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Sports, TV, NBA, NFL, culture. Words at SI's Cauldron, Sports Raid, Action Network, others @wheatonbrando ✞
Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard are NBA superstars, deserving of a Team USA position. But are they enough?
Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard are NBA superstars, deserving of a Team USA position. But are they enough?
NBC Sports Network // Xfinity

THE 1988 SEOUL OLYMPICS ENDED IN MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT FOR TEAM USA. Despite being led by college stars Danny Manning and David Robinson along with legendary coach John Thompson, Team USA failed in its quest for gold. The Americans lost by six to the Soviet Union in the semifinal and took home a disappointing, embarrassing bronze.

How could a loaded team like that lose to other Olympic amateurs? By not playing against them, as it turns out. Basketball professionals were not allowed to compete in the 1988 Olympics, but teams like USSR got around the rules by listing their guys as…


Photo by fotografierende on Unsplash

WELL, WE WILL CERTAINLY NEVER FORGET THE YEAR 2020. For better and (mostly) for worse, 2020 will live on in our memories as one of the most difficult years of our lifetimes, for any number of reasons.

My year began difficult before the Coronavirus pandemic grabbed our attention here in the United States, thanks to a long personal illness and extended family illness, multiple hospital stays, and quarantine of our own back in January and February, before that became the normal.

In many ways, 2020 was awful. But a lot of good came out of 2020 too. It was a…


Photo by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash

WHAT WAS THE BEST TELEVISION SHOW OF THE 2010S DECADE? Best is subjective, and only you can decide what “best” truly means. Was the best TV show the most compelling? Is it one you binged in one sitting, or did you carefully savor every bite? Does the best TV show have the greatest character development or the best cinematography? It is the most gripping or the most memorable? Is the best show also the most rewatchable or is it perfect on only one watch?

The answer, of course, is any of those things, and whichever definition you choose for yourself…


Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions. But is Giannis the deserving 2021 Playoff MVP?
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions. But is Giannis the deserving 2021 Playoff MVP?
ABC // Xfinity

THE 2021 NBA FINALS HAVE WRAPPED, and the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA champions. Punctuated by 50 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are champs for the first time in exactly 50 years: a perfect 50 for 50. Antetokounmpo was magnificent in the finale, with one of the greatest NBA-title-clinching performances of all time, rightfully earning the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award — or, as we often call it, Finals MVP.

But the NBA Finals comprise just two weeks of an eternal two-month playoffs, and Finals MVP almost always goes to a guy on the championship team, usually…


Jalen Johnson has the size and athleticism of an elite wing, but is he the top small forward prospect in the 2021 NBA Draft?
Jalen Johnson has the size and athleticism of an elite wing, but is he the top small forward prospect in the 2021 NBA Draft?
YouTube

THE 2021 NBA DRAFT IS COMING, AND SOON. Even as the NBA Finals wrap up, attention is already turning toward next Thursday’s draft. It’s a top-heavy draft, with four names separating from the rest of the crowd, but it’s dealer’s choice from there, with draft boards and rankings veering all over the place. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the 2021 NBA Draft is beautiful to every scout and analyst in its own unique way.

Every NBA team needs competent wings, and as teams play bigger and faster than ever, competent wings have become the most valuable…


Evan Mobley is the best center in the 2021 NBA Draft, and Alperen Sengun is getting all the hype, but could Kai Jones be a big sleeper?
Evan Mobley is the best center in the 2021 NBA Draft, and Alperen Sengun is getting all the hype, but could Kai Jones be a big sleeper?
YouTube

IT’S THE FINAL STRETCH BEFORE THE 2021 NBA DRAFT, and this year’s extended playoffs and Finals have left us precious little time to prepare for NBA Christmas. That means it’s time to put together our big board and final positional rankings, starting today with the always-evolving centers.

No position in basketball is changing more quickly. It used to feel like centers were going extinct, with Shaq and Hakeem ancient artifacts. Heck, we’re only four seasons removed from DeAndre Jordan making All-NBA! In the modern NBA, most of the best centers are stars for what they do outside the paint, not…


Evan Mobley is one of the most complete modern big man prospects in recent memory. Could he be a better NBA player than Cade Cunningham?
Evan Mobley is one of the most complete modern big man prospects in recent memory. Could he be a better NBA player than Cade Cunningham?
YouTube

THE 2021 NBA DRAFT IS TWO WEEKS AWAY, and Oklahoma State freshman phenom Cade Cunningham locked in as the #1 pick. That should come as no real surprise. Cunningham is a 6-foot-8 guard with a 7-foot wingspan, terrific passing ability, a good shot, and size and physicality reminiscent of big wing creators like Luka Doncic and Ben Simmons.

The Detroit Pistons own the #1 pick, and while there are rumors of the Pistons trading down or considering other options, Cunningham is still an overwhelming favorite to be drafted first. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Toronto Raptors were also lottery…


Chris Paul and Devin Booker’s Suns are favorites, but Giannis Antetokounmpo will be back at some point. Can the Bucks still win this title?
Chris Paul and Devin Booker’s Suns are favorites, but Giannis Antetokounmpo will be back at some point. Can the Bucks still win this title?
ESPN // YouTube

AFTER AN ETERNALLY LONG AND GRUELING PLAYOFFS, we have finally reached the 2021 NBA Finals. The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns are the last two teams standing after a flurry of injuries and wild games. At last, Chris Paul will play in the Finals, and the Phoenix Suns were never supposed to make it this far. He’ll be pitted against Milwaukee’s two-time defending MVP, though no one knows if or when Giannis Antetokounmpo will take the court.

So when will Giannis play — and how will he look once he’s out there? Who defends Antetokounmpo for Phoenix, and how do…


The Phoenix Suns are one of the most surprising NBA Finals teams ever. Who are the 10 least likely NBA Finalists of all time?
The Phoenix Suns are one of the most surprising NBA Finals teams ever. Who are the 10 least likely NBA Finalists of all time?
ESPN // Xfinity

WELL, WE’VE FINALLY GOT ONE TEAM IN THE 2021 NBA FINALS, and it’s a team no one expected. Sure, the Phoenix Suns were the West 2-seed, but no one gave them much of a chance to get this far. The Suns were underdogs in their first round series against the Lakers, and they were 8.5-to-1 underdogs to make the Finals when the playoffs started and 60–1 title long shots heading into Game 4 against LA with Chris Paul ailing and the season on the brink (all odds from Sports Odds History).

That’s when everything started to break Phoenix’s direction. Anthony…


The 2021 NBA Draft order is set, and the Detroit Pistons won the #1 pick. How will the lottery play out now that we know the order? It’s mock draft time.
The 2021 NBA Draft order is set, and the Detroit Pistons won the #1 pick. How will the lottery play out now that we know the order? It’s mock draft time.
ESPN // Xfinity

THE 2021 NBA DRAFT LOTTERY TOOK PLACE TUESDAY, and the Detroit Pistons were this year’s big winner. The Pistons took home the #1 draft pick and the rights to select Cade Cunningham. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Toronto Raptors were winners too, locking in picks 2, 3, and 4 in the draft order.

The 2021 NBA Draft is only about a month away now. So with the draft order finally locked in, let’s run through a quick mock draft focus on just the lottery and see how those top 14 picks might shake out…

Brandon Anderson

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