Five Underrated Sports Moments

1) Joe Carter’s game winner 1993 World Series.

Five time All-Star Joe Carter had a near Hall of Fame career.  While his numbers don’t transition well to the analytics world that we know today, he still made an impact with his power and speed through his career. Carter spent a long time in the league making his impact most notably in the 1993 World Series where he not only sent home the Philadelphia Phillies but also gave Toronto their second straight World Series title. Carter’s homer literally won the World Series for the Blue Jays yet it seems to be ignored in history. The fact that this home run was in Toronto also makes it one of the craziest atmospheres in baseball.

2) Lance Berkman’s game tying single, game six 2011 World Series.

David Freese’s game winner will live on in baseball history.  We all tend to forget that it was actually Lance Berkman that saved the series for the Cardinals in game six. The Cardinals were down to their final out and final strike when Berkman shot a single up the middle that kept the game going for the Redbirds.  While Freese’s homer is obviously the moment that should be played over and over again, it was Berkman that made everything possible. Lance had a great career but this moment was by far the biggest of his career. 

https://www.mlb.com/video/berkman-s-game-tying-single-c19955467

3) Derek Fisher’s game winner with .4 seconds left 2004 Western Conference Semifinal.

The Lakers had plenty of guys that took the spotlight in 2004.  Shaq and Kobe were in their prime and dominating the league. Big shot Robert Horry was the guy known for hitting the game winners, hence the nickname.  However it was a shot in the 2004 Western Conference semi-final that stuck out to me. The Spurs and Lakers were battling for dominance in the Western Conference and this game was the swing that led to the win for Los Angeles.  The Lakers seemed done after the Spurs took the lead on a shot from Tim Duncan. This game was over and then out of nowhere the role player Derek Fisher launched a shot with .4 seconds on the clock and sent the fans home, giving the Lakers a 3-2 advantage in the series.  If this shot doesn’t happen we likely see the Spurs versus the Pistons in that year’s NBA Finals. 

4) DeWayne Wise saved Mark Buehrle’s perfect game. 

I watched this game live on WGN when I was in high school.  Soft tossing Mark Buehrle had a very underrated career that had a few highlight moments and one was on July 23rd 2009.  Buehrle threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. That perfect game was nearly taken away by Gabe Kapler leading off the ninth driving a ball deep to center field.  Little known DeWayne Wise was playing shallow in center and immediately broke into a full sprint back to the wall jumping up off the wall knocking the ball back into play, juggling it before hauling it in. Wise never did anything else in his career that was noteworthy but this catch was awesome and will stay in my memory forever. 

5) Hatteberg’s walk-off for 20 straight. 

We all know the story of Moneyball.  The real world story of Scott Hatteberg is still hard to believe. The former Red Sox catcher seemed like his career was over after suffering an arm injury that forced him out of the position he had played his whole career.  Hatteberg only hit 106 homers in his entire 14-year career. By far his most memorable homer was on Sept 4th 2002 when he took the first pitcher from Royals pitcher Jason Grimsley over the right field wall and gave the A’s their (at the time) record 20th straight win.  While the story was made more famous by Hollywood years later, the actual game was as dramatic as it comes. Oakland had blown a massive lead and needed the former catcher to just get on base but he swung his way into history. If you haven’t seen Chris Pratt’s portrayal of the homer you have to watch Moneyball, he absolutely crushes the performance.

Breaking down the AD Trade

The deal is finally done.  Anthony Davis finally got his wish, the six-time All-Star was traded to Los Angeles over the weekend finalizing a saga that started last season.  Davis’s wish to move on from New Orleans

Obvious winners:  Lebron James – Anthony Davis

Lebron James went from best player in the world to aging star in a two-month span during last season.  James was tasked with mentoring a group of talented unproven players.  Entering his 15th NBA season James did not have the energy to overcome the deficiencies of his team and the relative inexperience of the coaching staff.  Lebron has reached a point in his career where he can’t develop the talent, he needs established players that agree with their role on the team.  Now that he has a running mate with the same skills that he possesses, the Lakers will now just have to fill in the gaps of their roster with affordable role players.

Anthony Davis got what he wanted, moved to a franchise that will allow him to build his brand.  Davis sees himself as the future of the NBA, playing alongside the NBA’s best promoter in Lebron James as well as the center of the basketball universe LA is right where he wants to be.

No-so obvious winner:  Zion Williamson

Most would assume that Zion losing a potential All-NBA player from his potential new destination would be a bad thing. With the loss of Davis there will be no immediate team expectations.  Zion will be able to come into the league and not have the weight of immediate success on his back.  The Pelicans will now be able to build completely around their future #1 pick.  The Pelicans already transitioned to a run and gun team last season averaging the second fastest pace of play in the league, with the addition of Lonzo Ball and Williamson, Alvin Gentry should continue his upbeat play. Williamson will have a chance to excel in this situation.

Losers: Boston Celtics

Danny Ainge has done his best to rebuild the Celtics by accruing assets over the past few years.  They have yet to bring in the star that will bring the championship back to Bean Town.  Kyrie Irving was supposed to be the missing piece to the championship puzzle but he was unable to mesh with the young talent of the Celtics.  While Kyrie was the appetizer for the Celtics the main course was supposed to a be a player that Ainge could bring in to be the long term future star.  Anthony Davis seemed like the perfect fit for the organization, unfortunately Davis was added to the list of stars that seem to have no interest in playing in Boston. With Davis off of the table and Kyrie out the front door what do the Celtics do now???

Final Thoughts

Anthony Davis got what he wanted.  Good for him.  Hopefully he and Lebron mesh because it would be fun to watch.

The Pelicans got themselves the talent they need to build around.  With the #4 pick they can add a player like Darius Garland to help on the perimeter or Jarrett Culver to help on the defensive end.  If all of my personal dreams come true New Orleans could have RJ Barrett fall to them at put together a Dukes dynamic duo to build a future juggernaut. 

Both the organizations did well in this trade.  But as the old saying goes, the team that got the best player wins the trade and the Lakers undoubtable got the best player.

NBA Trade Candidates

The Washington Wizards have announced that everyone is on the market.  John Wall stands out to most as the big-ticket pick up but I see it differently.  Bradley Beal seems like the better fit for most teams.  He will bring shooting, defense and he is not as big a jerk as John Wall.  Where would he be the best fit? He has a big salary but can be worth the risk for a team looking to compete.

Unlikely but intriguing: Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are on the cusp of being great.  Eric Bledsoe has stepped up in a leadership role to go along with Giannis and Khris Middleton.  Adding a guard the caliber of Bradley Beal would put them over the top.  Beal would give them a guard that they can rely upon to handle the scoring load if Giannis is off the court.  A lineup featuring multiple All- Stars would be too much to handle.

Bucks give up: Malcom Brogdon, Tony Snell, future first rounder this trade is unlikely because Washington would want more young talent but its worth a shot.

Makes sense: Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets are in desperate need for a second star.  That star could be Bradley Beal, along side Kemba Walker they could have debatably the best backcourt in the NBA. Beal would be a much better fit along side Kemba when compared to Wall. He’s a better shooter and just generally more active when not controlling possessions. Micheal Jordan wants to make a contender out of Charlotte, refusing to move Kemba Walker.  This move could be a way to help Kemba stay at the end of the season.

Hornets give up: Malik Monk, MKG, 2019 first-rounder.  Monk would be a nice center piece for a team trying to rebuild as well as a 2019 first rounder.

Makes too much sense: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons made a splash last season adding Blake Griffin to play along side team cornerstone Andre Drummond.  This season they should make another bold move by adding Bradley Beal to the mix.  Detroit has had an ever turning ferris wheel of two guards flow through their rotation, names like Reggie Bullock, Langston Galloway, Ish Smith, Glen Robinson, and Luke Kennard have all had time playing the role of starter. These are not the cream of the crop for a team looking to contend.

Detroit currently ranks 29th in the league in three point % at just 31.6% on the season.  In todays shooter friendly NBA that is going to hold you back.  Adding Beal will force the defense to the outside and limit the double teams on the the two star bigs Griffin and Drummond.

Pistons give up: 2019 first round pick, Reggie Bullock,Stanley Johnson, and take on the full contract.

Should do it: Los Angeles Lakers

You should always place shooters around Lebron James.  Adding Bradley Beal would not only give you a shooter but a player that can be perfect as your third star after the summer. Los Angeles will likely be looking to add a big contract in the summer, many have looked at Klay Thompson as an additional piece to the puzzle, but maybe the piece could be Bradley Beal.  He is a similar player skill wise, (Klay is probably better) and you can get him for a cheap price of bench players.

The Lakers are looking to contend next year, why not make your moves now.

Lakers give up: Josh Hart, KCP, 2019 first round pick