Cristiano Ronaldo, LA Clippers, and Jamal Khashoggi

Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of sexual assault, and while I do not like speculation do me a favor and indulge in my speculation for a little bit. This will once again be a case of he said she said, however if he is guilty it would not surprise me in the slightest.

He mentioned in the press conference that he “had everything,” and in a sense he does. This attitude could lead him to do exactly what he is being accused of, as he could feel that something that is not is he needs to take. While there is no doubt he faced a hard road to become one of the greats, now he is an incredible athlete who has been and is continually told that he is incredible. He is an incredible looking male, who is one of the greatest athletes ever. After a while, when people tell you that everything is yours, you start to believe it, for good or for ill. To me, he probably felt as though this is a woman he could take, because he was Cristiano Ronaldo. Again, innocence until proven guilty is crucial, and so at this time it is hard to say. However, it would not shock me if this is true.

In lighter news the LA Clippers are 2-2, which is a decent start for a very decent team. While many of you may be wondering whether or not Clippers fans even exist, I can tell you with confidence they do and I am a part of a small minority. My beloved Clippers traded away most of their best players, for assets. This team is full of assets, and it is going to be fascinating to see how not only they will perform but if they can attract a legitimate superstar.

The ceiling in my eyes for the Clippers is a 6th or 7th seed in the playoffs. Will they actually win anything? Probably not, but the team is still an exciting prospect nonetheless. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander looks to be a sensational rookie, with length, handles, and defense to match. I am hopeful for my Clippers but also willing to moderate my expectations in the hopes of a team that is incredibly successful in the future.

Also, I am shocked at the Jamal Khashoggi killings, and at the responses from both Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Both seem desperate to remind others of their importance, however both come off as hypocrites. President Erdogan wants to remind everyone that he is a pivotal ally who is against this kind of press brutality, but he has cracked down on his own people and officials for years, and is in charge of a country that has attempted to bully others into denying the Armenian Genocide. Meanwhile, the Crown Prince has tried to shape himself as a reformer, yet he cannot seem to stop himself from resorting to brutal tactics in order to take power.

This is a sad saga, and one that I hope gets resolved. But it is on all of us too hold both of these regimes accountable, and to make sure that justice in this case is served. Journalists and the press keep our leaders accountable, and it is our responsibility to make sure both countries understand this.

Fixes for the NBA and Monday Motivation

Here are a few ideas on how to fix the NBA:

  1. Reduce season to 58 games in which every team plays each team twice. Tie breakers would be decided first by head to head, then by point differential throughout the season, if neither break the tie they would play an extra game. This would reduce injuries and increase the importance of each regular season game, rather than the season dragging on for too long.
  2. Make the playoff an eight team playoff in which the top teams regardless of conference or region make it. Eight teams would create more pressure on regular season games and force teams toward the top to play until the very end of the season and not rest or stop playing once they have clinched a playoff spot. This would also reduce the length of the playoffs, which can go on for months. This leads to more injuries and less novelty toward each playoff game.
  3. The bottom four teams should be relegated to the D-League or a lower tier counterpart and those teams would be replaced by four newly promoted teams. This would prevent tanking and force teams to be as competitive as possible each season.
  4. Get rid of the NBA Draft and allow players to sign for whichever team they like so long as it fits within the salary cap. Preventing players from playing for there desired franchise is absurd and would be deemed unfair in any market outside of professional sports. That being said, I enjoy trades and they can make for fascinating drama. It also gives teams consequences and it is much simpler than the current transfer system throughout soccer. I would keep the rest but give players more leverage in picking which teams they can play for. While I also am not a fan of the salary cap, it helps even the playing field if properly used. However, in time I would like to see it go and allow teams to offer as much as they can in order to woo players.

Those are just some ideas although I am sure there needs to be much more than that to prevent injuries and keep the entire season engaging.

For your Monday Motivation, this stop and assist by Wayne Rooney to win the game for DC United is incredible. If this doesn’t fire you up, I don’t know what will. Happy Monday!