All posts by Courtside Staff

Freddie Roach Predicts: MANNY CAN KNOCK HIM OUT!

This is the fight we all have been waiting for and the moment is getting closer to reality!!
Neal Johnson of HoopJab speaks to Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquaio’s trainer, after the announcement of a Pacquaio vs Mayweather fight. Roach is confident in Manny’s mission to knock him OUT.
“WE WILL WIN EVERY ROUND AGAINST MAYWEATHER!” 
Roach is not only a good trainer but he also is usually spot on his predictions. And he is pretty secure about this decision…..

 

Zou Shiming Preps for IBF Title

Courtside Access reporter Neal Johnson goes behind the ropes to show us the prep work for an undefeated, two time Olympic Gold medalist.

Chinese superstar Zou Shiming works the mitts at the Wildcard boxing gym in Hollywood, California in preparation for his International Boxing Federation (IBF) world title fight against Amnat Ruenroeng on March 7th in Macao.

We wouldn’t want to be on the other side of those gloves! Watch him crush it with a trainer.

The Coaching Carousel

The Coaching Carousel

rex ryan

(Photo credit: nydailynews.com)

Written by, Brian Kayser

The NFL’s Black Monday came and left with no real surprises this year. Four head coaches received their walking papers and the only real surprise was Mike Smith in Atlanta. Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers was done as soon as their game ended on Sunday, although based on reports leaked to the media during the summer, he was done before the season ever started. Rex Ryan of the Jets cleaned out his office prior to the Jets’ finale with the Dolphins, but was left waiting until Monday for the official announcement that he, along with GM John Idzik, would not return. The fourth and not surprising at all coach to receive the ax was the Bears’ Marc Trestman.

Marc Trestman had to go. In his two seasons with the Bears, he went 13-19, with this year’s Bears struggling to five wins. They were embarrassed multiple times this year and their quarterback, Jay Cutler, the highest-paid player in the league, was benched for Jimmy Clausen. Yes, Jimmy Clausen. There were reports that players had turned on Cutler, reports of locker room fights, and an overall sense of chaos emanating from the Chi. There are some great weapons on the Bears for whoever steps in, but they’re going to need to find a real quarterback in free agency this year.

Rex Ryan was set up to fail this year, although he hasn’t helped himself much either. While the Jets were struggling under former quarterback Mark Sanchez, his front office went out and signed sideshow Tim Tebow, despite having no plans to actually use him. The media circus that created never helped, as the move reeked of desperation and attention-seeking. Couple that with Sanchez getting hurt in a meaningless preseason game on a meaningless but incredibly dangerous play, and the team had no choice but to call on rookie Geno Smith, who despite a great game against the Dolphins on Sunday, is not an NFL starting quarterback. Add to that mess that Darrelle Revis, the heart and soul of the team, left two years ago to the Buccaneers, of all teams, before landing with the Patriots, because the Jets refused to pay him market value, and the team was falling apart. With an inconsistent offense, a terrible defense, and disarray throughout the front office, there was no way to salvage this season, Ryan should be commended for being able to squeeze four wins out of this team. He’s still a great football coach and won’t be without a job for too long.

Going to three NFC Championship games in four years would be amazing to any team, especially if you’re the 49ers. Their last winning season was in 2002, and Harbaugh took them to the NFC Championship game in his first year as head coach. That’s an amazing turnaround and that kind of winning is what helped the 49ers exploit their taxpayers for a new stadium. Unfortunately, winning wasn’t valued as much as personality in the Niners’ front office, and Harbaugh was being shopped before the season even started because of that. The NFL, like any business, should be about business first. Harbaugh took care of business, therefore he should be fine. He may not win any personality contests, but then neither would a lot of coaches, with Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin, the two active coaches with the most combined Super Bowls, being at the top of the list. And for that reason, the 49ers will not be able to hire a serious coach, as any candidate can see how little the front office valued winning and how quick they were to drag their head coach’s name through the mud for an entire season. With the core of the team aging and quarterback Colin Kaepernick coming off a terrible season, expect a lot more mediocrity in the Bay Area in the 2015.

While these firings may not be surprising, some of the coaches who are keeping their jobs are. Leading off that list would be Jay Gruden in Washington, who’s like a dog in the park with a six inch leash. It’s just that most dogs aren’t controlled by a psychopathic, racist sadist who sincerely makes you wonder if he’s really that crazy or just the greatest troll of all-time. Gruden cycled through three quarterbacks in Washington, and while none of them looked like NFL starters this year, even Peyton would have struggled behind Washington’s terrible offensive line. It took three years for Mike Shanahan, one of the greatest offensive minds in football, to fall from grace with owner Daniel Snyder, and Gruden, who does not have the mind nor the resume of Shanahan, his time will be much shorter. He’ll be lucky to make it through half of the 2015 season.

Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants looked like another surefire fire this year, as the Giants’ struggles from last year continued, whether it was a stagnant offense or a weak defense. Everything changed, though, with the instant rise of a healthy Odell Beckham, Jr., as he scorched defenses, partly thanks to quarterback Eli Manning becoming more comfortable with the Giants’ newly-installed West Coast Offense. With the return of Victor Cruz next year, the Giants have one of, if not the, best one-two wide receiver combinations in the league, and if they focus on their defense, resign Jason Pierre-Paul, and can land a quality running back or continue developing Rashad Jennings, they could be back atop the NFC East next year. It should be noted, too, that the Giants are one of the few teams that remain loyal to their coaches instead of being quick to hit the panic button. Before the Giants won their first Super Bowl in the Coughlin Era, fans were chanting for him to be fired as Tiki was tearing apart the team and his coach. That all changed with two Super Bowl wins, and the Giants are right to keep Coughlin for another year. He’s won and is in the process of installing an offense that can turn Eli into a dangerous quarterback. Besides, before a coach is fired, a team needs to ask themselves if they can find a better replacement. With the candidates available this year, the Giants are smart to keep a quality coach with two Super Bowl wins.

Now the interviews for potential replacements are going to start. Look for Josh McDaniels of the Patriots to get another head coaching opportunity, and with Harbaugh accepting the Michigan job, look for Mike Shanahan to land somewhere after taking this year off. For the teams that let their head coaches go, the question they have to be asking themselves now is if they can find a better replacement on the open market.

DALLAS FOR THE WIN

Dallas For The Win

rondo

photo credit: www.mavs.com

By Brian Kayser

For anyone who thought the Dallas Mavericks weren’t already serious contenders for the championship, think again. The Mavs are in the midst of trading some of their smaller pieces and draft picks for the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo, one of the top point guards in the league.

Rondo’s had no future in Boston. Last year, between his injuries and playing on a team that was completely dismantled and in the early rebuilding phase, the best Rondo could do was collect a check and try not to think about the playoffs. This year, he’s in a similar position with the Celtics, with their 9-14 record screaming mediocrity and another year of missing the playoffs. He’s not happy, and management didn’t want him around, even saying that he was uncoachable and too independent. Rondo, being the competitor he is, can’t sit around during his best years and wait for head coach Brad Stevens to adjust to the NBA’s faster, more demanding style of play.

And the Mavs, well, they’re only getting better. After Chandler Parsons left the Rockets this summer to join Dirk and Devin Harris, as well as landing Tyson Chandler frm the Knicks, Dallas became a lot tougher and added another dimension to their offense.

Rajon Rondo gives the Mavericks a tougher defender, which they desperately need, as they’re damn-near leading the league in points given up per game, and a vocal leader that can dish out 11 assists per game, which he’s currently doing in Boston. If Dallas’s offense is a Ferrari, Boston’s is a Fisher Price Cozy Coupe. Imagine what Rondo can do in Dallas.

Unfortunately the Mavs still have Raymond Felton, who’s $3.7 million salary is the only thing more bloated than his face. But with Rajon Rondo and Devin Harris, the likelihood of Felton ever seeing any meaningful time is incredibly slim.

With Cleveland still figuring themselves out like a middle schooler, it looks like the road to the championship runs through the Western Conference. While Golden State still looks like the team to beat, Dallas will have a much better shot at knocking them out.

Doug Gottlieb Sucks

Doug Gottlieb Sucks

By Brian Kayser

Doug Gottlieb

 Photo by dgottlieb_radio

CBS windbag Doug Gottlieb took to Twitter to air his grievances over the recent cases of police brutality that have resulted in officers, even with clear evidence, being acquitted of all charges. We’re all pissed off, right? Two prosecutors have been working more for the other side because the boys in blue are worth more than the life of another human. We should all be upset and questioning the type of world we live in and what we can do to make it better.

But not Doug Gottlieb. He’s not pissed off because each day is a reminder that Michael Brown and Eric Garner will never receive the justice they deserve, on top so many other innocent people tortured or murdered by figures put in place to protect. He’s aggie because Kobe Bryant wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in tribute to Eric Garner. Oh.

“Kobe Bryant lives in Newport Coast, takes a chopper to games, made $60m last 2 years.. the struggle is real #ICANTBREATH” he tweeted Tuesday night. There is so much wrong with this tweet. Where to start?

If we were to follow Doug Gottlieb’s logic, once an African-American lives in a certain neighborhood and is in the tax bracket of the 1% of the 1%, they need to stop being Black. Come on, you’re making a ton of money. Can’t you stop caring about social issues, raising awareness for a cause you believe in, and just make a damn fadeaway? Don’t let us know how you really feel about anything that makes the white-collar white America feel uncomfortable, ‘cause that’s not what you’re paid for. Give a quote about how you’re a team player, how you’re going to keep hustling and working hard, and how Eric Garner’s death is unfortunate, but loosies are something we really need to take seriously so we can’t rush to any kind of judgement or develop any kind of opinion on the issue. Fuck that.

Has Doug Gottlieb ever reached outside of his circle to talk to anyone else to see that his realities may not be everyone else’s? Zip code, net worth, and occupation, and any combination of the three, are no vaccine to the ugly racism, be it explicit or implicit, that African-Americans face on a daily basis. Need proof? Look at how our president and his family is treated. Disgusting. And yes, Gottlieb, the struggle is real. But you’re too sheltered and ignorant to ever see that.

And great attempt at a joke at the end, using a saying that symbolizes another senseless murder in jest. Haha! Doug, you got a “Hands up” joke too? Never mind. He’ll probably read this and think that’s a great idea.

He apologized, though. So it’s all good, right?

I get chills reading that. The sincerity goes straight to the bone. This is a guy who sincerely realized he made a huge mistake and he feels really bad about it and will do anything to make it right. I mean, I can feel his remorse through the UV rays coming off my laptop screen. I was about to be like, I can’t mess with Doug Gottlieb anymore, but then he came around and showed he really didn’t mean it, ‘cause I don’t know any other way to apologize as sincerely as “my bad.” Shoot, I use “my bad” for a variety of mistakes I make. Like when I miss an open man in a game of pick-up. Like when I’m passing out papers to my students and I forget a kid.

However, showing yourself as an ignorant, out-of-touch racist, no matter how many Vines one of your college interns tweets from your account, requires way more than a half-assed apology. It’s not like anyone ever looked to Doug Gottlieb for exclusive insight or for a scoop that no one else already had, and they shouldn’t start now.

By the way, “breathe” has an “e” in it. Next time look closer at Kobe’s shirt. Moron.

Tito Ortiz on UFC’s CM Punk at Sons of Anarchy Finale

The world of professional fighting is getting more and more competitive. It is no wonder that athletes have been making the crossover in to different career worlds and back again. Whether it may be fighting or wrestling, competition is at an ultimate high.

Recently former WWE star, CM Punk, made that switch to sign with UFC and Courtside Access got to see what Tito Ortiz feels about this at the Sons of Anarchy Series Finale Event.

Reporter Neal Johnson speaks to the MMA fighter about both fighting and the SOA Series Finale.

Watch below:

[SPOILER ALERT] for those who haven’t watched the last few episodes!

 

 

Why Is Taking A Stand So Monumental?

Why Is Taking A Stand So Monumental?

By Brian Kayser

15783498559_a212d8f231_zPhoto by Fibonacci Blue 

The St. Louis Rams set the internet on fire last week when they entered the stadium with their hands up, the symbolic gesture representing America’s disgust with Darren Wilson walking after a grand jury cleared him of all charges in his shooting of Michael Brown, yet another example of an unarmed Black man murdered by an unfit policeman. Calls for apologies rang out, from the St. Louis Police Department, who, in their not-so-subtle racist memo, said that the “thugs” from Ferguson weren’t the ones buying Rams gear, insinuating that Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt should suppress any real feelings to tap dance for a few bucks off a jersey sale.

In a more surprising move, the NFL decided not to punish any Rams for their symbolic, powerful gesture. And while it’s refreshing to see professional athletes take advantage of their spotlight for the right reason, the betterment of society, it’s even more perplexing that more athletes have not taken advantage of their platform.

Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls warmed up in an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt, symbolizing the needless and preventable death of Eric Garner, who was choked out by a police officer in an illegal move, and the media went wild over that. While Rose should be praised for using his visibility, between his gesture and the Rams’ collective gesture, it begs the question: why aren’t more athletes taking a stand? Is the collective silence of most professional athletes a sign of apathy and/or indifference?

It would be unfair to say that most athletes are unaware of what’s going on. They know. There’s a large percentage of athletes who grew up in environments similar to Brown and Garner, where the police were seen as harassers as opposed to protectors. Then there’s athletes who don’t care and/or care to comprehend. In their community, the police were their buddies and they have no understanding how anyone can ever say anything negative about an officer of the law. Those were their football coaches, neighbors, and if he ever pulled them over, an apologetic sigh was enough to prevent a ticket.

Can you hear Peyton Manning taking a stance against police brutality? It’s okay for him to call out teammates, but imagine how powerful a statement would be from the greatest player in the game. Even though there’d be plenty of backlash, it would certainly help progress society’s dialogue. What about Kobe Bryant? Is it fair to expect athletes to transcend their athletic ability? Is social backlash from racist fans enough of a threat to marketing opportunities to thwart even small gestures of activism? Is it even fair to ask this question? The life of a professional athlete is short, and no one can be faulted for chasing as much money as possible. But in the end, is it worth it?

Another season high for Kyrie Irving in 90-87 win against Knicks

New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers; final score 90-87

Photo by Keith Allison

The Cleveland Cavaliers take tonight’s win against the New York Knicks.

The 2nd quarter was filled with quick passes and sloppy basketball for the Cavaliers as head Coach Black’s motto for the game was to “get the ball first.” Point Guard Kyrie Irving scored another season high of 37 points  (23 points in the first half, 14 in the second). Power Forward Kevin Love didn’t see much of the ball in Cleveland’s offensive lineup. Although Knicks were able to shut out many of his shot attempts, Love contributed 11 points.

Up until the end of the third quarter, the New York Knicks played one of their best games of the season. Their triangle offense was both a hit and miss which means that they are doing better in integrating it into their scoring efforts.  Center Amar’e Stoudemire scored 18 points and played with the same precision as his Phoenix Suns days as he posterized Anderson Varejao in a beautiful dunk. Shooting Guard Tim Hardaway Jr saw an early lead in the first quarter for the Knicks. He had a total of 20 points.

Both Cleveland and New York have some improvements to make in their movement, as both teams got tired of Knicks triangle offense late in the game.

 

 

Cleveland Goes Cleveland

Cleveland Goes Cleveland 

hoyer

By Brian Kayser

I should have known better than to give Cleveland props two weeks ago. Maybe it was how they destroyed the Bengals on Thursday night. Maybe it was the return of wide receiver Josh Gordon. Maybe it was the fact that Brian Hoyer kept Johnny Football out of the headlines, giving ESPN absolutely no reason to publish any kind of story about a backup QB in Cleveland. Everything was beautiful. With my Giants tanking, it was nice to at least see a team whose only function in recent memory was a doormat to actually look halfway decent.

And then it started. The average, not-impressive-but-not-awful magic of Brian Hoyer wore thin. After their decisive Bengals victory, the Browns dropped a blowout to the Texans before squeaking by the Falcons, only to get demoralized in Buffalo. Hoyer’s completion percentage plummeted and he threw four picks in those three games, the same amount he’d thrown in the Browns’ first nine games. He’d gone from a Trent Dilfer-esque quarterback as someone who can “manage a game,” which is really code for someone who won’t screw it up too badly by taking any risks that might really pay off or completely backfire. If you want a good picture of Brian Hoyer, take Tony Romo and just picture what he’d be like on Opposite Day.

Hoyer had done just enough to keep the Cleveland faithful happy. The Browns were looking like they could squeak into the playoffs, and they still can, and a lot of it had to do with Brian Hoyer not being a turnover machine. But losing badly to the Texans and Bills aren’t going to endear anyone to the front office, especially Brian Hoyer, who was able to keep Johnny Football on the sidelines for thirteen games. The front office was waiting, the fans were waiting, and just like that, Hoyer gave them just enough to make the switch, sending Johnny Manziel out in the fourth quarter of a game that had already been decided. And what does Manziel do? Scores a touchdown. As if there wasn’t a controversy already, now there most definitely was.

Cleveland hasn’t made an announcement yet, but the writings on the wall that Hoyer’s time in Cleveland is winding down, whether it’s for the final four weeks of the season or for good, as there are a few teams that’ll be in demand for his services next year if the Browns don’t want him.

And here’s where I have the problem. Cleveland is 7-5 and is actually in contention for a playoff spot. This is a team that went 4-12 last year. Brian Hoyer has been solid enough. The last thing this team needs is a quarterback controversy. In August, it was cute. Manziel was able to sell some jerseys and get some press. In December, with the team in serious contention for a playoff spot, it’s nothing short of disastrous.

Brian Hoyer, while not getting the Browns there single-handedly, deserves to go into a slump without having to worry about an unproven rookie taking over. Trying to make plays and lead a team while constantly looking over your shoulder is not how a young quarterback can develop. Need further proof? Look at the recent debacles with the Jets and Washington. While both teams have a lot of holes, the game of musical chairs at the quarterback position is not helping anyone. If Brian Hoyer was good enough for thirteen weeks, he’s good enough to close out the season with, especially four must-win games and three that aren’t going to be easy: Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Baltimore.

What’s sad about Johnny Manziel is that it’s not like anyone knows if he can handle the pro game consistently. It’s that most fans are calling for him to see if he can replicate his college stunts with the same success. It’s the same curiosity fans had with Vince Young, Tim Tebow, and more recently Robert Griffin. If head coach Mike Pettine truly thought Manziel was the better option, he would have started week one. But he wasn’t. Brian Hoyer was. And with the season winding down and a tight race for the wild card, the Browns can’t afford to gamble on an unproven talent. If they were out of playoff contention, sure, experiment. Let the punter get some snaps. See if Josh Gordon wants to play some linebacker. Do whatever you want. But with the season on the line, the best thing Cleveland can do for itself right now is get out of its own way.