I enjoy my coach. And I knew they would push me. I also wanted to start a legacy. I was aware that Buffalo hasn’t done a few things other schools have.

Ortiz Jr.: What other schools were looking at you?
McCrea: Umass, Canisuis, Niagara and, Boston University.

Ortiz Jr.: Take me through your freshman year of College, how did it feel to not only be named Freshman Conference player of the year?
McCrea: It was a great honor to be named that. The conferences freshmen were really good last year. I just stayed determined.

Ortiz Jr.: Now you have yet to make it to an NCAA Tournament yet so I want to ask you when do you think that will be?
McCrea: Next Year we will be in the NCAA tournament.

Ortiz Jr.: Also many have said over the past couple of years and especially now that the lower conferences, like the Mid American Conference, should get more NCAA bids, do you agree?
McCrea: I definitely agree. The Mid American Conference is very under-rated. There are some really good schools in this conference.

Ortiz Jr.: So far, who’s been your toughest match-up as far a player that you’ve had to matchup with?
McCrea: I don’t really have a particular player I have struggled with. It’s been difficult this year to really name someone due to the double and triple teams they throw at me.

Ortiz Jr.: Do you plan on remaining at Buffalo for the rest of your college career? Or do you plan on transferring?
McCrea: I don’t Plan on transferring away from UB. We at least have to win a championship first.

Ortiz Jr.: What’s your main goal to get out of College?
McCrea: I definitely plan on getting my degree. Graduating is big in my family. I want to make my mother proud.

Ortiz Jr.: What are your plans after College, are they the NBA? If so what do you need to do to improve to be able to play in the NBA, or do you feel that you could right now?
McCrea: I see myself playing in the NBA. Anything under the NBA will be a disappointment for me. I need to improve ever aspect in my game before I think about it. There’s always room for improvement.

Ortiz Jr.: How did it feel to play on the Under 19 USA team? Do you think playing overseas helped you improve as a player?
McCrea: The USA basketball helped me out a lot. But it also help me realize that you can play against anyone. Just because the Media says the players are better than you doesn’t mean they actually are. If you believe the media then you are hurting yourself.

Ortiz Jr.: Now despite being a sophomore you’ve already made a great name for yourself at such a young age, but do you read the draft profiles and the rankings and the articles that are said about you? If so what’s the one that sticks out?
McCrea: I haven’t seen any of the draft articles yet but that stuff does attract my family members. They really enjoy to see things like that.

Ortiz Jr.: Also have any of those articles, negative or positive, motivated you?
McCrea: I’m not the person to get motivated off articles. My motivation is playing in the NBA. It motivates me everyday. Basketball has been great to me so far but im just getting started.

Ortiz Jr.: Last question, what’s the best advice that someone has told you?
McCrea: My mom told me never to quit. If you quit then you don’t have a chance. Nothing is impossible. And I have always remembered that.

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Did The Los Angeles Lakers Trade Forward Lamar Odom To The Dallas Mavericks As A Way Of Payback To Attempt To Ruin The Mavericks Season?

Did General Manager, Mitch Kupchak and Lamar Odom plan this?

Last year when the Dallas Mavericks swept the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-0 in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, as they defeated the Lakers at home 122-86, the Lakers didn’t go away quietly.

Two “cheap” shot fouls by Lakers Forward, Lamar Odom who went after Mavericks’ star Forward, Dirk Nowitzki and the other by Lakers Center, Andrew Bynum who delivered an elbow to Mavericks Guard, J.J. Barea.

Many called it “Unnecessary,” “Outrageous,” “Shocking,” and even “Bush League,” as ESPN analyst, Mike Tirico called it, “And that is one of the biggest bush league things I’ve ever seen! That is terrible!”

The Mavericks would go onto defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder and then the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, crowning themselves as the 2010-11 NBA Champions.

However, their meeting with Odom, one of the two Lakers’ players involved in the “Bush League” acts would become a lot closer; like every day closer.

After being involved in a trade that was going to send New Orleans Hornets Guard, Chris Paul to the Lakers and Odom to the Hornets, as well as many other players swapping teams, the trade however, would get vetoed. Due to the trade veto by NBA commissioner, David Stern, Odom would be sent back to Los Angeles where he then said he felt “disrespected.”

His reasoning for feeling “disrespected” by the Lakers organization was due to being traded. As a result to the trade that was eventually vetoed, Odom said that he couldn’t return to Los Angeles to play and as a result wanted to be traded.

So, the Lakers honored his wish and on December 11th they traded him to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a first round draft pick and an $8.9 million trade exception.

When the trade became public, many were shocked that the Lakers, as well as the Mavericks made this deal. Bringing in a player (Odom) who shouldered your superstar (Nowitzki) intentionally? That seems to be a bit bizarre to add a player like that to your team. However, the Mavericks did it and they sure did pay the price.

Odom who played in all 82 games for the Lakers the season before and who averaged 14.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg, and 3.0 apg. as well as the NBA’s sixth man of the year, transitioned to Dallas as a player who didn’t deserve to even have a roster spot. And the worst part about the move too, was that you could just tell that Odom didn’t want to be there.

He drew the final straw, sources said during Saturday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies where after only playing four minutes in the first half, owner; Mark Cuban went into the locker room at FedExFourm Arena where he confronted Odom asking him pretty much, are you in or are you out? Sources said that Odom then responded very angrily and as a result it showed as in the second half Odom remained on the bench as the Mavericks would go onto lose 89-94.

So, as a result to his poor play (6.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 1.7 apg.) and lack of interest, Odom as of Monday was placed on the inactive list by the Mavericks ending his 2011-12 NBA season.

“We’re in our playoff time right here,” Donnie Nelson said. “We need to win games. We got to be able to look down that bench and count on folks to be consistent. Unfortunately with him in his state right now, he’s just not capable of doing that.”

Now seeing this whole thing unravel from the end of that game four game, in Dallas back in May of last year, all the way up until now, was this Odom trade to Dallas a set-up? Was it a way of “pay-back” by the Lakers?

Staples Center is only right down the road from Hollywood.

So is it really possible that General Manager, Mitch Kupchak and Lamar Odom, truly discussed this on that Friday, December 9th, two days before the trade that sent Odom to Dallas?

Did they honestly talk about ruining the Mavericks season, a team at the time who brought in new players and looked almost un-stoppable as they for sure looked like they were going to repeat?

No one knows as what went on in that meeting on that Friday, December day. As it remains private and most likely will remain private for the rest of their lives. However, is it a possibility that they discussed that? Yes.

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Things Are All Good In Orlando

Who will leave first? Or will both Howard and Van Gundy remain in Orlando together?

After last weeks, he said, he said fiasco when Orlando Magic head coach, Stan Van Gundy said that Center, Dwight Howard asked the Magic front office for him (Van Gundy) to be fired.

However, senior vice President, Pat Williams said Monday that he would like to see both Howard and Van Gundy to surpass this problem and remain with the Orlando Magic franchise for a very longtime.

As for how they could cure the problem? Williams said that they could simply do it by winning.

“Finish well and then have a wonderful run in the playoffs — that would probably cure most of the issues,” Williams told The Associated Press before a scheduled speaking appearance at Michigan State University. “I don’t know that you can find a better NBA coach than Stan Van Gundy out there.”

The Magic would capitalize on a 88-82 win on Saturday night in Philadelphia as they would defeat the Detroit Pistons at home Monday winning, 119-89 without Dwight Howard.

As for the reason why Howard didn’t play against the Pistons Monday night was not due to the off the court incident with Van Gundy and himself as it was due to back spasms, a problem that has caused Howard to miss time before.

As for the Magic, they’re currently in third in the South East division and are seven games back from the first place Miami Heat who are 40-15 on the season. As for how the Magic stand in the Eastern Conference as a whole, they’re sixth and nine games back out of first, which is owned by the Chicago Bulls, who are 43-14.

Williams added that Van Gundy admitted that he can be too negative sometimes. Though, he doesn’t put all the blame on Van Gundy as he said that while Howard has “grown up a lot” that there’s still room for him to mature.

“I think this shook them both up — that’s my opinion,” Williams said of the incident last week. “I think they’re going to be better for it.”

The Magic travel to Washington on Tuesday, where they will face the depleted 13-44, Washington Wizards.

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Does Fab Melo’s Decision To Go Pro Play A Role In Nerlens Noel’s Decision?

If Noel stays true to his word, then Fab Melo deciding to go to the NBA makes Noel's decision, Syracuse.

With less than a couple hours left until Kentucky and Kansas take the floor for the 2011-12 NCAA Championship game both, Kentucky fans and coaches will have another thing on their mind; Nerlens Noel. Where will he go?

Last week, Noel released a statement saying that he has cut his list down to three teams: Kentucky, Georgetown, and Syracuse.

Now the statement really hurt Syracuse fans as Noel, around December, said that if Center Fab Melo declared for the NBA draft, that he would sign with Syracuse. However, his statement of his three teams came to Orange fans as a shock as it was pretty much clear that Melo was headed to the NBA with all the off the court issues that he was dealing with. However, Melo didn’t technically declare yet, so for Orange fans to get question or get angry with Noel about cutting his list, were wrong.

Now late last night, Orange fans would get some bitter-sweet news as Center Fab Melo according to several sources, signed with an NBA agent, Arn Tellem.

“Fab Melo has signed with Arn Tellem, according to multiple sources, which means he obviously isn’t returning to Syracuse, as expected,” said Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

This news now meant that Noel would choose Syracuse as his school to sign with (saying that what he said back in December was still true).

Well even if it wasn’t still true, Nerlens Noel still cared about Melo’s decision enough to post it on twitter, as he asked, “Did Fab Melo declare for the NBA Draft?”

Then a couple hours later, Noel’s best friend, Syracuse guard, Michael Carter-Williams, who has been said to be another reason why Noel would choose Syracuse, mentioned Noel in a tweet saying, “@NerlensNoel3 all I know is Cuse fans have shown you the most love by far!!!!!”

Now Noel has yet to decide where plans to go next fall or he has yet to update the status of his decision. However, if what he said back in December, about Fab Melo declaring was really true. Then expect Nerlens Noel to be suiting up in a Syracuse Orange jersey next season.

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