Buss-ing Through the Glass Ceiling

By Jamya Kyle

This past Sunday Jeanie Buss was the first female controlling owner of any NBA Organization to win a championship. While Buss took over as the controlling owner of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017, at the age of 19, Buss started a family business as the general manager of the Los Angeles Strings, which was a professional tennis team, while she studied at USC. 

“ Basically, my dad bought me the team,”

 Buss mentioned. Later on she became the owner of the Los Angeles Blades which is a professional Hockey Team. Before taking the position as Vice President of the Lakers, Buss was also the President of the Great Western Forum. In 2013, after Buss’ father passed away, his position in controlling ownership of the Lakers was passed down to six of his children. Buss took over as the controlling ownership team president while representing the Lakers on the NBA Board of Governors

There are currently three women in the NBA Organization who entirely own their own franchise. In 2018 after Gayle Benson’s husband passed away, Benson Inherited the New Orleans Pelicans in addition to the New Orleans Saints. In 1986, Gail Miller and her husband bought the Utah Jazz Organization when suddenly her husband passed away in 2009. Which they have not yet experienced an NBA title. 

In 2018, Jody Allen took over the Portland Trail Blazers after her brother passed, which she now owns the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. In the early 2000’s, Stan Kroenke owned the Denver Nuggets which is now passed down and in the name of his wife Anne Kreonke. This was put in place so Kreoenke could keep his ownership of the Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, in addition to owning the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. While their son Josh Kreoenke is with the Colorado Franchise. 

In 2005, Sporting News announced Buss as Top 20 one of the most influential Women in Sports. In 2011 ESPN mentioned Buss was “one of the most powerful women in the NBA” also Forbes named Buss as “one of few powerful women in sports management”. These are only a few of Buss’ big accomplishments since she has been in the sports business, and these will not be the last we hear about. 

This week Buss has shared a meme which has gone viral on social media platforms sharing to everyone “How she started” vs “How it’s going”. Buss is showing the path she has been down while having the title of a controlling owner as a woman of the organization. It has been more than 70 years without a woman accomplishing a title overall as a principal owner. This meme has been used as motivational use for various women in the sports industry, encouraging all women in sports that anything is possible as long as the work is put in.

The Philadelphia 76ers made the wrong moves during the offseason

By: Nikko Weathers

“Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,USA – April 2, 2012: Wells Fargo Center is part of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex and is home to Philadelphia Flyers (National Hockey League), the Philadelphia 76ers (National Basketball Association), the Philadelphia Wings (National Lacrosse League), the Philadelphia Soul (Arena Football League) and the Villanova Wildcats (NCAA). The center also serves as a venue for many other city event.”

With the knee injury to Ben Simmons, Brett Brown is forced to be without his all star forward for the foreseeable future. With the absence of Simmons, all of the pressure is left to the 76ers superstar Joel Embid who is struggling to find a win against the young Boston Celtics.

Boston’s Jayson Tatum has been firing on all cylinders leading the Celtics in scoring while taking a 2-0 series lead against the injury riddled Sixers. From those two games it is obvious that the Sixers miss Simmons, without him there is absolutely no identity on the offensive end and no leader on the floor. It is no question that Embid is their best player on the floor however there are many questions that arise when he and Simmons are both on the floor, or Simmons is absent. Embid seems to lack leadership qualities, and toughness while also looking out of shape due to the 4 month hiatus.

It has never been more clear how valuable Simmons is to the team, but when he is on the floor with Embid they still can’t seem to get it done and make it out of the East. Critics knock Simmons’ inability to shoot a jumper from the perimeter, his turnovers, and his lack of offensive repertoire. What many should focus on besides his weaknesses should be what he is good at which is pushing the offense in transition, his defensive skills, and his vision on the floor.

During the offseason the 76ers gave forward Tobias Harris a max $180 million, $97 million for Al Horford, and acquired Josh Richardson via a trade with MIami for Jimmy Butler. The 76ers valued size this offseason but didn’t focus on adding depth to compliment the main pieces on the team which are their two all stars, Simmons and Embid. Their lack of perimeter shooting, bench depth, and offensive miscues will have them plagued against the other top teams in the East.

Yes, if Ben Simmons were healthy in this series against the Celtics it would have been a far better matchup, he led the league in steals at 2.1 steals, he held Jayson Tatum to 31.3 percent shooting while he guarded him, and averaged 8.0 assists which ranked sixth in the NBA. 

If the 76ers refocused their offseason on adding pieces to compliment their two stars we could see a different year for them however, that is not the case. They overpaid for a non all star forward in Tobias Harris, they added a regressing big in Al Horford, and downgraded by trading for Josh Richardson while shipping out Jimmy Butler. They also lost their knock down perimeter shooter in JJ Reddick. If they didn’t give away Reddick, didn’t overpay for an average forward, didn’t sign a regressing big, and kept all star Jimmy Butler happy this would have been a far more successful year.

The Ultimate NFL Draft First Round Review

By: Michael Markoch

The NFL Draft is quite a spectacle for football fans. It is the NFL’s version of Christmas, where organizations can select new players for their rosters. And this year, more than ever, fans around the world need this draft, we all need live sports right now, and this is as close as we are going to get to that in these difficult times. Last night was the first round, 32 picks, 32 players, together at home making dreams come true, so let us break down what we saw last night and then mention some winners, losers, and surprises.

The first ever virtual draft went as smoothly as the NFL could have imagined. And for the teams picking at the top, it seemed easy. The Bengals confirmed the worst kept secret ever and took LSU’s Joe Burrow and the Redskins selected Ohio State’s Chase Young, who was arguably the best overall player in the draft.

The most interesting part of the first round was the number of positional runs that occurred. In the middle portion of the round, we saw huge runs on offensive lineman, cornerbacks, and a massive run on wide receivers, who are highly coveted this year, beginning with Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III going 12th overall to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The back part of the draft went as expected, teams filling needs with players they had high on their board, no matter if people knew the name or not.  The Tennessee Titans took Georgia’s Isaiah Wilson with the 29th pick, making him the second Georgia offensive lineman taken in the first round.  The Seahawks made a first-round pick for the first time in 8 years and took Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks over higher rated players such as Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison.  The first round ended with the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs selection LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

But now for the fun stuff, because there were some huge winners and losers and of course some major surprises.

Winners

#1- Miami Dolphins: With three first round picks, the Dolphins were in great position to add some great talent to their team, and it started with the 5th pick. The Dolphins did not draft scared, they took Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa to be their franchise quarterback despite his injury concerns and selected USC’s Austin Jackson, who is a very raw offensive line talent. You cannot get better in this league without taking risk, and Tagovailoa is one, but he was the right pick for this organization, and they didn’t overthink it, took him, and did not look back.  The Dolphins finished their first round by taking Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene with pick number 30.

#2- Cleveland Browns: The draft could not have shaken out any better for the Cleveland Browns. Their most glaring need was left tackle and because only one tackle was taken in the top 9, they basically had their choice of the pack and they got the guy they wanted in Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. Wills played right tackle at Alabama but played left tackle in high school and should be able to make a smooth transition to the left side for the Browns.  With this pick, the Browns have no more excuses, they officially have it all, especially on offense. But because they shored up their biggest need with the guy they wanted all along, they are big winners after Round 1.

#3- San Francisco 49ers: Talk about the rich getting richer, the 49ers traded DeForest Buckner for the 13th pick, which they turned into his replacement with South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw at 14 after trading with Tampa Bay. Kinlaw will make an immediate impact on their defensive line and fill in for Bucker nicely, while also being a lot cheaper. Then later, the Niners traded up to 25th overall to get Brandon Aiyuk, an athletic freak at wide receiver who will help the 49ers greatly in the pass-catching department.

Losers

#1- New England Patriots- The Patriots traded out of the first round, so how can they be losers? Well, whether the Patriots want to admit it or not, they have holes all over their roster, not just at quarterback.  They could have used the 23rd pick on another position to simply make their team better, like a linebacker like Kenneth Murray or Patrick Queen, or a pass rusher like Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos. Instead, they just sound plain stubborn. They have 13 picks in the final six rounds, but due to their actions on Thursday night, they take an L this time around.

#2- Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons have glaring needs all over the defensive side of the ball, and it felt like they reached at pick 16 with Clemson’s A.J. Terrell. He is a very unpolished prospect that is going to need some development to really reach his full potential. I would’ve rather seen LSU’s Kristian Fulton or even a linebacker like Kenneth Murray or K’Lavon Chassion with their pick. It just did not feel right from the start and felt like a panic move due to the run on cornerbacks and seemed a bit high for where they were picking.

#3- Detroit Lions- They are certainly not losers because they took Jeff Okudah. Simply put, they did not want to take Okudah as high as they did. It was no secret Detroit wanted to move out of the number 3 spot, and they seemed to have suitors, but never got a deal done. The Lions need so much more help besides Okudah and the fact that they didn’t collect any more picks was a failure on their part.  I love the pick but I felt they could’ve had so much more on top of it, for that they are a loser.

Surprises

#1: Damon Arnette Goes in the First Round 

The Las Vegas Raiders stunned everyone when they selected Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette 19th overall.  Arnette had a high second round grade and was head-scratching to most because the Raiders probably could have gotten him in the second round.  There were probably more talented cornerbacks still on the board, but the Raiders showed that you should always go with your guy, no matter where you are picking.  Time will tell if it was a good pick for them.

#2: Packers Shock Everyone, Take Aaron Rodgers Successor…We Think?

The Packers traded up in the first round to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, and let us just say most people didn’t take it all that well.  Aaron Rodgers is only 36, ironically the same age as Brett Favre when the Packers took Rodgers as the succession plan, and is still playing at a high level, so why now?  What makes this pick even more surprising is that the Packers desperately need weapons on offense and there were plenty of those still on the board.  Now there is no guarantee they will be able to get one with their later picks. The Packers better hope Love is what they think he can be or else this is a all-time bust.

#3: Andrew Thomas Was the First Offensive Tackle Taken 

The Giants took Georgia’s Andrew Thomas with the number 4 overall pick. It’s not that the Giants took a tackle, but rather who that is surprising.  Thomas was not the highest rated lineman on most experts’ boards due to his balance issues in college.  It was a surprising pick considering it was expected Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr or Iowa’s Tristian Wirfs was going to be the first tackle selected.  Hopefully, Danny Dimes has the protection he needs to succeed.

#4: The Eagles Take Who? 

To say the Eagles needed a wide receiver is an incredible understatement.  Carson Wentz was throwing the college quarterbacks next season.  So with the 20th pick, the Eagles took a wide receiver, Jalen Reagor out of TCU.  When he was first drafted most asked who he was, because he had a 2nd round grade on most boards.  He’s a raw talent at receiver that has great potential, but it seemed the Eagles could have played it safer with LSU’s Justin Jefferson, who was still on the board, or Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr., who were more higher rated prospects.  But they took a chance on a player with high potential to change a receiving core that desperately needs it and proved that experts’ boards mean absolutely nothing in the NFL Draft.

Link between Hip-Hop and Sports

We have all heard the adage rappers want to be athletes and athletes want to be rappers.  A great example of this today is Toronto Raptors super fan and arguably one of the most successful rappers of this Generation is Drake. He can always be seen court-side at Raptors games.  When you see athletes today, they barrow fashion and mannerisms from the culture of Hip-Hop. The pioneer of this movement of bringing hip-hop culture into the sports world was. The National Basketball Association Hall of Famer, THE Answer Allen Iverson. A.I.  would come to the arena with long chains, earrings, and pieces of jewelry with the bagging pants, long t-shirts, and the fitted hats were all reminiscent of early 2000’s Hip-Hop fashion. Iverson’s impact on the basketball world became so prevalent that the NBA’s commissioner at the time David Stern Instituted a dress code outline of what players could wear to the games. This is why in today’s NBA many players are wearing suits and such things to the games.  Iverson’s influence has leaked into other professional leagues as well such as the National Football League. The NFL racial makeup is about 70% African American players in the league and the NBA is about 74%. This may be true because many of the athletes and rappers share the similar upbringing of impoverished neighborhoods and use their smart along with athletic ability to become the successful people they are today. Hip-Hop music is the soundtrack to many of these athletes’ lives because the music tells the story of a community of people of triumph and struggle. The rise in Hip-Hop as a mainstream genre of music and the popularity of the two biggest sports here in North America coincide with each other as The Rap music genre was taking off so was basketball with one of the most popular players of the 90’s Michael Jordan was winning his six championships in the NBA. Also, there was Prime-Time Deion Sanders who was the Iverson of the NFL with his gold chains and his flamboyant swagger. He would be seen and associated with one of the most successful Hip-Hop stars at the time MC Hammer. These two forms of entertainment however different in what they provide will be permanently linked to each other because of the connection and impact they have on the culture and society today.

By: Thomas Burton

AFC East and NFC East Offseason 2020

The National Football League off season is in full swing and with the draft right around the corner here is my breakdown of the offseason thus far and potential moves in the 2020 NFL draft.

 AFC East 

New England Patriots: 

The biggest free agency move in the National Football League was the loss of Tom Brady for the Patriots was Six-time Superbowl Champion Tom Brady and how will they move on and fill the void at the Quarterback position. The projected replacement is former Auburn Quarterback and former Fourth Round Draft pick, Jarrett Stidham. The Patriots have brought back and signed veteran Quarterback Brian Hoyer on a one-year deal. Hoyer will tutor and teach Stidham how to be a Quarterback at the pro level. Devin McCourty resigns with the team on a two-year deal. McCourty is still playing at a high level and is the defensive captain and leader in the secondary. He may be the new guy who will carry out the “Patriot way” while carrying the messages between coaches and players. Beau Allen is the replacement for Defensive Tackle Danny Shelton who moved on to the Detroit Lions on a two-year contract. He fits into the defensive system of a big-bodied Defensive tackle that will take up space during the early downs and will be taken off the field during pass-rush situations. Brandon Copeland, the Outside Linebacker, signs with the team and is seen as a guy who will compete and fill depth on the roster. He is a replacement for Kyle Van Noy who moved onto the Miami Dolphins and Jamie Collins who moved onto the Detroit Lions. Copeland is more effective when being used in pass-rush situations.

Draft needs:  Tight-end, linebacker, Offensive line, Wide receiver

The Patriots will select  Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin with the 23rd pick. He will replace Kyle Van Noy with his ability to get after the quarterback with 12.5 sacks and be versatile in the front-seven.  

Buffalo Bills:


The biggest free agent move for the Bills is the acquisition of star Wide-out Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings via trade. This pick up gives the Bills the number one receiver they have been looking for to add more punch to their offense and help the development of third-year Quarterback Josh Allen. Quinton Spain signs a 3-year deal that will bring back all five starters who will protect Josh Allen. E.J. Gaines and who will add more depth on the outside to help their excellent young corner Tre’Davious White. Josh Norman had his most productive years in Carolina under Sean McDermott as the Panthers Defensive Coordinator who is now the Bills Head Coach. Mario Addison replaces Shaq Lawson who is now a Miami Dolphin. His 9.5 sacks would have tied the lead for sacks in Buffalo last season. Quinton Jefferson signs a 2-year deal. He adds a championship pedigree with his time in Seattle. He also adds versatility with his ability to play defensive tackle and defensive end.  

Draft needs:  Edge rusher, Wide-receiver 

Chase Claypool WR, Notre Dame will add a red zone threat and a big body receiver for Josh Allen. The Bills have many downfield threats with Stefon Diggs but not a receiver who can get you those 50/50 balls. 

New York Jets:

The Jets make a tremendous investment in protecting Quarterback Sam Darnold with the acquisition of George Fant an offensive tackle on a three-year, $30 million deal, Connor McGovern a center who was a 3-year starter in Denver on a 3- year deal worth up to $27 million, and Guard Greg Van Roten on a 3-year deal who is a former Panther. Pierre Desir signs a one-year deal he offers a starting-caliber Cornerback with the releasing of former starters Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts. They also retain Brian Poole for a one- year as their slot corner which in today’s league is a starting position. Also, Poole played 68% of snaps on the Jets Defense last season which was the most by any other corner on the roster. 

Draft needs: Wide-receiver,  offensive-tackle  

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama will give Sam Darnold the number one receiver he needs to help allow him to take that next step and add some punch to an offense that needs more playmakers on the outside with the loss of Roby Anderson. 

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have made big moves in improving their defense based on versatility and fit with the headliner of these moves former Cowboys Cornerback Byron Jones who is now the league’s highest-paid corner thanks to the fins. Jones led the NFL in the percentage of targets into tight windows at 50%. He also fits the defensive scheme of Head coach Brian Flores who loves to play man to man. The Dolphins defense will have two stud Cornerbacks with the pairing of Xavien Howard. Kyle Van Noy joins his former defensive coordinator from his days in New England on a 4-year 51-million dollar contract. Van Noy’s versatility will be used as a linebacker and as an edge rusher. He also can help cultivate the new culture that the Dolphins started building on at the end of last season. Shaq Lawson signed on a 3-year deal worth 30 Million Dollars the dolphins had no pass rush last year Lawsonn’s 6.5 sacks would have led a team who had only 23 sacks combined all of last season. Also, he could help in run defense. Emmanuel Ogbah is another mid-tier free agent who can add a punch off the edge and against the run and only on a two-year contract worth 15 Million. Jordan Howard Signs a two-year deal. The Runningback will immediately improve the leagues worth rushing attack. Howard who is only 25 years old has shown the ability to be very productive with his time as a Chicago Bear and Philadelphia Eagles. Howard has the third most rush yards and the seventh most rush TDs since entering the NFL in 2016. 

Draft needs: Quarterback, Safety, offensive-line, Wide-receiver

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon will be the future signal-caller with his prototypical size and a big arm. Miami will also select Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama who has the versatility and will step into to replace Minkah Fitzpatrick and add to the defensive overhaul that Miami had during Free Agency.  

NFC East 

 Philadelphia Eagles

Javon Hargrave signed a three-year deal worth $39 million. The Eagles have added another piece to their talented defensive line group with Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, and Brandon Graham. The Eagles added Will Parks and Nickell Robey-Coleman to a secondary that desperately needs help with the release of veteran and former defensive leader Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles had a big splash move with a sign and trade for All-pro Cornerback Darius Slay to bolster the Secondary. Detroit received a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick. The Eagles sign Slay to a 3-year 50 million extension. Parks adds versatility with his ability to play safety and Cornerback. Coleman the former Ram is a starting-caliber Corner and probably will compete for playing time in the slot. Jatavis Brown will add more depth and competition to a Linebacker group with the loss of Nigel Bradham. Brown is the former Charger who has started 23 games in four seasons with the team. 

Draft needs: Wide-receiver, cornerback, Inside Linebacker

 Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU with the aging group of Wideouts like Desean Jackson and  Alshon Jeffery Jefferson will add big-play ability and allow the eagles to get younger at the position. Jordyn Brooks, ILB, Texas Tech who can become the day one starter and have an immediate impact. . 

 Dallas Cowboys:

The Dak Prescott situation with the Cowboys has gotten very tense with the placing of the exclusive franchise tag on their quarterback. Amari Cooper signed a huge five-year, 100 million dollar deal. Cooper was the number one receiver for the Cowboys and he and Dak Prescott gave the offense a tremendous boost. In 25 games, they have connected on 132 passes for 1,914 yards and 14 touchdowns. Anthony Brown resigns with the team on a 3-year deal, with the loss of Byron Jones to the Dolphins the Cowboys needed to keep Brown who has been very dependable in his first four seasons with the team. Ha- Ha Clinton-Dix reunites with his former coach Mike Mccarthy and signs a one-year deal. He adds depth with starting experience and a starting-caliber safety to the secondary. Gerald McCoy gets added after the loss of Robert Quinn. Mccoy can play different positions on the defensive line which will help in the new defensive scheme for Mike Nolan. Greg Zuerlein signs with the team on a 3-year 7.5 million dollar deal this move will improve the Special Teams unit and create stability in the kicking game where the Cowboys have had trouble the past few seasons.

Draft needs: Cornerback,  edge rusher

CJ Henderson, CB, Florida  With the loss of Byron Jones the Cowboys need to bolster their Secondary and Henderson is an athletic playmaker with great coverage skills. 

 New York Giants

The Giants have added defensive help in the secondary group and the front seven. James Bradberry has signed with the team on a 3-year deal worth 45 million dollars. The team has added a veteran presence in a young secondary. He will automatically be the team’s number one corner. He has shown the ability to hold its own against the league’s top receivers. Blake Martinez signed a 3-year deal worth 30 million dollars. The Giants needed a signal-caller for their defense. Martinez was a tackling machine with 155 combined tackles. Also added to the Linebacker group was another former Packer, Kyler Fackrell on a one-year deal. Fackrell added a pass rusher with not being in the running for the big name pass rusher. Leonard Williams was franchised tagged by the team on an expected salary of 16.1 Million for one year. Williams was the best defensive player on the team through the last eight games. He had 20 quarterback pressures and 14 hurries, tops among Giants defensive linemen after joining the team. Dion Lewis was added to the team on a one-year deal. He could help take some of the load off of Saquon Barkley during the passing downs which can help preserve him for later in the season. 

Draft needs: offensive line, Wide-receiver, Outside-Linebacker 

Isaiah Simmons, OLB/S Clemson Simmons is a do it all Linebacker and can be a playmaker they have been missing on their defense. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor Mims has great size and speed who will give Daniel Jones a great target in the red zone. 

Washington Redskins

The Redskins have added some secondary help and some protection for the young Quarterback Dwayne Haskins with keeping guard Brandon Scherff and adding Wes Schweitzer. Scherff was franchised tagged by the team. The team can not afford to lose any more offensive line to help with the rocky relationship with tackle Trent Williams. Wes Schweitzer was signed to the team on a 3-year deal worth 13.5 Million after losing Erik Flowers to Miami. The Redskins have added secondary help after bringing back Kendall Fuller on a 4-year deal. His time with the Chiefs was not that impressive but maybe a change of scenery will help. They also add Sean Davis and Ronald Darby. Davis can add some versatility because he has played Cornerback and Safety with his time with the Steelers. Darby adds more depth in the secondary and on the outside. 

Draft needs: Wide-receiver, Tightend, cornerback  

Chase Young, DE, Ohio State He is the best defensive lineman and one of the best players in the draft. With this move, the Redskins could be building a young disruptive group up font similar to the San Francisco 49ers.