June 10, 2018
Lukas Zywicki is a sophomore and he has been part of InPrint for two years now. He is a 3-sport athlete at Fenton High School with football, wrestling, and baseball. He has a hard working spirit and a tough mentality on life. Things he enjoys are talking/hanging with friends and playing sports. Lukas’ love for sports gives his columns a passion that makes them worth reading.
LeBron James: the most overrated man in sports
LeBron James was a great player. Keyword; was. As a rookie, and as a veteran, he played great. But now that he is on a below average team (Cleveland Cavaliers) with below average players, he is forced to carry a team. His stats have risen to a high level, but again, that is only because he is the only player on the team that is at least an average player. Anyone can average high points in a game when you are the only person who touches the ball.
Lebron James has been placed as the number one small forward/power forward in the league and is one of the highest ranking candidates for MVP. That is absurd; if you look at the list, you can see that there are other players in the league who are simply better. Kevin Durant, for one. Durant is a breakout athlete who has the ability to share the ball with some of the NBA’s best players, and still manages to put up crazy high numbers. When LeBron was on a team with the best, he averaged fewer points per game than Durant and was simply not as good of a player, and that was in his prime.
The only thing that Lebron should ever go down in history for is his ability to cry about everything. No player since Michael Jordan has complained about so much and whined about calls or no-calls as much as LeBron. Every little thing that happens in games, Lebron has something to say about it. It is embarrassing for the league and it has made the games less enjoyable to watch. In the Finals last year, I remember Lebron flopping and it made me laugh. Klay Thompson was defending him, and he stole the ball. LeBron went on to throw himself against the floor. After that, LeBron shouted at the official. He showed no respect to the official and he looked as if he was about to cry, it was pitiful.
When it comes to sports, LeBron James has annoyed the world. Nobody wants to hear it from him. He has been put up on a pedestal from the day he entered the league, and while he deserved it at one point, he no longer does. He’s not doing enough to be considered as a MVP candidate. LeBron acting as himself has put too much drama into the league. All we want to do is watch basketball, not a drama show. If we wanted that, we would watch Greys Anatomy. LeBron James is the beginning of the end for the NBA.
Hometown zeroes: Detroit sports are straight up garbage
Detroit sports are nearing an all time low. The Red Wings are struggling to even come close to a .500 win percentage, the Tigers win percentage was .395 last season. The Pistons are almost at .500. The Lions went 9-7. Detroit has gone 10 years without a championship, which is Detroit’s longest drought since the 15 year one in 1968 to 1983. Having hope for Detroit is necessary, but with two of our four teams in “rebuilding mode,” it is tough. When I say rebuilding mode, I mean that we are trading away all of our good players for prospects and draft picks. But that alone is failing, we are trading away too much for too little.
The Tigers, for example, traded away Justin Verlander (starting ace pitcher) for Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron, and Jake Rogers. Never heard of them? Yeah, neither has anyone else. They are highly ranked prospects, but they are still playing positions that we do not necessarily need for this season; a catcher, pitcher and another centerfielder. The Tigers released Brad Ausmus last season and have since hired Ron Gardenhire to be his replacement. It is good to have a new manager, because Ausmus was failing, but Gardenhire has failed on every team he has managed so far, including the Minnesota Twins, which was one of the worst teams in baseball during his reign.
The Detroit Lions are also a perfect example of how a front office can ruin a team. Time and time again, the Lions have wasted high draft picks on selected players that do not perform. The Lions just franchise tagged Ziggy Ansah, a player who only had 39 tackles last year, which is a decent number, but not franchise tag worthy, as he seems to be injury prone. I believe that we wasted too much money on him. Instead, we could have signed a running back that might actually run. Or an offensive lineman who knows how to block.
The Pistons are by far the biggest letdown in Detroit they came into this season with high hopes to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, and they started off the season 10-6. After that, Detroit lost seven straight, spiraling us into a season full of gloom. The Blake Griffin trade was a huge move, and Griffin has played very well, but the rest of the team has not. The trade is a bust as I predicted, and the team is still playing horribly.
Detroit sports need to change, and fast. Moves need to be made, players need to be traded. Failing managers need to be replaced. Big changes need to come or we are looking down a dark ugly hole. We cannot expect anything good to happen with these teams when we are still scoring more points than the average IQ level of its athletes, and we are not scoring very many points.
There is nothing mad about March Madness
March Madness, one of the most profound tournaments of its time. On average, 28 million people tune in to watch. It gives 68 teams the chance to prove that they are an elite team in NCAA Men’s Basketball. But, in the past couple of years it has not met up to the hype. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has gotten less and less exciting with the same thing happening over and over again. The selection committee has made poor seeding choices, which affects the whole tournament, by giving teams an unfair advantage while other teams are disadvantaged. Because of this, the overall entertainment of the tournament has gone down.
The new generation of basketball is filled with skilled players who can nail threes from seemingly anywhere on the court or do 360 dunks in game. The overall skill level and fitness of the athletes has gone up, but the production has not. Currently the UCLA Bruins are averaging 93.1 points per game when 10 years ago, the highest points per game was 95.6. That shows that although the flashiness of the sport has gone up, the overall talent has somewhat stayed the same or gone down.
As an avid sports fan, I used to watch this tournament religiously. But, in the past couple of years, especially last year, I lost a lot of interest because of poor seeding picks and the lack of entertainment. The tournament has been played out in the exact same way and not much has changed, but it gets boring year after year. All the attention has been moved over to the NBA playoffs. Since 2010, the average number of viewers of the NBA playoffs has gone up by four million.
One of the biggest problems is the extreme hype that has been put out for March Madness. People always see the commercials of Charles Barkley, Spike Lee and the rest of their gang cracking jokes and making March Madness appear to be a gift from God. It doesn’t end up to be that way though. Every year, the NCAA promotes the tournament to be bigger and better than the year before. It’s because they have realized that people are losing interest. They have been scrambling to pick up their slack. It’s pitiful. Every year, they speak of how crazy things are going to happen, and how it will be “like you’ve never seen before” but that is simply not the case.
It can be played out the same every year; there are the predicted teams that cruise into the Sweet 16, then one of the number one seeds will be beat in an unexpected fashion. There will always be a couple of small upsets, but never anything major. That will only happen every couple of years. Then one of the top seeds will beat a number one seed in the championship game. It has been that way for a while now with only a couple of major upsets here and there. There will also be a Cinderella team that will unexpectedly make it through a couple of rounds. But they are usually the middle of the pack teams that do not play anybody of a threat until the Sweet 16. Events like this happening constantly shows that it may not just be luck, it may be bad seeding.
Along with the level of interest declining, the crazy high hype has ruined the annual NCAA March Madness. The overall rating of the tournament have gone down 37 percent from 2015 to 2016. This is because people are no longer impressed with what is going on. So, there needs to be a change, and soon. Otherwise it will no longer be called March Madness, because the “madness” is gone.
The National Hockey League is losing its appeal
Nobody cares about the NHL. Honestly, though, I do not know anybody other than my grandpa who watches it, and he only watches the Red Wings. ESPN has a daily story on Snapchat that I do not miss. It keeps me up to date on the world of sports, but there are two portions of it that I do not hesitate to skip through, one of them being the NHL.
I skip hockey because it is just a waste of time they put on probably due to some contract. The only reason I would ever pay attention to the NHL is the playoffs because this year the Vegas Golden Knights are doing surprisingly well. Other than that, not my problem. Not anyone’s. Ever. Because it is boring.
I do not understand how someone can sit down for hours on end and watch people move on ice skating after a puck that is too small to see. It just does not make sense. Plus, they only score on average two to three times a game, so nothing ever happens. It’s not like basketball where they score 100 points a game. Nothing ever happens in hockey. Yes, it is impressive that guys can move the puck all over with a stick, but it doesn’t seem like an impossible task.
The only cool part about the NHL is the Vegas Golden Knights; they are dominating, but again, it is in a league full of bad teams/players. The lack of entertainment in hockey is due to players not having as much skill and dominance. Especially compared to hockey players in older generations such as in the 1990s. That was when hockey was a fun sport to pay attention to.
Sports have become extremely competitive and exciting to watch, yet hockey has failed to follow that trend. It has become background noise to viewers who are much more interested in basketball or baseball. The NHL is to blame, they have stopped all fights in the league and are producing less talented players. It is just causing a downward spiral for ratings and entertainment level. Something within the league needs to change, or the NHL is going to die out.