Every Thing Sports

Quarantine and chill

Jermaine Every

Last week, I wrote about what we could expect from the sports world moving forward following the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking at several different factors, I attempted to forecast what the sports world could look like whenever we return to the new normal. While there are numerous questions that remain unanswered about sports possibly returning, life goes on. Time doesn't stop and neither should we. So what are you doing in the meantime? Here are a few things my family and I have been up to:

Watching sports classics

Several networks, mainly ESPN and its fellow Disney brands, are airing classic sporting events. Whether they're the events we're accustomed to seeing at this time of year or others, I've enjoyed reliving these classics. The final round of the '97 Masters was among my favorites because that's when Tiger Woods took the golf world by storm. NFL Network has been replaying classic games and its America's Team series about Super Bowl champions. The different league's networks have been doing the same. Kick back and enjoy some classics. It's the best we've got for now.

Teaching the kids new skills

While the kids have been out of school, they've been tasked with distance learning. This means the schools and their districts have turned into facilitators while parents have added the title of teachers to their list of responsibilities. Up above was a lesson teaching our son how to wax his car. We also give them a critical thinking problem to solve every few days. They're also on a schedule so they aren't sleeping until 10-11am everyday. Routine is important. So is taking this time to spend with your kids to teach them things they won't learn in school.

Binge shows

While I spend most of my time watching sports, there are so many shows I haven't gotten into. I just finished season one of Ozark and can't wait to get up to date. Crime and cop shows are my favorites so I've been watching a ton of Law and Order: SVU, and recently got into Chicago P.D. If you guys have any suggestions, I'm all ears. I've gotten to the point in which some shows I've seen episodes so many times, I can recite the lines while taking a bathroom break and not miss a beat. This is either a sign of impending madness, or genius.

Eat and shop local

Too many businesses are losing money or are closing altogether. Supporting these businesses is essential to a thriving economy. If you're able, please try to support these businesses. We make it a point to try to eat from a local restaurant at least a couple times a week. By no means are we well off, but we know the importance of supporting the places around us. We had a delivery driver thank us for ordering food because it means she has a job still. She was almost in tears thanking us. If that doesn't show you the importance, I don't know what will.

Virtual parties

Whether it's the celebrity DJs or your own family, virtual parties have been awesome! Some DJs are raising money for various charities and/or healthcare workers. Pour a drink, login, and enjoy! My family has had a couple virtual parties. We even had drinks together. Doing things like this isn't the same as going out to a club or a family gathering, but it's something to occupy our time while maintaining social distancing and gives us a semblance of normalcy.

Whatever you do during this time, do it wisely. Protect yourself and the others around you. If you're feeling like the walls are closing in on you, talk to someone. You aren't alone. Lots of people are out there feeling like they're going crazy. I know of a few people that I know I need to check on every so often. I drove by one friend's house Saturday because we were in the area getting food. We honked, waved, and chatted from a safe distance. I know he's going crazy so I made sure to check on him. Bottom line: do something, be kind, stay active and don't descend into madness. We'll get through this.

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The Rockets may be the smartest guys in the room. Or the cheapest

The Rockets have their new head coach. Composite photo by Brandon Strange

On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that the Rockets' coaching search had come to an end finally. The front office tabbed Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas as the successor to Mike D'Antoni, beating out former Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy and current Rockets assistant John Lucas.

Knee jerk reaction?

I'm not mad at it. I expected Jeff Van Gundy to be the next hire, but maybe that was just nostalgia clouding my judgment. Either way, the Silas hire should be viewed optimistically. He's been highly regarded for some time around the league as an inventive mind that comes from basketball pedigree and has worked with big-name guards in prior stops around the league. If the Rockets didn't grab him, it was only a matter of time before another team gave him a shot.

Now there are two very distinct ways to look at this hire:

The first is that the Rockets, in spite of being one of the last teams to fill their coaching vacancy, are the smartest kids in the room. Every team is looking for the next version of what the Celtics found in their current head coach, Brad Stevens; a young brilliant coach that just needed a team to give him a shot. Hired at 37 from the college ranks, Stevens endured one losing season (his first) and has since guided the Celtics to six playoff appearances, to include three conference finals appearances. Not bad, considering he was up against LeBron James for most of those.

That is what it looks like the Rockets are trying to go for. Now at 47, Silas probably won't be mistaken for a wunderkind, but compared to 69-year-old D'Antoni, he might as well be announcing his hire on Tik Tok. If it works out, the Rockets will have once again been one step ahead of the league with the hiring of their innovative new coach.

The other way to look at the Silas hire is a little less rosy.

While Silas is only 47, he's also been an assistant in the league since he was 27. The positive spin on his resume is that he's worked with star players the likes of Kemba Walker, LeBron James, and Stephen Curry. The reality is that he worked with them while they were very young in their careers, and worked on teams like the Cavaliers, Bobcats/Hornets, Wizards, and Warriors (when they were bad). Until the last two seasons working with Luka Doncic on the Mavericks, there hasn't been a lot of success following Silas. That's not necessarily an indictment since he was an assistant, but it's not exactly a sparkling pedigree.

So while this could be a brilliant hire, at the moment, it has all of the markings of the cheaper hire. As I've mentioned before, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has been quite vocal about the financial impact that COVID-19 has had on his portfolio. Clips and quotes moaning and groaning about losing money are not typically precursors to an owner gearing up to make a big financial investment in the front office of a sports team that he can't sell tickets for anyone to come see. If in fact, money factored in more than fit, it would make sense that the Rockets would forego a coach like Van Gundy, whose previous head coaching experience would automatically command a higher starting price. We'll, of course, have to wait and see what the actual contract figures are once released.

It could be one. It could be the other. It could be both. Hopefully it translates into wins either way.

One thing that's for certain though is that Silas needs to take some pointers from Russell Westbrook and James Harden before he steps out courtside in any more of those TJ Maxx suits, circa 2000. Big boy job means big boy suits.

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