Wednesday, July 18, 2018

My Soccer Team Will be...

I started watching soccer for real in March of 2012. I knew most of the teams but never understood the relegation/Champions League system.

The thing that caught my eye was how lopsided the table was of the English Premier League. I mean, it was pretty clear that there was a big gap between the Top 6 and the rest.

I wanted to cheer for a London club but didn't know which one. I decided to go with Tottenham Hotspur but it didn't feel right. They have emerged as one of the big clubs.

I quickly remembered how Junior Hoilet played for QPR years ago and how their stadium seemed like a good place to see a game.

QPR sits at 41-1 odds of winning the Championship and going back up to the top flight. Not likely but I guess there is always a chance.

I'm from Vancouver BC. I'm used to odds not being in my favor. I just want to find a way to watch my new team in the second division most likely trying not to go down.

I'll get over to England one day. But for now, I'll have to watch from abroad. We haven't played in a European game since 1984 which was now 34 years ago.

One day our time will come, just not likely going to be this year.

Monday, July 16, 2018

FIBA is missing out on Soccer's Success

The World Cup is over, whether you were a bandwagon fan or a big soccer fan, we just witnessed some amazing soccer. To think that there are 211 soccer national teams in the world and only the Top 32 got to Russia goes to show how hard it is just to get there.

In other words, its too bad that this event doesn't happen every year, but what about other sports? Baseball will never likely have best on best because the owners are too concerned of injury, we have seen what hockey puts on the ice when NHL players go to the Olympics but what about basketball?

We have seen NBA players lack of interest to play for their country as the years have gone on. Just last year, FIBA went to the soccer model where teams have home games every three months but the NBA refuses to release their players.

According to an article on NBA.com last fall, there are 108 international players from 42 different countries. This number has been rapidly growing and if FIBA World Cup Qualifying was best on best, we would have some amazing competition.

To put 42 different countries in prospective, there are only 32 teams that qualify for the World Cup. That would indicate that at least 10 countries wold not get in that believe that they are good enough too.

Here's a list that was current last fall. 

Country

First Name Last Name Team
Argentina Nicolas Brussino Atlanta Hawks
Argentina Manu Ginobili San Antonio Spurs
Australia Kyrie Irving Boston Celtics
Australia Aron Baynes Boston Celtics
Australia Andrew Bogut Los Angeles Lakers
Australia Matthew Dellavedova Milwaukee Bucks
Australia Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers
Australia Patty Mills San Antonio Spurs
Australia Dante Exum Utah Jazz
Australia Joe Ingles Utah Jazz
Austria Jakob Poeltl Toronto Raptors
Bahamas Buddy Hield Sacramento Kings
Bosnia and Herzegovina Ivica Zubac Los Angeles Lakers
Bosnia and Herzegovina Mirza Teletovic Milwaukee Bucks
Bosnia and Herzegovina Jusuf Nurkic Portland Trail Blazers
Brazil Cristiano Felicio Chicago Bulls
Brazil Nene
Houston Rockets
Brazil Bruno Caboclo Toronto Raptors
Brazil Lucas Nogueira Toronto Raptors
Brazil Raul Neto Utah Jazz
Cameroon Luc Mbah a Moute Houston Rockets
Cameroon Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers
Cameroon Pascal Siakam Toronto Raptors
Canada Tristan Thompson Cleveland Cavaliers
Canada Dwight Powell Dallas Mavericks
Canada Jamal Murray Denver Nuggets
Canada Trey Lyles Denver Nuggets
Canada Cory Joseph Indiana Pacers
Canada Tyler Ennis Los Angeles Lakers
Canada Dillon Brooks Memphis Grizzlies
Canada Kelly Olynyk Miami Heat
Canada Andrew Wiggins Minnesota Timberwolves
Canada Khem Birch Orlando Magic
Canada Nik Stauskas Philadelphia 76ers
China Zhou Qi Houston Rockets
Croatia Ante Zizic Cleveland Cavaliers
Croatia Bojan Bogdanovic Indiana Pacers
Croatia Mario Hezonja Orlando Magic
Croatia Dario Saric Philadelphia 76ers
Croatia Dragan Bender Phoenix Suns
Czech Republic Tomas Satoransky Washington Wizards
Dem. Republic of the Congo Emmanuel Mudiay Denver Nuggets
Dem. Republic of the Congo Bismack Biyombo Orlando Magic
Dominican Republic Al Horford Boston Celtics
Egypt Abdel Nader Boston Celtics
Finland Lauri Markkanen Chicago Bulls
France Guerschon Yabusele Boston Celtics
France Nicolas Batum Charlotte Hornets
France Alexis Ajinca New Orleans Pelicans
France Frank Ntilikina New York Knicks
France Evan Fournier Orlando Magic
France Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot Philadelphia 76ers
France Tony Parker San Antonio Spurs
France Joffrey Lauvergne San Antonio Spurs
France Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz
France Ian Mahinmi Washington Wizards
Georgia Zaza Pachulia Golden State Warriors
Germany Dennis Schroder Atlanta Hawks
Germany Daniel Theis Boston Celtics
Germany Paul Zipser Chicago Bulls
Germany Maxi Kleber Dallas Mavericks
Germany Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks
Greece Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
Greece Georgios Papagiannis Sacramento Kings
Haiti Skal Labissiere Sacramento Kings
Israel Omri Casspi Golden State Warriors
Italy Marco Belinelli Atlanta Hawks
Italy Danilo Gallinari LA Clippers
Latvia Kristaps Porzingis New York Knicks
Latvia Davis Bertans San Antonio Spurs
Lithuania Domantas Sabonis Indiana Pacers
Lithuania Mindaugas Kuzminskas New York Knicks
Lithuania Jonas Valanciunas Toronto Raptors
Mali Cheick Diallo New Orleans Pelicans
Montenegro Nikola Mirotic Chicago Bulls
Montenegro Nikola Vucevic Orlando Magic
New Zealand Steven Adams Oklahoma City Thunder
Poland Marcin Gortat Washington Wizards
Puerto Rico J.J. Barea Dallas Mavericks
Republic of the Congo Serge Ibaka Toronto Raptors
Russia Timofey Mozgov Brooklyn Nets
Senegal Gorgui Dieng Minnesota Timberwolves
Serbia Nikola Jokic Denver Nuggets
Serbia Boban Marjanovic Detroit Pistons
Serbia Milos Teodosic LA Clippers
Serbia Nemanja Bjelica Minnesota Timberwolves
Serbia Bogdan Bogdanovic Sacramento Kings
Slovenia Goran Dragic Miami Heat
South Sudan Luol Deng Los Angeles Lakers
South Sudan Thon Maker Milwaukee Bucks
Spain Jose Calderon Cleveland Cavaliers
Spain Juancho Hernangomez Denver Nuggets
Spain Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies
Spain Willy Hernangomez New York Knicks
Spain Alex Abrines Oklahoma City Thunder
Spain Pau Gasol San Antonio Spurs
Spain Ricky Rubio Utah Jazz
Sweden Jonas Jerebko Utah Jazz
Switzerland Clint Capela Houston Rockets
Switzerland Thabo Sefolosha Utah Jazz
Tunisia Salah Mejri Dallas Mavericks
Turkey Ersan Ilyasova Atlanta Hawks
Turkey Cedi Osman Cleveland Cavaliers
Turkey Omer Asik New Orleans Pelicans
Turkey Enes Kanter New York Knicks
Turkey Furkan Korkmaz Philadelphia 76ers
Ukraine Alex Len Phoenix Suns
United Kingdom OG Anunoby Toronto Raptors

Below please find the full list of international two-way players:

Country First Name Last Name Team
Canada Chris Boucher Golden State Warriors
Dominican Republic Luis Montero Detroit Pistons
France Yakuba Ouattara Brooklyn Nets
Puerto Rico Gian Clavell Dallas Mavericks
Sudan Mangok Mathiang Charlotte Hornets

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Stop Stressing Yourself Out and Find Happiness

I want to do something special wit my life. Something out of the ordaniary and adventures. I think people might know this but I'm a big sports fan and love my teams. Canucks, Suns, Seahawks and Mets.

As much as I love those teams, there is something special about figuring out why we are on this earth. Personally, I don't want to have a 9-5 job five days a week. Then on Monday morning, the work week starts again.

I want to be able to travel and get paid for it. Do something for people who are less fortunate and have next to nothing. I was in Bolivia last summer and to see how laid back life was down their was very relaxing to see.

The thing is, it didn't cost me much to live down there. I'm not sure why our dollar goes further in other countries, but it does. To put into account the climate is better outside of where I reside in Vancouver, it just goes to show that we would be happier in other parts of the world.

We all can do it, why do we think we are tied down to our country? If anything, the World Cup has taught me that their are so many other countries that sport bring everyone together and that we don't have to be rich to be in a good mood.

My advice to you would be make a list of goals for your life and keep focusing on them. We don't need to live on much, in fact anything over 31,000 to me is well off. 31,000 USD is enough to comfortably live.

People will disagree but in reality that number gives you enough. Take half of that money and invest it, the other half and use it to live off of until you have set up your "on the side" business. Your on the side business is something your passionate about. Hec, it doesn't even have to be a business, be an author or blog writer.

Next step, sell everything you could live with out. Yes, there is a lot of stuff that fit into this category. Do we need a 1,600 mac or could we use the 800 dollar PC that does most of the same things.

In the end, it goes to show that we all have more then we need and if we all work together, we could all be way more happier.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mets Might be in the Worst Spot in Baseball Now

The news that broke today that Sandy Alderson will take a leave of absence from his New York Mets General Manager duties is super sad but at the same time, this might have been unavoidable and was maybe only a matter of time.

As we come to the middle of 2018, the deadly disease of cancer has almost affected everyone whether it has been us or someone we know. I don't know Sandy personally, but if I had to place a bet, I think this might be the beginning of the end for the Mets GM.

The 2018 Train wrecked New York Mets as we know them will take a backseat for at least a week. We love something so awesome as baseball suddenly means so little when we hear news like this.

I don't know where the Mets go from hear, they might have the bleakest future in the NL East with a lineup filled with veterans and a starting rotation that is too good to be losing 85+ games and at this point in the year even that might be generous.

Lets face it though, this is a Mets Franchise that has not really been that competitive outside of their five NL Championships. The latest graphs seem to be indicating that the Mets are fading away from their glory year of 2015.

In fact, the Mets are following similar patterns to their 2000 and 2006 runs at a World Series where they quickly fell off a cliff after their window closed.

I'll say this, the Mets window to win a World Series has ended and it most likely ended last year. Noah Syndergaard will never pitch a playoff game for the Mets again and this whole thing needs to be ripped up and reevaluated. Rebuilding, doesn't mean going into a five year dormant period like the Astros did but its going to take a bit of time,

This kills me to say this because my current job is not a great job if watching Mets baseball is my #1 priority. My morning shifts start at 7am Seattle time and my afternoon shifts start at 3pm. I have probably watched about 10 games all year and that bugs me,

I haven't forgotten about the Mets, never will. Our prospects haven't been as good as other teams and we are falling behind. Atlanta looks legit and we are stuck in mediocrity

Friday, June 22, 2018

Suns Get Their Local Star, Could They have Done More?

The Phoenix Suns entered the 2018 draft with the grad prize their for the taking as for the first time in their history, they were drafting #1. The all around consensus was that the Suns were going to be selecting Deandre Ayton the local prodigy with that pick.

Suns fans are have to live Ayton no matter how much they wanted Luka Doncic or Trae Young. Passing on a player like Ayton would curse a teams franchise if he winds up in the Hall Of Fame.  If he's a bust, well at least we can say we made a safe pick.

For one, Doncic and Young both have low floors as well. Doncic has excelled at the European level but sometimes it doesn't translate to North America. Young is great, but defensively he is flawed.

The other three picks irritate me. Mikal Bridges is a good player but the log jam at the three and four spots are triggered again. More importantly, I'm not sure it was that much of an upgrade from Zhaire Smith the Texas Tech explosive sharp shooter to give away Miami's 2021 1st round pick.

With the Suns third pick of the night, they reached out all the way to France to pick Élie Okobo. This pick has me baffled as he becomes the sixth forward to be taken by the Suns since 2014. My pick would have been Jalen Brunson who was on Villanova's National Title winning team this April. Drafting a Point Guard with one of their first three picks was a must for me.

The last pick, is almost a whatever pick. I want to say I'm surprised it was another forward but I'm really not. George King will likely be a G League player next year so its really a pick for the future. Still, not going with a Point Guard was bothersome to me.

Let's predict the Depth Chart for opening night next October.

PGSGSFPFC
Eric BledsoeDevon BookerJosh JacksonMarquese ChrissDeandre Ayton 
Tyler UlisTroy DanielsTJ WarenDragan BenderAlex Len
G-League:
Élie Okobo
Mikal Bridges
George King

Now, here's what my roster would have looked like if I was the GM after the Isaiah Thomas deal.

PGSGSFPFC
De’Aaron FoxDevon Booker Zhaire SmithMarquese Chriss
Deandre Ayton  
Jalen BrunsonBuddy HieldTJ WarenGeorge King Alex Len
For me, we have too many forwards with not enough playing time. The winners of the draft were Dallas, Charlotte and Philadelphia.

I give the Suns a C for not filling holes and not being creative enough with their four picks.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

It's Time For Benning to Shine

Well, here we go again. The Vancouver Canucks are picking Top 10 in the NHL Draft Friday night but for some reason, this time around it feels different.

For the first time since 2001, the Canucks won't have anyone bailing them out of jail. From 2001-2006, the West Coast Express line and from 2007 to 2018 it was the Sedin line.

Offensive talent such as Bo Horvat, Brock Boesser and Elias Pettersson give this team the hope that the fanbase has despretly prayed about for a long time now. That forward group has a supporting cast of Adam Gaudette, Jake Virtanen and Kole Lind among others.

The strong forward group has most fans and experts believing that the Canucks will be picking a Defenseman come Friday and fortunately, the Canucks will have a number of defenseman to choose from.

RankingD-Man            
1Sweden Rasmus Dahlin (D)
2Canada Evan Bouchard (D)
3Sweden Adam Boqvist (D)
4  Canada Noah Dobson (D)
5United States Quinton Hughes (D)
6Sweden Adam Ginning (D)
7Sweden Filip Johansson (D)



The Canucks pick seventh, needless to say, that first one on that list won't be around much after the first pick. After that, D-Man two through five right now are tight. 

Theres a few forwards that if they fall down, I would have to consider taking them. However, building a D core is just as important as a forward core. 

This is the full list of Jim Benning's draft picks since he was hired in 2014:

2014 Draft[edit]

Rd #Pick #PlayerNatPosTeam (League)Reg GPPl GPNotes
16Jake Virtanen CanadaRWCalgary Hitmen (WHL)1380
124Jared McCann CanadaCSault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)690
236Thatcher Demko United StatesGBoston College (NCAA D1)10
366Nikita Tryamkin RussiaDAvtomobilist Yekaterinburg (KHL)790
5146Gustav Forsling SwedenDLinkopings HC (SHL)00
6156Kyle Pettit CanadaCErie Otters (OHL)00
7186Mackenze Stewart CanadaDPrince Albert Raiders (WHL)00

2015 Draft[edit]

Rd #Pick #PlayerNatPosTeam (League)Reg GPPl GPNotes
123Brock Boeser United StatesRWWaterloo Black Hawks (USHL)710
366Guillaume Brisebois CanadaDAcadie–Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)00
4114Dmitri Zhukenov RussiaCAvangard Omsk 2 (Russia Jr.)00
5144Carl Neill CanadaDSherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)00
5149Adam Gaudette United StatesCCedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)00
6174Lukas Jasek Czech RepublicRWHC Ocelari Trinec (Czech Extraliga)00
7210Tate Olson CanadaDPrince George Cougars (WHL)00

2016 Draft[edit]

Rd #Pick #PlayerNatPosTeam (League)Reg GPPl GPNotes
15Olli Juolevi FinlandDLondon Knights (OHL)00
364William Lockwood United StatesRWU.S. NTDP (USHL)00
5140Cole Candella CanadaDHamilton Bulldogs (OHL)00
6154Jakob Stukel CanadaLWCalgary Hitmen (WHL)00
7184Rodrigo Abols LatviaCPortland Winterhawks (WHL)00
7194Brett McKenzie CanadaC/LWNorth Bay Battalion (OHL)00

2017 Draft[edit]

Rd #Pick #PlayerNatPosTeam (League)Reg GPPl GPNotes
15Elias Pettersson SwedenCTimra IK (HockeyAllsvenskan)00
233Kole Lind CanadaRWKelowna Rockets (WHL)00
255Jonah Gadjovich CanadaLWOwen Sound Attack (OHL)00
364Michael DiPietro CanadaGWindsor Spitfires (OHL)00
495Jack Rathbone United StatesDHarvard University (NCAA)00
5135Kristoffer Gunnarsson SwedenDFrolunda HC (SHL)00
6181Petrus Palmu FinlandLW/RWOwen Sound Attack (OHL)00
7188Matthew Brassard CanadaDOshawa Generals (OHL)00
It's been four drafts. His players are slowly coming up. I'm glad Benning is our GM. Picking in the Top 10 next year is likely unavoidable but by 2020, Vancouver should be at least a 500. hockey team.