Monday, June 25, 2012


This Thursday evening the future of the NBA will again be in the hands of General Managers throughout the league trying to find that cornerstone to their franchises success or the missing piece to the puzzle that would put them over the top.

Or they could be the Charlotte Bobcats and just be throwing darts at a board and see what sticks!

Whatever their strategy is picking any player and trying to project their future is a crap shoot at best.  Throughout the "Lottery Era" there have been plenty of can't miss prospects.  Some have hit.  Like Tim Duncun, Shaq, or D-Rose.  Some unfortunately have not.  Like Kwame Brown, Michael Olowokandi, or Greg Oden. 

The one thing each and every player I mentioned has that the other one also has is a chance.  They have a chance to be something, anything.  They could be great.  They could be awful.  Time will tell where these players end up.  Either in the Hall-of-Fame or Hall-of-Shame.

This draft is no different.  This year's can't miss prospect since the day he stepped on Kentucky's campus is superior talent Anthony Davis.  I stated in a previous blog he can change the game on both ends of the floor.  His ability to change shots without even touching the ball is remarkable.  He intimidates opposing teams and gets in their heads.  He makes a teams shooting percentage go down just by the mear thought he might be lurking around.

So this years NBA Draft will start with Anthony Davis and then it gets very interesting.  The Charlotte Bobcats are sitting and waiting with the second overall pick  and a not so confident draft history.  In a year when they were the worst team percentage wise in NBA history, they still couldn't land the first pick.  You go from a no-doubter to questions galore.

But I am here to tell you there are plenty of good players in this draft and some of which might even eclipse Mr. Davis when it is all said and done.  Does anyone remember who was selected after Greg Oden in 2007?  One Kevin Durant.  Getting the number one selection is fantastic but it is not the end of the world for the rest of the teams selecting.  You need good scouting, excellent evaluation, and your fingers crossed.

So this is my evaluation for the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft and where I feel each team will go with their selection.  As ABBA says, "Take a Chance on Me"!

Round 1 -

1. New Orleans Hornets - Anthony Davis, Fr., PF, Kentucky
The only way he isn't the number one overall selection in this draft is if Marty McFly and Doc Brown come back in a DeLorean and change the space time continuum.

Only a fictional time traveler could change this pick!

2.  Charlotte Bobcats - Harrison Barnes, So., SF, North Carolina
The ex-Tar Heel in the owners booth won't pass up on another Tar Heel with this much potential.  Future could be bright for this Iowan if he plays like he was billed out of high school. Could be better pro than collegian.

3.  Washington Wizards - Thomas Robinson, Jr, PF, Kansas
Big and powerful in the paint with good touch.  Had a struggle in NCAA Championship game but so did everyone else who faced  Mr. Davis throughout the year.

4.  Cleveland Cavaliers - Bradley Beal, Fr., SG, Florida
Probably a bit smaller than listed but is a pure shooter and super athletic deuce.  He has the potential to be another Dwayne Wade.  Hopefully won't pull a LeBron after a few years and go south.

5.  Sacramento Kings - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Fr., SF, Kentucky
I am not a fan of hyphenated names.  They don't look right on the back of a jersey.  I mean pick a name and stick with it.  But his game is what we are evaluating.  He is a winner through and through.  He has won on all levels and is a team first guy.  The Kings could use a solid team player and person.

6.  Portland Trailblazers - Andre Drummand, Fr., C, Connecticut
One of the leagues most plagued franchises in history needs to hit it big and will take the seven footer from UConn.  He is long on talent and big on potential.  The string of bad luck from Sam Bowie, to Brandon Roy's knees, to Greg Oden's everything, they need help.  Go big or stay home I always say.

7.  Golden State Warriors - Austin Rivers, Fr., SG, Duke
Doc's kid has uber confidence.  He has been around the NBA game for years and should excel in the pro game.  It won't hurt being coached by Marc Jackson either who loves a little chip on the shoulders of his players.

8.  Toronto Rapters - Jeremy Lamb, So., SG, Connecticut
He is a pure scorer and was a key contributor to their NCAA Championship as a freshman.  He needs time to bulk up and get stronger and what better place than in Toronto.  He can get bigger and better without anyone their witnessing his transformation.

9.  Detroit Pistons - Tyler Zeller, Sr., C, North Carolina
Joe Dumars is a smart guy and will take the ready now ACC Player of the year over a potential player like Myers Leonard.  Zeller is steady as they come and should be a solid pro for years to come.  Another Bill Laimbeer with better post moves.

10.  New Orleans Hornets - Myers Leonard, So., C, Illinois
The super athletic prospect and pride of Robinson, IL would make a super addition to the front court with Anthony Davis.  They would own the paint and swat anything close to the bucket and they both run the floor like gazelles.  Intriguing to say the least.

 The Rising Illini - Center Myers Leonard.

11.  Portland Trailblazers - Damian Lillard, Jr., PG, Weber State
The small school player is definitely not small on talent.  He can score the ball and is quick.  Teams 1-10 might want to perform an exorcism because they passed up this talented point guard.

12.  Milwaukee Bucks - John Henson, Jr., PF, North Carolina
He is long and thin like the spaghetti we had for dinner tonight but he is as good a shot blocker that is left in this draft.  Andrew Bogut is gone and they will need someone to patrol the paint. 

13.  Phoenix Suns - Dion Waiters, So., SG, Syracuse
The explosive guard with instant offense is reminiscent of Vinny "The Microwave" Johnson  in the Detroit heyday.  He can play both guard spots which is supreme to have in the league and is used to coming off the bench and providing offense as this was his role in college.

14.  Houston Rockets - Kendall Marshall, So., PG, North Carolina 
The best pure passing guard in the draft.  He finds his players in stride to score and is almost immune to making turnovers.  He was an NCAA best in assist to turnover ratio and when it comes to winning time he showed late in the season he had the guts to take shots and make free throws.

15.  Philadelphia 76ers - Jared Sullinger, So., PF, Ohio State
The Buckeye big man slides due to the medical questions and the "red-flag" thrown out.  His ride ends here as Coach Doug Collins selects the next Elton Brand and my guess is Sullinger has a long and successful career.

16.  Houston Rockets - Terrence Ross, So., SG, Washington
The Rockets team Ross with previous pick Marshall to form their back court of the future.  He has long range shooting ability and can fill it up.

17.  Dallas Mavericks - Marquis Teague, Fr., PG, Kentucky
Wishing on a wishing well are the Mavs for all league PG, and Illini Alum, Deron Williams to sign with his hometown team.  That won't be decided for a while so they have to have a Plan B and this dynamic point guard prospect fits the bill. 

18.  Minnestoa Timberwolves - Terrence Jones, So., PF, Kentucky
The combo forward has potential for playing both forward spots and is a solid rebounder.  He defends well and would benefit from playing next to Kevin Love.

19.  Orlando Magic - Perry Jones III, So., PF, Baylor
The immensely talented big man was instrumental in helping bring Baylor basketball from the depths of the Big 12.  He has great upside but does he bring it every single night? 

20.  Denver Nuggets - Royce White, So., SF, Iowa State
The multi-talented point forward type is a great fit for the Denver Nuggets.  He has the ability to play team ball and in the Post Carmelo Anthony Nuggets they play great as a team.  He also has a well documented anxiety disorder he must overcome that Coach Karl will totally understand as he has battled and overcome Cancer the past few seasons.

White needs a good fit to help cope with anxiety disorder.

21.  Boston Celtics - Will Barton, So., SG, Memphis
What aren't the Celtics going to need next year and the years after that.  The prospects of Ray Allen being here are sketchy as he may flirt with joining the Miami Heat.  The Celtics will need an athletic do-it-all baller who can shoot the rock.  Could be a steal a few years from now the way Rajon Rondo was at #21 in 2006.

22.  Boston Celtics - Andrew Nicholson, Sr., PF, St. Bonaventure
The big man with great touch would be a fine addition to the C's front court.  He can rebound and defend and adding an experienced young player to the team should help the transition to a potentially new era. 

23.  Atlanta Hawks - Moe Harkless, Fr., SF, St. John's
The Big East Rookie of the year is super young and athletic.  He runs the floor well but did struggle to shoot the outside shot and especially from three.  He would fit right in with the very undisciplined core of the Hawks. 

24.  Cleveland Caveliers - Jeffery Taylor, Sr., SF, Vanderbilt
The Cavs generating a great young group of players in the last two drafts would put Taylor with Beal, Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson.  Taylor can defend extremely well and has good range from the three point arc. 

25.  Memphis Grizzlies - Arnett Moultrie, Jr., PF, Mississippi State
Would add an additional support for Zach Randolph when he and Rudy Gay can't get along, he can step in and provide some scoring and rebounding (averaged 10.5).  Rebounding translates year in and year out.

26. Indiana Pacers - Draymond Green, Sr., PF, Michigan State
The Pacers are notorious for selecting experienced and talented players.  Larry Bird likes players who can do multiple jobs on the court and no one better than "Magic Lite" Draymond Green.  He handles the ball, is a leader on the court, and one of the great winners and people in college basketball.

Izzo knows Draymond will be successful where he lands both in basketball and in life.

27.  Miami Heat - Fab Melo, So., C, Syracuse
The newly crowned NBA champions can definitely use an inside presence to go with their Big Three.  That is exactly what Melo is.  A defensive clogger.  He defends the post and would welcome the chance to join the reigning NBA champs.

28.  Oklahoma City Thunder - Jared Cunningham, Jr., SG, Oregon State
The Thunder need someone who can add additional speed and quickness as well as potential to put the ball in the basket.  Cunningham has been virtually unknown and stranded in Corvallis but can be a huge late round addition to an already potent Thunder line up.

29.  Chicago Bulls - Quincy Miller, Fr., SF, Baylor
The hometown boy Miller joins another hometown boy (D-Rose) to try and help lead the Bulls back to their rightful place atop the NBA.  With potential trade rumors of Luol Deng the Bulls use this to get his replacement in the SF spot.

30.  Golden State Warriors - Mike Scott, Sr., PF, Virginia
The runner up to ACC Player of the year he averaged 18 and 8 for the rejuvenated Cavs.  He would be a fine addition to their young group and earlier selection of Austin Rivers.

Round 2 -

Are you kidding me? 

Past Round 1 there are only a hand full of players in history who have made it big.  So I won't waste my time throwing another 30 names out there. 

But if you are one of the names called in Round 2 and are fuming at the teams that passed on you then just remember those famous words that Jimmy V. said, "Don't give up, don't ever give up."

Because remember the draft is not an exact science.

Heck most GM's are blinded by it.   


Thursday, June 21, 2012

SouthBeach Redemption

The buzzer has finally sounded and it has changed one man's life forever.  He is no longer a loser.  He is no longer a choker.  He is no longer without the ultimate prize.   

He is now a brand new man.  He is a champion.  

LeBron James has silenced his biggest critics.  He has exercised the demons.  The pressure that has weighed on his shoulders in the 9 years he has been in the league has been lifted away.  He can finally smile! 

It is his South Beach Redemption.

His third finals has definitely been the charm for LeBron as the previous two appearances left him without his biggest want in life.  The finals against the Spurs, his first time, he was too young and inexperienced to take on the challenge.  The finals against the Mavs last year he was too passive and left critics wondering where his head was at as he watched Dirk Nowitzki raise the championship trophy. 

This playoff run has been nothing short of amazing.  He as been bound and determined to deliver at all costs.  He has been attacking each game like it was his last.  He finally has shown he has a killer instinct and took the ball when the games best player should have.  His triple double tonight says it all. 

He also has been given a tremendous amount of help from his supporting cast.  The run his cohorts have been on during the NBA Finals from behind the three point arc has been a God send from heaven.  Shane Battier, Mike Miller, and Mario Chalmers shot threes like lay-ups and have been key and stepped up when "The King" needed help from his people.  Each time James passed the ball he had confidence in his guys they would hit the shot without him having to do it alone.

 Trifecta you betcha from these two league vets.

This has been a gift for LeBron as his past seasons have made him feel he was all alone and couldn't to it by himself.  This is why he went to South Beach.  He was smart enough to realize staying in Cleveland he had little to no chance of gaining his main goal and leaving and teaming with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh was the answer. 

"The Decision" which was aired to millions on ESPN may not have been the best way of gaining additional fans but it was the right choice for him long term.  He had great years and some really good teams in Cleveland but they were not GREAT enough to win the title.  Eastern Conference Champs is nice but NBA Champs is much, much, nicer.

Hmmm...I think I made the right choice!

So watching LeBron clutch that Larry O'Brian trophy just like his idol Michael Jordan did reminded me just how much pressure and angst LeBron has endured.  Jordan had to go through those Detroit "Bad Boys" and tons of physical abuse before gaining his throne as the leagues best.  LeBron had to go through Boston's "Big Three" and OKC's "Young Guns" to claim his rightfully earned spot. Jordan won his first title in 5 games.  LeBron won his first title in 5 games.  Are they on similar paths?  Only time will tell.  He is going to have some fearless and talented foes in the years to come and will most likely battle OKC plenty in the years to come.

It could very well be another run like Magic versus Bird in the 80's.  It will be a war on the floor like non other but LeBron has been there and done that. 

Shawshank Redemption Quotes

LeBron James, not unlike Andy Dufresne, in his career has crawled through a river of sh*t and came out clean on the other side.  And now as NBA champion.

    Shawshank's Andy Dufresne

Friday, June 15, 2012

Flop, Flop Goes The Weasel

Watching the NBA Finals last night it occurred to me that consistency in sports officiating is what I look for.  Especially when two teams are playing for the ultimate prize of being crowned champion.  I find myself getting physically upset at times when through the course of a game one call may go one way and a eerily similar call may go the other way. 

There is no rhyme or reason for it. 

I understand the extremely difficult task the NBA officials, like Tom Washington, Dan Crawford, and Tony Brothers who worked Game 2, have when making calls that will ultimately determine the outcome of the game.  What I want is consistency in their actions. 

Referees like Tom Washington have a tough job.

If you are going to call the game by letting players be physical then keep it that way.  If you are going to call the game close and any hand check or chest bump is a foul then continue in that regard the whole game.  It helps the players get a feel for the game and they adjust throughout the 48 minutes.   

In last nights contest this crew was ALL OVER THE PLACE!

I want to clarify that I am not blaming the officials for OKC's loss to the Heat.  This game was lost in the first quarter when the Heat went up 18-2.  Their lack of energy at the start the past three games was bound to catch up to them sometime. 

The Miami Heat were aggressive and attacked the basket the way the usually do but the "fouls" called were not even fouls at times.  D'Wayne Wade made a driving layup and got the "And 1" call to show that the defender never even touched him.  The OKC crowd was livid and rightfully so.

They then allowed Ibaka to block LeBron cleanly without calling the foul.  This was the right call as he went up, WAY UP, to block his dunk attempt.  I applauded them for not assuming there would be contact and letting the play happen.

Ibaka sent LeBron an invite to his Block Party!

There are three officials on the court and they can't get together to make the right call it seems at times.  They have the ability to use instant replay but only for certain situations per league rules. 

If there is a question of whether a player made a 3pt or 2pt shot by having his foot on the line this can be reviewed and overturned.  In the instant of last nights game if a player blocks a shot and the referee doesn't see it and his teammate continues to block the shot off the glass it went as a goal tend and Miami was awarded 2pts. 

It seems to me you want the right call and if the technology is there and there is a question of right or wrong then why doesn't the league change this rule. 

It doesn't stop there either.  One of the biggest reasons the officials have such a difficult time discerning if the play was a charge or block is the overused term, "FLOP".  This has become the en vogue phrase for games as players fall to the ground and you hear he flopped or that was a flop. 

It makes it extremely difficult for referees to decide when a player falls to the ground if it was a block or a charge.  This one call can change the momentum of the game.  If you have watched basketball this is the singular most difficult call in sports.  This now coupled with players "flopping" all over the place is totally ridiculous. 

Mr. Harden can hide behind the beard but we still know its you flopping.

It happened multiple times last night and it was both teams doing it.  I have seen LeBron do it.  I saw James Harden do it late in the game.  The league needs to crack down and crack down hard. 

The problem is the referee is making a judgement call based on the "contact" between the two players.  If the "contact" is true and one player is initiating the contact without the other being in position then make the right call.  If players are "flopping" and trying to orchestrate contact then this skews the judgement of the official and maybe alters his judgement latter in the game when you really have a foul.  I've seen less fake contact and better flopping from Rick Flair in the WWE.

The Nature Boy would be proud of the NBA these days.

I think players are kidding themselves if they don't feel this alters future events.  If they want the call later in the game then don't flop earlier.  You just might be setting your own team up for failure in crunch time. 

I want the players to ultimately decide the game and don't want the referees being the ones deciding the outcome.  I do want a foul to be called at ANY time of the game regardless of game time situation or WHO is doing the fouling. 

This brings me to the real travesty of last nights blown officiating calls.  With just seconds left in the game the games two best players LeBron and Durant were matched up on the baseline.  Durant made a move to shoot the ball for the potential game tying basket as they were down 98-96.  LeBron reached in on Durant and grabbed his arm, chest, and then grazed his leg all while Durant was in the shooting motion.

This is the beginning of LeBron's last second mugging of Durant.

NO CALL!  Are you kidding me with the flopping and no contact fouls called during the game this went down as "Great Defense"!

I was appalled as LeBron got the rebound was fouled, legitimately, and sealed the win by making his free throws.  (by the way, props to LeBron for his foul shooting 12-12, not his strong suit)

Miami wins Game 2 100-96.  Most importantly ties the series 1-1 going back to Miami for 3 games.

We don't know if Durant makes those free throws if the call was made.  But you have to make that call.  I am sure the league will review the game and make some comment but it is over and they must move on. 

I just hope the next game during crunch time when Durant is guarding LeBron with the ball and the game on the line it won't be Miami crying FOUL.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

It's Time To Crown A Champion


You have to give credit where credit is due.  The Miami Heat and most importantly LeBron James stepped up in big moments to capture the Eastern Conference Championship.  He was amazing in Game 6 with his virtuoso performance of 45/15/5, matched only in the playoffs by Wilt the Stilt, and great in Game 7 with a little help from his friends.

 LeBron has his eye on the prize.

The media has been asking for this from LeBron his whole career.  I have written before the regular season means nothing and what you do in the post season is what leaves the lasting memory.  He now is back in the NBA Finals and will be taking on a monumental task of beating the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The networks airing the NBA Finals are as happy as pigs in slop that they have superstars galore in this series.  The headliners being the three time scoring champion Kevin Durant and three time MVP LeBron James.  You also have OKC's Russell Westbrook and Miami's D'Wayne Wade.  Not to mention the emergence of the Thunder's sixth man-of-the-year James Hardin as a big time clutch performer and the return of Chris Bosh who was instrumental in shouldering some of the load for the Heat to end the Celtics run.

Thunder's "Young Guns" Harden/Durant/Westbrook

The match-ups are significant as the youth and speed of the Thunder will be tested by the speed and experience of the Heat.  The up tempo style of play should make for some really high scoring contests.  It might look like the NBA of old with both teams likely to push the 100 point mark.  I think this bodes well for the Thunder as they have the better overall team scoring threats than the Heat on a consistent basis.

They both attack the basket like a dog after a bone and should probably set records for the amount of free throws attempted in this series.  The advantage in this regard goes to the Thunder as Miami has shown throughout the playoffs this is not a strong skill of theirs.  Missed free throws in a tight game mean everything.  I never understood how a player can fade away with a man and hand in his face and drain a jumper but can stand still with nothing but air in his face and brick a free throw!

The Thunder's other starters are stacked in the paint with low post defense as Kendrick Perkins and Serge , "I should change my name to Iblocka", Ibaka will get after it with fervor.  Perkins has past history of success against the Heat when  he was with the Celtics and they took out LeBron and his Cavs.  They also have a good defender on the wing in Sefolosha who could give some problems to either Wade and James but lets face it they will ALWAYS get their points.

Wade posterizing opponents will continue. 

The Heat's starting point guard, Mario Chalmers, is solid and has experience on the big stage.  He has made some big shots his his college career and NBA career and should use that to his advantage.  He was here last year so that shouldn't be a deterrent to his chance of success.  He will need to be good with the ball and not make turnovers and be careless.  He has a tendency to make bad passes and this will turn into quick transition points for the Thunder. 

The role players for each team will be a huge factor as it has become well known the Heat have players that sometimes show up and other times sit back and watch like fans while James/Wade/Bosh play.

The Thunder's biggest asset and key role player is Derek Fisher.  He has been in the league a while now and has a fist full of championship rings to show for it.  He is a calming influence on the young Thunder players and is a wealth of knowledge in general.  He keeps them focused in huddles and is a sort of "coach" on the court.  The Miami Heat can't match that level of championship experience on the bench and court.  (Don't count Pat Riley as he sits in the stands.)

Derek Fisher has 5 rings and plenty of experience.

The Heat have good role players who are in the latter stages of their careers like Mike Miller and Shane Battier, but are wildly inconsistent.  They have nights when they both could hit 3 to 4 threes or both go ice cold and not make a shot.  This inconsistency is what made the last two series for the Heat so difficult.  I know Bosh was out but they still have two of the best players on the planet and should have been able to dispose of the Pacers much earlier and easier.  They were outplayed actually from games 2-5 against the C's but were lucky they won game 2 or we would be talking about a Celtics/Thunder series.

Miami hopes for no poses like this from Mike Miller.

The emotion and energy Miami has expended this past series should make Game 1 of this series a virtual blowout.  The Thunder have been resting for days and will be eager to explode upon the Heat.  This has happened before in the playoffs when OKC dismantled the Lakers in Game 1.

The transition from home to away is different now in the Finals when Games 3-5 are all played in Miami so winning the first two games at home for the Thunder will be imperative.  If Durant and company can steal a game in Miami then they can come back home to Oklahoma City and close them out in Game 6.  As exciting as Game 7's are you never want to let it get that far as anything can happen in a Game 7.

We have seen LeBron come up big this post season but his past history shows he will not finish the job.  As the old saying goes those how "Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it."  I see them playing well in the series but when it comes to winning time I like Durant's killer instinct.  He has been extremely effective in those situations and WANTS the ball at the end of games.   

So that is how I see this series going with Oklahoma City capturing the NBA Championship, Kevin Durant being Finals MVP, and leaving LeBron once again with his off season thoughts to wonder why he hasn't won a title.

K. D. for Finals MVP???

With the current age of Durant/Westbrook/Harden being a collective 23 years old this may only be the beginning of what could be a decade of dominance from this "Big Three".  It seems scary that players so young could be on the verge of the ultimate prize.  The league is different than it ever has been and youth is being served earlier and earlier. 

 To quote a singing Jalen Rose, "They may be young but their ready!" 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Who's Your Daddy?

Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Justin Combs
P. Diddy & son Justin Combs - Getty Images

The past few days there has been a significant debate on whether an athlete who's parent is wealthy should be able to accept a scholarship from a university.  I can't even believe this is an issue.  I stand by the fact of if a player is good enough to be recruited to play a sport then they should have the same ability to accept a scholarship regardless of their parents financial situation. 

This debate began when Sean "P Diddy" Combs' son Justin Combs accepted a scholarship offer from UCLA to play football.  The rap mogul who has amassed great wealth, $550 million according to Forbes, in the music business has been criticized by having his son take a scholarship worth $54,000 away from someone less financially stable. 

I have a huge problem with this ideology as it is the student athlete who has worked for this great achievement and is bettering himself without a "handout" from his father.  UCLA wasn't the only school recruiting him for his athletic abilities as others included Iowa, Virginia, and Illinois. 

I also have a problem with this coming out now and with it really creating a double standard in regards to ethnic backgrounds. 

I never once heard anything when Peyton and Eli Manning were scholarship athletes when their father could have paid their way.  I am sure this year's #1 NFL draft pick Andrew Luck's family could have paid for his education as his father was a former NFL player and now current Athletic Director, but it shouldn't have to be that way.  Austin Rivers, son of former NBA player and current Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, was a scholarship athlete at Duke this past year and there was no grumbling.  Heck, Michael Jordan's sons have both at one time had scholarships in basketball from Illinois and Central Florida respectively.  This from Mr. Air Jordan who owns the Charlotte Bobcats!

Jeffery Jordan

These players work extremely hard and I respect them for wanting to make a name for himself and not relying on their family for success.  I don't know Justin Combs personally but he is the one who earned the scholarship with his hard work and dedication.  His blood, sweat, and tears on the gridiron gave him this opportunity not his family's money.  His accomplishments are not limited to being a good athlete but also being a good student with a 3.75GPA. 

Merit based scholarships should be available to all players across all socioeconomic levels, period.  It isn't taking away opportunities from other players in urban neighborhoods because they need to earn what they get too.  I am not in the camp of giving handouts to people just because they are less fortunate in regards to receiving a free education.  I also have no problem with Justin Combs accepting a scholarship when is father is the richest rapper in the country. 

His father should have nothing to do with the university's decision to offer him this reward for his fine work on and off the field.  And it is a reward.

At the end of the day Justin is a student athlete trying to better his life and setting a solid foundation for his future through football. 

And he did it the old fashion way, HE earned it.