Too Much Salt?

From the “Yes this really happened department”… (see article)

I have done countless evaluations on rising high school student-athletes but have never questioned their cooking skills?!?

“Puts too much salt in their mashed potatoes,” and “The lamb is overcoooked” are not terms that I’ve ever used with in regards to evaluating a prospect’s talent.

What’s next, criticizing prospects’ choice in Netflix selections or if they use fabric softener when doing their laundry?

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

No Repeat

With the “Big Papi farewell tour” officially underway it got me thinking how the most recent farewell tours have ended.

Peyton’s season was his worst statistically and was turbulent at best. Peyton was hurt, benched but rose again to play good then average in the playoffs. He was such a shell of himself, the Broncos basically took the ball out of his hands and let the defense win Super Bowl 50. Nevertheless, Petyon hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in his career, despite his less than stellar contributions. Peyton also had to deal with accusations of performance enhancing drug use and sexual misconduct during his time in college at the University of Tennessee.

Kobe’s goodbye started with him under performing mostly on a very bad Lakers team. In fact, his last two seasons the Lakers had the worst season in both wins and winning percentage in their storied history. With his body deteriorating, Kobe announced on November 29th, 2015 that the 2015-16 season would be his last. Kobe went on to have some memorable game during the year showing glimpses of his former self and dropped 60 in his last game. Although he was cheered at every home and road contest, it was hard to watch at times, but all in all I think basketball fans appreciated the chance to see Kobe one last time and respected that he went out on his own terms.

Likewise, David Ortiz announced before the season began that the 2016 season would be his last. Ortiz, arguably the most clutch athlete in Boston sports history, had a solid 2015 season batting .273, driving in 108 RBI and hitting 37 homers. This season in 16 games, Ortiz is batting .286, has drove in 14 runs, is slugging .589 and has hit 3 home runs.

So which will Papi’s send off be like: Peyton’s or Kobe’s?

Hopefully sports fans will see a mix of what Peyton’s and Kobe’s final seasons look like. A splash of Peyton’s team success with a dash of Kobe’s legendary finish.

Maybe though, Ortiz and add his own ingredient of how a larger than life sports hero is supposed to walk off.

In a perfect sports ending, Ortiz will give fans statistical consistency coupled with flashes of brilliant performances, remain healthy and continue to be the club leader on a competitive/successful team all while appreciating in his career and smiling until his final at-bat.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Basketball and Technology: A SOLID Bet

Anyone who is watching the Pistons-Cavs series can see that Detroit is competing every possession in this series. They have a solid young nucleus of talent and an experienced coaching staff that the fans of Detroit will be able to support for years to come as the Pistons look to return to their glory days.

Actually, if not for a few clutch shots, a stop here or there and being able to keep their best player, Andre Drummond, on the floor as much as possible, this series could look much different years ahead of schedule.

Most concerning are Drummond’s struggles from the line. Drummond’s free throw line woes (he shot a NBA all-time worse 35.5% from the charity stripe this season) have kept him on the sideline in this series more than Head Coach Stan Van Gundy would like. However, it is not because of SVG’s lack of creativity and coaching approach.

Van Gundy recently used some outside-the-box thinking with Drummond as he turned to SOLIDshot, a high-tech basketball solution company that’s slogan emphasizes: “Instant feedback for instant improvement.” (see Ananth Pandlan CBS Sports article and SOLIDshot video).

Of course if the NBA changes its “Hack-A” rule this offseason, then this change may also be a way for Drummond to see the floor much more. The “Hack-A-Shaq/Drummond/Howard/etc.” strategy has been used more widely (according to the Pistons-Cavs ESPN broadcast last evening) this season and makes for the NBA game almost impossible to watch when the strategy is employed for certain players. Even if there are rule changes, teams may still continue to put Drummond to the line with a less obvious off-the-ball approach if he cannot increase his free throw percentage.

Either way it looks like the SVG and SOLIDshot will be rooting for Drummond’s free throw percentage to improve. If it does, the NBA could see the Pistons rise to the top of the Eastern Conference and SOLIDshot could be a staple in NBA, NCAA and high school gyms across America.

In addition, NBA fans may no longer be subjected to the dreadful march to the free line but instead can watch the game flow as it was intended.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Texas Two Step

Here are two articles from Texas newspapers regarding last night’s NBA playoff series:

This article by Brad Townsend discusses how Dirk Nowitzki did not get enough shots after a fast start last evening and will continue not to as the series continues – Thunder at Mavericks: http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2016/04/21/townsend-dirk-point-fingers-boxscore-shows-mavs-let-game-3

This piece by Jenny Dial Creech points out how Donatas Motiejunas intensity and nastiness was a huge factor in the Rockets home victory against the Curry-less Warriors last night – Warriors at Rockets: http://www.chron.com/sports/rockets/article/Donatas-Motiejunas-gritty-play-helps-send-7295179.php

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Stop and Smell the Rose(man)s…

Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Browns yesterday to get a “franchise Quarterback”, but Roseman is not even sure who they will draft because the L.A. Rams have the overall first round draft pick.

In addition, Roseman has completely contradicted himself with comments he made in 2015 before the draft regarding trading up for Marcus Mariota:

“The history of trading up for one player, when you look at those trades, isn’t good for the team trading up and putting a lot of resources into it.”

It is just another lesson to be careful what you say (or write) and who you say it to or your words could very well come back to bite you.

Good luck Mr. Roseman. I hope your strategy works out for the Eagles, because if not your previous comments will surely condemn you.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Thoughts on Coaching Contracts

Here is an article from News OK on Chris Beard who has had seven jobs in the past 62 months, accepting the Texas Tech job just days after agreeing to the become the UNLV head coach.

Journalist, Berry Tramel, offers a suggestion for the NCAA regarding contracts in is piece (see Tramel article).

Coaches, what do you think about two-way contracts?

It seems that loyalty is a thing of the past and your word is NOT bond. If coaches cannot be trusted, then shouldn’t safeguards be taken against them not fulfilling their contract?

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo