Steve Kallas (TheSTN) – On The Knicks, The Return Of Amar’e & Jeremy Lin

The New York Knicks, off to a fantastic 21-9 start, have certainly stamped themselves as a legit NBA team this season.  A championship team?  Well, that’s unlikely because they are, to date, a live-by-the-three-die-by-the-three team and undersized as well.

But, clearly, by bringing in a guy like Jason Kidd (the MVP of the Knicks after Carmelo, who may very well be the MVP of the whole league) to solidify the offense, the defense and the team in the locker room and on the court, the Knicks are an interesting team to watch and a team that will win 50 or more games this season.

But what exactly does that mean for them, short- and long-term, as a championship team?  Well, for decades, New York Ranger fans had to live with “1940, 1940” as a chant that other teams’ fans threw at them.  And, if you were around in the 1970s to the ‘80s to the ‘90s, you know how it went from “30 years since a Cup” to “40 years since a Cup” to “50 years since a Cup.”  The torture, of course, finally ended in 1994 and, unfortunately, Sam Rosen’s “This one will last a lifetime” may turn out to be truer than any Ranger fan had hoped for.

The Knicks?  Well, they are certainly entering 1940-territory as, at the end of this season, they will be looking at their own 40-year nightmare without a championship.  Hard to believe that this Knick team can beat the Heat (despite their two big wins over them already), the Thunder, the Clippers or even, it says here, the Lakers.

But they are very competitive at a very high level with a guy (Mike Woodson) who can coach and, just as important (see Avery Johnson), seems to have the respect of the players.  When Amar’e (see below) and Iman Shumpert come back, the Knicks will be very deep.  But, to this writer, they are in that second tier of teams after that top four or five in terms of actually winning a championship.

THE RETURN OF AMAR’E

Probably the most over-publicized and over-analyzed story in New York sports this year outside of the Jets QB situation (an absurdity for another day), the return of Amar’e shouldn’t really be a big deal.  It’s very clear that Carmelo, the main man no matter who is on the Knicks, has to get the overwhelming majority of his minutes at the four.  If you didn’t understand that last season, anybody with even half a basketball brain can see it this season.

But the Amar’e solution is very simple if his dedication as a real “team player” is true (and it says here that it is true).  Carmelo is averaging 36 minutes a game.  Tyson Chandler, at the five, is averaging 32 minutes a game.  While some of that is overlapping, there should be minutes at the four and five for Amar’e when these guys are out of the game.  On straight math, that’s 28 minutes a game (again, with some overlap) that Mike Woodson can insert Amar’e into the game and not hurt the chemistry that the team has up to this point.  His minutes at the five should be carefully crafted by Woodson to have Amar’e play against second-string centers so the already undersized Knicks won’t get killed on the boards.  In addition, add some time where, maybe (MAYBE), Woodson can try Amar’e at the four and Carmelo at the three (that obviously did not work last year), then there will be lots of minutes for Amar’e.

Frankly, Woodson should limit Amar’e’s minutes to somewhere in the 20-22 minute range.  Everybody thought (correctly) that his knees wouldn’t hold up over time.  There’s no point to test that theory by playing him 30+ minutes.

That’s a recipe for disaster.

 JEREMY LIN

The Jeremy Lin dynamic was an amazing one to watch in New York earlier this year.  Unfortunately, many “experts” decided not to give Lin the benefit of the doubt and, to this day, continue to criticize him.  It’s hard to escape the notion that there is some racism involved; certainly, at a minimum, there was stereotyping going on, as anyone who has played basketball at any high level knows that, when an Asian guy walks on a basketball court, the initial reaction for many is that “this guy can’t play.”

The discussion about his contract, to be kind, was misguided.  Maybe Chris Rock said it best in a Tweet: “If linn were a 23 year old black kid who came straight from high school and had tat on his neck that said thug life and happened to score 38 points on the Lakers I don’t think anyone would question his contract.”

Truer words were never spoken.

And maybe Kobe said it best, in terms of his ability to play and the fact that he was overlooked, after Lin did torch the Lakers for 38: “Players don’t usually come out of nowhere.  If you can go back and take a look, his skill level was probably there from the very beginning, but no one ever noticed.”

The “experts” who didn’t believe (or couldn’t see) Lin’s obvious skill set (he’s quick, fast and has no fear but, most important, he simply sees the floor as a point guard better than most point guards in the NBA already), still had to stick with their stories this year.  The fools (and there are a bunch) who said that his knee surgery for a torn meniscus was “just minor” clearly don’t understand what a damaged knee (of any degree) does to an NBA point guard.

You see, the day Jeremy Lin can’t compete on a speed level through injury or age is the day he can’t play in the NBA.  But that’s true for virtually every quick NBA point guard.

The myths about Lin abound.  He can’t go left (absurd, see Kallas Remarks, 2/17/12, or, better yet, Google Jeremy Lin/John Wall summer league game and watch Lin torch the then top draft pick by blowing by him (who’s quicker than Wall?) twice to Lin’s left.

How about he’s a “shoot-first” point guard?  Again, beyond stupid.  Lin sees the floor better than most point guards and he is just now finishing, essentially, enough games to have played ONE season in the NBA.  He had to shoot a lot last year when Linsanity started.  Why?  Well, that’s easy.  In the first nine games of Linsanity, Carmelo and Amar’e were in the lineup together for only one.  They both were out of the lineup for three of those nine games.

So, what’s a point guard to do?  Score, that’s what.  As an example, here’s the starting lineup for the Knicks against the Timberwolves on February 11, 2012, the fifth game of Linsanity: Lin, Tyson Chandler, Landry Fields, Jared Jeffries and Bill Walker.

Any questions?  Of course he had to shoot.

Back to his “minor” knee surgery, where, clearly, Lin was a little gun shy coming back.  Criticized for that, he certainly was not 100% earlier this season.  In his first game against the Knicks, he simply couldn’t cut or run as fast as he could last season.  So the uninformed “experts” who made their bed last year by, essentially, saying he was a flash in the pan, continued to criticize him as an NBA player.

But then came the second Rockets-Knicks game where Lin, now (it seems) completely recovered, did whatever he wanted against the Knicks, shooting 9-15 for 22 points and getting to the rim whenever he felt like it (blowing by Raymond Felton or Jason Kidd at will).  If you follow Lin, you know he had, a few games earlier, torched San Antonio for 38 so you knew he was back to full health.

The problem for Lin is his tenacity.  And while he would probably tell you that his fearlessness is the reason he got to the NBA and has been successful, he really needs to back off and take a page from Russell Westbrook’s book.  Westbrook, with the best mid-range jumper in the NBA, avoids lots of collisions by simply pulling up for 10-foot jumpers.  Lin, rather than getting hammered by Tyson Chandler, needs to get over the macho stuff and pull up for short jumpers.

If he does that, he will lengthen his career, help his team and have a less likely chance of getting injured (conversely, if Russell Westbrook can ever see the floor like Jeremy Lin does (and Westbrook is improving), Westbrook will become one of the three greatest point guards ever, behind Magic and Bob Cousy).

So Lin landed in a good spot and, now, with James Harden, will eventually become one of the top backcourts in the NBA.  Could he have been better on the Knicks and made them a better team than they are now?

Well, we’ll never know the answer to that question.  Raymond Felton, who has been excellent for the Knicks, has been aided by having one of the great point guards of all-time (Kidd) starting at the two.  Would Kidd have helped Lin as much as he has helped Felton?  Again, we’ll never know, although it sure looked like, last year, after Lin had torched Kidd in the beginning of Linsanity, that Kidd went out of his way to try and score on Lin in their second meeting and even, maybe, try to hurt Lin in that second game.

Whether anyone will admit it or not, everybody seems to try harder against Jeremy Lin for whatever reason.  Add the poor, uncalled for comments by J R Smith and Carmelo about Lin’s contract offer from the Rockets, and you just don’t know what would have happened had Lin stayed with the Knicks.

But make no mistake, no matter what you read or hear from the “experts,” Jeremy Lin is already a good to very good NBA point guard whose game will continue to improve if he stays healthy.

Jim Ross – @JRsBBQ WWE TLC PPV Predictions + More

Hopefully everyone is having a blessed weekend. #PrayForNewtown should be on everyone’s mind. None of us can ever take a day for granted. We now begin another riveting and informative blog or so says the author while breaking his arm patting himself on the back….

#WWE #TLC is on PPV from Brooklyn, New York this Sunday on pay per view and I’m counting on the event to provide some intriguing water cooler talk come Monday morning. The event feels as if it has the potential to provide fans with some ‘fresh’ content especially as it relates to evolving talents and their maturation process notwithstanding some obvious ‘big picture’ matters.

Here are my predictions:

@HeelZiggler slipping over @JohnCena in the Ladder match with the MITB contract  at stake. Would it shock me to see Dolph Ziggler leave TLC as the new World Champion as well? Not totally. It also wouldn’t shock me to see Cena win. That’s one reason this match intrigues me.

@Ryback22 and Team Hell No vs @TheShield…6 man tag that is likely to be wild west like and I see the three newcomers coming out on top by hook or crook. Fresh match that will likely be well received.

@WWESheamus challenging @WWETheBigShow for the World Title..straight forward, physical, smash mouth with Show retaining in a bout where chairs are legal and likely to play a major role in the bout’s outcome.

Rhodes Scholars vs. Mysterio and Sin Cara in a tag team, Tables match…nod goes to the team with the most facial hair…or so we think. Sandow & Rhodes take one more step forward.

R Truth challenging @AntonioCesaro for the United States Title. Cesaro is in full on throwback mode, if he wore a jersey it would be a Johnny Valentine model, and will retain his championship. A ‘maximize one’s minutes’ type of bout for both talents.

Kofi Kingston defending the Intercontinental Title against @WadeBarrett could be one of the better bouts of the show and I see Kofi retaining against Barrett who is  destined for a great 2013. Hope Kofi can continue to regain what he found just down the road from Brooklyn in Madison Square Garden a year or so ago vs Randy Orton. These are two men, or so it seems, WWE is counting on big time in the near future.

Will @WWE Champion @CMPunk’s presence at #TLC Sunday be significant? My assumption is yes but how is anyone’s guess. The WWE Title is the ultimate prize in WWE and it will be on display in some shape, form or fashion.

@MichaelCole will spearhead the broadcast with @JerryLawler and @JCLayfield. Three man booths are often times tough to navigate but Cole does a great job of being the point man and JBL and the King have had a show or two under their belts  together so I’d expect that we will be entertained and informed. Could we see a guest appearance by @CMPunk at the announce table Sunday? Any thing is possible in @WWE. The wrestlers provide the music and the announcers provide the lyrics.

Most likely much will be made of what bout will close the PPV and my opinion on that one is “Who cares?” As it relates to the order of events, the first bout of the night on PPV is also extremely important and should be one that is perceived that the live audience will engage in and invest. Frankly, more speculation should be devoted to what bout starts the show that what bout ends the event.

I will be tweeting my thoughts on the TLC PPV live @JRsBBQ and invite you to enjoy the PPV and follow along with me on Twitter.

The podcast of my radio hit on Yahoo Sports Radio can be heard at bit.ly/RvOxaF or simply to tohttp://www.yahoosportsradio.com and locate it there. It’s always fun to speak with my friend @SeanCablinasian. Saturday morning we talked #TLC, @CMPunk, #OU Football and #Heisman Trophy race/winner.

WWEShop.com has a great deal running as we speak where if you spend $40 you get 20% OFF & only $3 FLAT SHIPPING in the USA. The link to WWEShop.com is http://www.wweshop.com. It’s highly recommended that you place your orders by end of the day Sunday to guarantee Christmas delivery in the States.

For UK fans and others in that part of the world, I encourage you to check out @americansoda as they distribute JR’s products not only online but in retail outlets in Manchester and other locales.

Funny how when fans ask questions on Twitter @JRsBBQ IE who’s the greatest, technical wrestler of all time and I provide this answer, “There is NO way to determine a clear cut winner as the topic is too subjective but FOR ME the answer would be Danny Hodge.” For some insane reason that answer is me, apparently, talking in some sort of covert, Oliver North-esque code where I’m knocking other talents like @BretHart and many others by not picking them. That’s #PetCoonGoofy

Working on answering the Q&A’s that have been posed here on our site. I wish new people would join in and that the same fans wouldn’t ask so many questions in one sitting. Nonetheless I enjoy the interactions.

#BoomerSooner

J.R.

TheSTN – NFL: What To Look For In Week 15

STAYIN’ ALIVE With three weeks to play in the regular season, 24 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVII. That ties for the fifth-most teams remaining in contention with three weeks to play since the NFL instituted the 16-game schedule in 1978.

You can bet on all NFL games by clicking here.

The most teams remaining in contention for a trip to the Super Bowl with three weeks to play since 1978:

 

YEAR

TEAMS REMAINING IN SUPER CONTENTION

WITH THREE WEEKS TO PLAY

2004

27

1995

27

1982

27

2006

25

1994

25

2012

24

2009

24

1983

24

 

– NFL –

 

 

ROOKIE RECORDSThree rookie quarterbacks – Seattle’s RUSSELL WILSON, Washington’s ROBERT GRIFFIN III and Indianapolis’ ANDREW LUCK – can move up the NFL’s all-time rookie touchdown pass list in Week 15.

 

Wilson has thrown 20 touchdown passes this season. With three touchdown passes this Sunday against Buffalo, Wilson can surpass CAM NEWTON (21 in 2011) and CHARLIE CONERLY (22 in 1948) for the second-most TD passes by a rookie in NFL history.

 

Griffin (18) and Luck (18) can each move into the top five with at least two touchdown passes Sunday at Cleveland and at Houston, respectively.

 

The rookie quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in NFL history:

 

MOST PASSING TDs BY ROOKIE QB

PLAYER TEAM

YEAR

TDs

Peyton Manning Indianapolis

1998

26

Charlie Conerly N.Y. Giants

1948

22

Cam Newton Carolina

2011

21

Russell Wilson Seattle

2012

20*

Andy Dalton Cincinnati

2011

20

Dan Marino Miami

1983

20

Robert Griffin III Washington

2012

18*

Andrew Luck Indianapolis

2012

18*

*Through 13 games  

 

 

 

– NFL –

 

LUCKY ROOKIEIndianapolis quarterback ANDREW LUCK has passed for 3,792 yards this season and surpassed PEYTON MANNING (3,739 in 1998) last week for the second-most by a rookie in NFL history.

 

Luck needs 260 passing yards this Sunday against Houston to surpass CAM NEWTON (4,051 in 2011) for the rookie record for passing yards in a season.

 

The rookie quarterbacks with the most passing yards in NFL history:

 

MOST PASSING YARDS BY ROOKIE QB

PLAYER TEAM

YEAR

PASSING YARDS

Cam Newton Carolina

2011

4,051

Andrew Luck Indianapolis

2012

3,792*

Peyton Manning Indianapolis

1998

3,739

Sam Bradford St. Louis

2010

3,512

Matt Ryan Atlanta

2008

3,440

Andy Dalton Cincinnati

2011

3,398

*Through 13 games

 

– NFL –

 

YARD WORKThree quarterbacks – Dallas’ TONY ROMO (3,928), New England’s TOM BRADY (3,833) and Denver’s PEYTON MANNING (3,812) – can reach the 4,000-yard mark in Week 15.

 

Manning has passed for 4,000 yards in an NFL-record 11 seasons. With 188 passing yards against Baltimore, he can extend his record to 12 4,000-yard passing seasons.

 

Brady has four seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards. With 167 passing yards against San Francisco, Brady will become the fifth quarterback with at least five such seasons. Brady can also join Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINODREW BREES and MATTHEW STAFFORD as the only players to pass for at least 4,000 yards following a 5,000 yard season.

 

Romo (three) can reach the 4,000-yard mark with 72 passing yards this Sunday against Pittsburgh.

 

 

The quarterbacks with the most 4,000-yard passing seasons:

 

MOST 4,000-YARD PASSING SEASONS

PLAYER

SEASONS

Peyton Manning*

11

Drew Brees*

7^

Dan Marino

6

Brett Favre

6

Tom Brady*

4

Warren Moon

4

Philip Rivers*

4

Tony Romo*

3

*Active^Includes 2012

 

 

– NFL –

 

COLTSTRONGThe Indianapolis Colts (9-4) can clinch a playoff spot this weekend and still have a chance to win the AFC South division. They face division rival Houston in two of their last three games.

 

With a win against Houston this weekend, the Colts can reach 10 wins following last season’s 2-14 record and become the fourth team in NFL history to win 10 or more games following a season with two or fewer victories.

 

The teams to win 10+ games following a season in which they won two games or fewer:

 

TEAM

SEASON

RECORD

SEASON

RECORD

Miami Dolphins

2007

1-15

2008

11-5

Baltimore Colts

1974

2-12

1975

10-4

Oakland Raiders

1962

1-13

1963

10-4

Indianapolis Colts

2011

2-14

2012

9-4*

*Through 13 games

 

 

 

 

– NFL –

 

DECEMBER TO REMEMBERThe New England Patriots have won 13 consecutive regular-season games in December, tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history (Dallas Cowboys, 13 from 1968-1972).

 

With a win on Sunday Night Football over the San Francisco 49ers, the Patriots can surpass the Cowboys for the second-most consecutive wins in the month.

 

 

New England has won 20 consecutive home games in December, the longest streak in NFL history.

 

The teams to win at least 12 consecutive regular-season games in December:

 

TEAM

YEARS

CONSECUTIVE DECEMBER WINS

San Diego Chargers

2006-2009

18

New England Patriots

2009-present

13*

Dallas Cowboys

1968-1972

13

New England Patriots

2006-2008

12

*Current streak

 

– NFL –

 

GOLD RUSHSan Francisco linebacker ALDON SMITH leads the league with 19.5 sacks and has 33.5 career sacks, the most by a player in his first two NFL seasons since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.

 

 

With two sacks, he can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers LAWRENCE TAYLOR (20.5), CHARLES DOLEMAN (21) and REGGIE WHITE (21) for the fourth-most sacks in a season since 1982.

 

 

The players with the most sacks in a single season since the sack became an official statistic in 1982:

 

PLAYER TEAM

YEAR

SACKS

Michael Strahan NY Giants

2001

22.5

Jared Allen Minnesota

2011

22

Mark Gastineau NY Jets

1984

22

Chris Doleman Minnesota

1989

21

Reggie White Philadelphia

1987

21

Lawrence Taylor NY Giants

1986

20.5

Aldon Smith San Francisco

2012

19.5*

*Through 13 games  

 

 

TheSTN – NFL: What To Look For In Week 15

STAYIN’ ALIVE With three weeks to play in the regular season, 24 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVII. That ties for the fifth-most teams remaining in contention with three weeks to play since the NFL instituted the 16-game schedule in 1978.

You can bet on all NFL games by clicking here.

The most teams remaining in contention for a trip to the Super Bowl with three weeks to play since 1978:

YEAR

TEAMS REMAINING IN SUPER CONTENTION

WITH THREE WEEKS TO PLAY

2004

27

1995

27

1982

27

2006

25

1994

25

2012

24

2009

24

1983

24

ROOKIE RECORDSThree rookie quarterbacks – Seattle’s RUSSELL WILSON, Washington’s ROBERT GRIFFIN III and Indianapolis’ ANDREW LUCK – can move up the NFL’s all-time rookie touchdown pass list in Week 15.

Wilson has thrown 20 touchdown passes this season. With three touchdown passes this Sunday against Buffalo, Wilson can surpass CAM NEWTON (21 in 2011) and CHARLIE CONERLY (22 in 1948) for the second-most TD passes by a rookie in NFL history.

Griffin (18) and Luck (18) can each move into the top five with at least two touchdown passes Sunday at Cleveland and at Houston, respectively.

The rookie quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in NFL history:

MOST PASSING TDs BY ROOKIE QB

PLAYER TEAM

YEAR

TDs

Peyton Manning Indianapolis

1998

26

Charlie Conerly N.Y. Giants

1948

22

Cam Newton Carolina

2011

21

Russell Wilson Seattle

2012

20*

Andy Dalton Cincinnati

2011

20

Dan Marino Miami

1983

20

Robert Griffin III Washington

2012

18*

Andrew Luck Indianapolis

2012

18*

*Through 13 games  

 

 

LUCKY ROOKIEIndianapolis quarterback ANDREW LUCK has passed for 3,792 yards this season and surpassed PEYTON MANNING (3,739 in 1998) last week for the second-most by a rookie in NFL history.

Luck needs 260 passing yards this Sunday against Houston to surpass CAM NEWTON (4,051 in 2011) for the rookie record for passing yards in a season.

The rookie quarterbacks with the most passing yards in NFL history:

MOST PASSING YARDS BY ROOKIE QB

PLAYER TEAM

YEAR

PASSING YARDS

Cam Newton Carolina

2011

4,051

Andrew Luck Indianapolis

2012

3,792*

Peyton Manning Indianapolis

1998

3,739

Sam Bradford St. Louis

2010

3,512

Matt Ryan Atlanta

2008

3,440

Andy Dalton Cincinnati

2011

3,398

*Through 13 games

 YARD WORKThree quarterbacks – Dallas’ TONY ROMO (3,928), New England’s TOM BRADY (3,833) and Denver’s PEYTON MANNING (3,812) – can reach the 4,000-yard mark in Week 15.

Manning has passed for 4,000 yards in an NFL-record 11 seasons. With 188 passing yards against Baltimore, he can extend his record to 12 4,000-yard passing seasons.

Brady has four seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards. With 167 passing yards against San Francisco, Brady will become the fifth quarterback with at least five such seasons. Brady can also join Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINODREW BREES and MATTHEW STAFFORD as the only players to pass for at least 4,000 yards following a 5,000 yard season.

Romo (three) can reach the 4,000-yard mark with 72 passing yards this Sunday against Pittsburgh.

The quarterbacks with the most 4,000-yard passing seasons:

MOST 4,000-YARD PASSING SEASONS

PLAYER

SEASONS

Peyton Manning*

11

Drew Brees*

7^

Dan Marino

6

Brett Favre

6

Tom Brady*

4

Warren Moon

4

Philip Rivers*

4

Tony Romo*

3

*Active

^Includes 2012

 

COLTSTRONGThe Indianapolis Colts (9-4) can clinch a playoff spot this weekend and still have a chance to win the AFC South division. They face division rival Houston in two of their last three games.

With a win against Houston this weekend, the Colts can reach 10 wins following last season’s 2-14 record and become the fourth team in NFL history to win 10 or more games following a season with two or fewer victories.

The teams to win 10+ games following a season in which they won two games or fewer:

TEAM

SEASON

RECORD

SEASON

RECORD

Miami Dolphins

2007

1-15

2008

11-5

Baltimore Colts

1974

2-12

1975

10-4

Oakland Raiders

1962

1-13

1963

10-4

Indianapolis Colts

2011

2-14

2012

9-4*

*Through 13 games

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER TO REMEMBERThe New England Patriots have won 13 consecutive regular-season games in December, tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history (Dallas Cowboys, 13 from 1968-1972).

With a win on Sunday Night Football over the San Francisco 49ers, the Patriots can surpass the Cowboys for the second-most consecutive wins in the month.

New England has won 20 consecutive home games in December, the longest streak in NFL history.

The teams to win at least 12 consecutive regular-season games in December:

TEAM

YEARS

CONSECUTIVE DECEMBER WINS

San Diego Chargers

2006-2009

18

New England Patriots

2009-present

13*

Dallas Cowboys

1968-1972

13

New England Patriots

2006-2008

12

*Current streak

GOLD RUSHSan Francisco linebacker ALDON SMITH leads the league with 19.5 sacks and has 33.5 career sacks, the most by a player in his first two NFL seasons since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.

With two sacks, he can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers LAWRENCE TAYLOR (20.5), CHARLES DOLEMAN (21) and REGGIE WHITE (21) for the fourth-most sacks in a season since 1982.

The players with the most sacks in a single season since the sack became an official statistic in 1982:

PLAYER TEAM

YEAR

SACKS

Michael Strahan NY Giants

2001

22.5

Jared Allen Minnesota

2011

22

Mark Gastineau NY Jets

1984

22

Chris Doleman Minnesota

1989

21

Reggie White Philadelphia

1987

21

Lawrence Taylor NY Giants

1986

20.5

Aldon Smith San Francisco

2012

19.5*

*Through 13 games  

 

 

Jim Ross – Biggest WWEShop.com Sale Ever on @JRsBBQ TODAY + Mike Boyette & More

WWEShop.com is having the biggest one day sale on JR’s products since we created the line. Save up to 40% OFF on our entire line of products plus qualify for FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING.  The amazing savings easily help defray shipping costs to our friends in Canada, United Kingdom and Australia among other countries. This sale ends at 3 a.m. eastern time tonight (Saturday/Sunday) and I encourage you to simply look at the JR’s page at http://www.wweshop.com as every item has been drastically reduced. Thanks for supporting my family’s efforts.

Condolences to the family and friends of the colorful, journeyman wrestler Mike “The Hippy” Boyette who passed away a couple of days ago.

The former United States Marine and judo expert was a noted, territory wrestler back in the day and I got to know him while we both worked for Cowboy Bill Watts.

Boyette had a noted, TV storyline based losing streak of something like “zero for 200″ that we utilized on our weekly, syndicated broadcasts. Boyette was always looking for “that first win” while no one wanted to be Mike’s “first victim.”

The Viet Nam vet was also a skilled archer who had many dangerous and deadly assignments in the Viet Nam war. Stories had it he was a sniper and used the bow with deadly effectiveness. Mike Boyette was an American Hero.

Mike, allegedly, enjoyed smoking cannabis back in the 70′s, arguably as much as any wrestler that most old timers can recall. To protect himself from potential, legal issues with the police on traffic stops, Mike carried marijuana scented air freshener in his vehicle. When stopped, which many wrestlers were back in that era usually for speeding, and an officer would detect a “strange odor” coming from Mike’s vehicle. While Mike usually had 2-3 other TV wrestlers traveling along to help him with travel expenses at 2 cents a mile, the Hippy had the magic formula.

Mike would produce his marijuana scented air freshener, spray it and then the whole car, along with the police officer would laugh uproarishly at Mike’s unique sense of humor. To my knowledge, the special air freshener worked every time.

I was never allowed to ride with Mike as Bill Watts was looking out for me and I became the driver of record for Danny Hodge and the late Scandor Akbar. Another good call, Cowboy.

Mike Boyette was one of the more underrated in ring talents that I can recall. He knew his role and could make any young, up and comer look better than they actually were. Mike was referred to in the business in the territory era as a ‘Carpenter,’ a skilled journeyman who built others.

RIP Mike Boyette, a funny, entertaining, talented wrestler who was Cheech and Chong in tights.

TheSTN – NBA: Players Of The Month Announced

The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in October/November.

James led the Heat to an Eastern Conference-best 11-3 (.786) mark, matching the team’s best start through 14 games. In the Eastern Conference, James ranked second in scoring (25.0 ppg), fifth in field goal percentage (.533), sixth in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and eighth in assists (6.5 apg). James tallied at least 20 points in all 14 games, marking the first time in his career he opened the season with that many consecutive 20-plus-point games. In a Nov. 9 victory over Atlanta, 95-89, James had 11 boards, in the process grabbing the 5,000th rebound of his career.

Durant helped the Thunder to a 13-4 (.765) record and a four-game cushion in the Northwest Division. Durant ranked second overall in scoring (26.5 ppg) while shooting .510 from the field, .433 from behind the three-point line and .893 from the charity stripe. Additionally, Durant contributed 8.8 rpg, 4.4 apg and 1.65 bpg. He recorded his first career triple-double – 25 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists – in a 119-109 win over Golden State on Nov. 18.

Here is a closer look at the month for James and Durant:

LeBron James, Miami Heat

Nov. 7 vs. Brooklyn: Recorded 20 points, a season-high 12 rebounds and eight assists in 103-73 win over the Nets.

Nov. 12 @ Houston: Scored a season-high 38 points and added 10 rebounds and six assists in a 113-110 victory over the Rockets.

Nov. 15 @ Denver: Tallied 27 points and season highs of 12 assists and three blocks in a 98-93 win in Denver.

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Nov. 2 vs. Portland: Scored 23 points and grabbed a season-high 17 boards in a 106-92 win over the Trail Blazers.

Nov. 24 @ Philadelphia: Netted 37 points to go along with eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks in a 116-109 OT win over the Sixers.

Nov. 28 vs. Houston: Collected 37 points, seven boards and four assists in a 120-98 triumph over the Rockets.

Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Al Horford; Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez; Charlotte’s Kemba Walker; Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao; Dallas’ O.J. Mayo; Houston’s James Harden; the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul; Memphis’ Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Rudy Gay, and Zach Randolph; New York’s Carmelo Anthony; Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook; Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday; and San Antonio’s Tim Duncan.