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 got a steal at No. 3 overall. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images.

With the Astros absorbing their worst loss of the season Thursday night at the Yankees, here's to the Rockets! Wait, what? It's only educated guess work, but in landing Jabari Smith out of Auburn the Rockets had a spectacular night. Heaven knows they have had very few of those the last two years. After having to settle for the third pick in the NBA Draft despite being the worst team in the league again, in Smith the Rockets got the best player in the Draft. Of course Smith could be an epic flop, it’s very inexact science. But Orlando taking Paolo Banchero from Duke first then Oklahoma City selecting Gonzaga beanpole Chet Holmgren second left the "surest thing" two-way player on the board. Through most of the run-up to the draft the six-foot-10 inch Banchero was most commonly projected to the Rockets. It's not as if he would have been a bad choice as a player. Banchero certainly could turn out to be the best player in this draft class. But his game is skewed toward his offensive skills, his fit in Houston would have been quite questionable. The also 6-10 Smith has shown the vastly better outside shooting ability, and is indisputably more athletic and better equipped to defend at a higher level and with more versatility. Jabari Smith is not going to be Kevin Durant or Kevin Garnett. Let's at least call it extreeeeemely unlikely given very few in the history of the planet come close to those guys, still, envisioning Smith providing some KD and KG level moments on both ends of the floor is pretty, pretty, pretty good.

The Rockets' defense was an absolute joke last season. Little to no improvement was shown as the death march of 2021-22 dragged on and on and on to its 20-62 finish. Frankly if Head Coach Stephen Silas can't demand/develop vastly improved D this coming season he'll deserve and need to be fired. The Rockets love Alperen Sengun, and his rookie season offense showed both flair and promise. Defensively he was one of many parts of the joke. Just 20 years old late next month so some improvement should come, but Sengun is slow. Quick twitch muscles, slow. Lateral movement, slow. He’s not long, not a leaper, not thick. Sengun will be hard-pressed to become an average defender. In today's game he's the kind of big who quality small-ball opponents play off the court. Banchero would have been a lousy defensive pairing with Sengun. Smith-Sengun has a chance. Smith as a small-ball center has potential. Christian Wood was a dog, not in a good way. Smith’s character grades are very high.

The seven-foot 194 pound Holmgren has a fascinating array of skills. He could be Rudy Gobert defensively with way better offense, or a skinny guy who can’t hack it physically. Had the Thunder taken Smith at two, Holmgren to the Rockets would have been interesting. Getting Smith to pair with Jalen Green as the tent poles of the Rockets’ still long way to go reconstruction is more encouraging. With due respect to all the other first round picks added in 2021 and 2022, what Green and Smith become individually and as a tandem is what will foremost determine how long the Rockets remain horrible. It could go pretty well for the duo and the Rockets could still be awful for multiple more years. A third consecutive losing season is virtual certainty. By the end of it though at least a few meaningful rays of light at the end of the tunnel need to be peeking through.

As for the other two first rounders added Thursday night, both are interesting darts at the board. Tari Eason out of LSU brings defensive chops and size (six-foot-eight) for his position, a combo that exactly zero returning Rockets have. Jae’Sean Tate plays really hard, but he’s a six-four forward. All their Josh Christophers, Garrison Matthewses, Kenyon Martin Jrs., and David Nwabas add up to very little.

No one smart really believes in Kevin Porter Jr. as a long term winning point guard growth stock. TyTy Washington should get some rookie run at the point. He’s the only non-worthless to the team ex-Kentucky point guard on the Rockets’ roster. Yes, John Wall and his 47.3 million dollar salary are still on the roster.

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