The NBA Took it Easy on Robert Sarver with Suspension

Photo is courtesy of USA Today

The NBA is an extremely well-known brand. It’s one of the most well-known brands in the world, and the league takes its reputation very seriously, for good reason. However, there’s been more than a couple scandals in recent memory, and it seems the league will continually be desperate to keep that reputation as shiny as possible. That is the case with Robert Sarver and his suspension.

Robert Sarver’s Career

Robert Sarver is the owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. He’s also the owner of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. Sarver graduated from the University of Arizona, and purchased both teams in 2004.

Sarver has overseen many monumental events in the Suns’ history. He’s overseen the recent, rapid improvement of the team that grabbed the 1st seed in the Western Conference for the first time since 2004, and for just the fourth time in the franchise’s 54-year history. Behind the scenes, in a scandal that was only brought to light recently, NBA fans learned about the dark secrets floating around the Suns front office.

Robert Sarver’s Actions and the Dark Reality of Suns’ Front Office

Robert has just received punishment for his actions after a long investigation was opened by the NBA into the workplace environment in Phoenix. Here are some findings:

Sarver, on five separate occasions, repeated the N-word when recounting statements of others. Sarver also “engaged in instances of inequitable conduct towards female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearence of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees.”

To add to this already extensive list, Sarver engaged in “demeaning and harsh treatment of employees.” This included yelling and cursing at them. These quotes have been pulled from the NBA’s statement regarding the punishment.

For those actions, Sarver has been suspended from both organizations for a year. He’s not allowed to be present at any events related to either team, and must stay away from the organizations entirely for a year. He was also fined $10 million.

How the NBA Failed With the Robert Sarver Punishment and Suspension

To put is bluntly, Robert Sarver received a slap on the wrist for actions that should have warranted a lifelong suspension.

The NBA has seen a situation like this before. In 2014, then-Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape disparaging his mistress for associating herself with African Americans. Sterling also made many more racist remarks, and was under investigation for a sexual harassment lawsuit, as well.

These issues received national backlash, and soon after the NBA decided to take a league vote, deciding whether Sterling should be forced to sell the team. The vote easily passed, and Sterling’s ownership of the team was removed.

Adam Silver released that news, and understandably the NBA was praised for laying down the hammer on a man who fully deserved it. Then, Robert Sarver was found to have done essentially the same exact things, yet received an extremely small punishment. Now, Silver and the NBA’s decision looks hollow, especially in light of Silver claiming the situations are “dramatically different“.

The truth is, Robert Sarver and Donald Sterling are the worst type of people. Both old, rich men who have proven themselves to be racist and sexist individuals. As is commonplace in our society, many men like that have been rich enough to get away with their actions.

The NBA seemed to set a precedent with their handling of Sterling. They completely reversed it with their shallow punishment of Sarver.

The NBA dropped the ball here. In no way should Robert Sarver have anything to do with the NBA ever again. However, the NBA’s light punishment shows how superficial they took these actions from Sarver. It’s disappointing, but not entirely surprising.

Donovan Mitchell Trade: What Teams Make The Most Sense?

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell could find himself on the trade block
Photo Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

After the Jazz traded one of their franchise players in Rudy Gobert this offseason, there’s just one star left in Utah: Donovan Mitchell. Since being selected by Utah, Mitchell has established himself as a star. Most notably with his insane playoff run during the 2020 bubble playoffs.

Mitchell has helped lead the Jazz to the NBA playoffs each year since he was drafted in 2017. Still, Mitchell and the Utah Jazz haven’t seen much playoff success. It seems a change of scenery is needed for both sides. Here are three teams that would make the most sense for a Donovan Mitchell trade.

Donovan Mitchell Trade: Potential Suitors

New York Knicks

This team makes sense, for some obvious reasons. One of those is the fact that the NBA rumor mill has been flooded with trade rumors involving the Knicks and Donovan Mitchell. After picking up Jalen Brunson in free agency, the addition of Mitchell would make a very exciting backcourt.

The only thing holding this up is the lack of assets on the Knicks side of things. The Utah Jazz got a whopping four first round picks for Rudy Gobert. It’s expected that they have similar value in mind for Mitchell. The Knicks don’t have those options, but if they can get a third team involved, then they can get something going.

Miami Heat

The Heat are a capable trade destination for one main reason; Donovan Mitchell wants to go there, as was reported by Tony Jones. Miami is always an attractive destination. It became a lot more attractive after the Heat nabbed the first seed, and were one win away from the NBA Finals last year.

Unfortunately, like the Knicks, the Heat don’t seem to have the assets Utah is likely looking for. Because of that, Miami is in a similar situation. Like the Knicks, they’d likely need to find a third team to facilitate a deal and send some assets to Utah. If they can get it done, Miami easily becomes a favorite to win the NBA Finals.

Los Angeles Lakers

No, the Lakers do not have the assets or cap to trade for Donovan Mitchell themselves. What they do have is the ability to facilitate a trade, which is exactly why they are on this list. Any trade involving Donovan Mitchell will likely be a three-team trade, given the likely massive demands from the Jazz.

That is exactly where the Lakers come in. Here, Los Angeles finds an opportunity to get rid of Russell Westbrook’s contract. The Lakers would also be able to grab some role players from the Knicks or Heat in return as well, at the very least.

NBA Schedule Leaks: Most Exciting Matchups

Photo by Harry Howe/Getty Images

On Wednesday at 3 P.M. Eastern Time, the full, official NBA schedule for the 2022-23 season will be released. However, thanks to the fact that NBA insiders exist, we’ve gotten a sneak peak at some of the biggest matchups throughout the season. Let’s take a look at some of the most intriguing games in the new season.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day is universally known in the sports world as NBA-day. For many years now the NBA has dominated the sports world on one of the biggest holidays, with exciting matchups every year. This season will be no different.

This year’s slate has headlines written all over it. There will be rematches of last year’s playoffs with the Bucks playing the Celtics and the Warriors hosting the Grizzlies. The Bucks and Celtics have been crowned as the last two Eastern Conference champions, with both teams expected to contend again this year. The Warriors and Grizzlies have had some very public bad blood since their playoff series last year, and this game should have no shortage of storylines.

The remaining meetups on the slate are the Knicks vs. 76ers, Nuggets vs. Suns and the Mavericks vs. Lakers. These games all have a large amount of star power. Overall, almost every team playing on Christmas day has the potential to reach the NBA finals, so we should see some exciting performances.

Opening Night

Opening night is one of the biggest days on the NBA calendar, as it marks the return of meaningful basketball. This year, opening night will feature two huge matchups. The defending champion Golden State Warriors will play Lebron James and the Lakers. Before that, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will kick the new season off.

The Warriors will receive their rings, and will begin a new year against the Lakers for the second straight year. Last year that happened in Los Angeles, but this time the two squads will meet in San Francisco. In the other game, the Celtics and 76ers will clash. This game brings a ton of star-power, and both teams have the potential to win the Eastern Conference as a whole.

Other Exciting Matchups on the NBA Schedule

On October 21st, the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic will face off in Georgia. This will be a significant matchup because it will be the first time Dejounte Murray and the first overall pick, Paolo Banchero will play against each other. Those two have been quite public with their recent beef on social media, making for an exciting game as the two start to settle it on the court.

On October 19th, the second night of the season, the New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets will square off in New York. This will mark the return of two stars who have missed time; Ben Simmons and Zion Williamson. Both players have seen themselves stuck in the spotlight recently, but will soon finally have a chance to get back on the court.

Finally, we have the battle for Los Angeles. The matchups between the Lakers and Clippers are always contentious, but they matter more now that both teams are competitive. The two southern California squads will face off four times, on October 20th, November 9th, January 24th and April 5th. These three matchups are some of the most interesting on the NBA schedule.

3 Most Underrated NBA Teams For the 2022-23 Season

Underrated NBA Teams
Photo courtesy of Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

As we slowly creep closer to the new NBA season, predictions for every team have been well accounted for. There are consensus conclusions on who the contenders are around the league, as well as some playoff-bubble and bottom of the barrel teams. However, here are three underrated NBA teams as we begin the new season.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks may not be one of the more underrated NBA teams, but with the acquisitions made this off-season, they are underrated title contenders.

The Hawks have made the playoffs each of the past two years. They even went so far as to make the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, and were just two wins away from the NBA Finals. They followed that up with another playoff appearance in the 2021 season. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it nearly as far, bowing out in five games in the first round.

Atlanta has since improved their team after that disappointing playoff run. They traded Kevin Huerter to Sacramento, but recouped that loss after picking Up Dejounte Murray from San Antonio. Murray will add some much-needed defense to their backcourt, and form a dynamic duo with Trae Young. The Hawks certainty aren’t being counted out of the playoff race, but they should be looked at as more of a legitimate contender.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves found themselves back in the playoffs last season, and they put up a solid fight in the first round. This off-season, they upgraded by getting one of the best defenders in the league, Rudy Gobert. The price for Gobert was far from cheap, with Minnesota having to give up a whopping four first round picks.

The Wolves were willing to pay that price though, and the team is better because of it. Gobert and Karl Anthony Towns immediately form one of, if not the best big-man duos in the league. Minnesota was already on the upswing, but after picking up Gobert, they should be considered a contender in the western conference.

New York Knicks

The Knicks made the playoffs in the 2020 season, but failed to perform up to that caliber last year. We saw the quick decline and departure of Kemba Walker in New York. The Knicks were able to replace him with a massive upgrade in Jalen Brunson.

Brunson really had a breakout season last year, and made himself a lot of money with his playoff performance. He moves to the big apple this year, and will lead a team that is very similar to the squad that secured the fourth seed in 2020. The potential of this team is exciting. With the addition of Brunson, they should be considered a true contender in the eastern conference.

2022 NFL Hall of Fame Game Preview

The Jaguars and Raiders square off in the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame game
Image Credit: Sam Greenwood and Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Finally. Finally, football fans can wake up with the realization that it is gameday. The long offseason has come to a close, and NFL fans can watch some live football again. The Hall of Fame Game is notoriously uneventful, but it still brings excitement as the first NFL game in nearly seven months. Here are some things to watch for tonight.

Hall of Fame Game Info:

Teams: Las Vegas Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Time: 8PM E.T.

Venue: Tom Henson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio

Broadcast: NBC

Live stream options: fuboTV, Sling, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV

New Signings

Neither of these two teams were afraid to spend money this offseason, so there will be a ton of new faces wearing new colors for the first time on Thursday night. None of these starting-caliber players will see the field much, if at all, but it will be exciting to watch them on their new teams for the first time.

On the Raiders side of the ball, the most notable new guy is obviously Devante Adams. The Raiders traded for Adams this offseason, in exchange for their first and second round picks. Adams is arguably the best receiver in the league, and it will be interesting to watch him take the field with his old college teammate, Derek Carr. Chandler Jones will also be making his Raider debut on Thursday, and we’ll get to see him attack the passer opposite Maxx Crosby for the first time as well.

Jacksonville was far from shy on the free agent market themselves. The Jaguars made a ton of signings early in free agency, and were one of the most active teams in the league. Their receiving core was completely revamped, and Jaguars’ fans will get to watch Zay Jones, Christian Kirk and Evan Engram take the field for the first time. Their new star guard Brandon Sherff will be on display as well.

New Draft Picks

This is exactly what preseason games are meant for. The starters don’t get much action, if at all, yet the rookies are thrown straight into the fire. Jacksonville obviously had the better draft class, but both teams have some exciting rookies ready to take an NFL field for the first time.

Starting with Jacksonville, they’ve got a handful of new draft picks to be excited about. First, we have the first overall draft pick, Travon Walker. The edge rusher out of Georgia has a boatload of potential, and he should get some extended time Thursday night. Next is Devin Lloyd. The Jaguars traded up to the 20th overall pick to nab Lloyd, who is one of the most intelligent players in the entire class. Luke Fortner and Chad Muma are two more exciting young players to watch for.

As for Las Vegas, their draft class wasn’t as impressive, yet there’s still some guys to watch for. Their top pick, Dylan Parham should get a good amount of reps on the offensive line. Vegas also picked up a new running back, Zamir White out of Georgia. White was one of the better running backs in college last year, and it should be interesting to see how Josh McDaniels utilizes him.

Ultimately, it’s just good to have football back. NFL fans can finally kick back, relax and watch two exciting young teams play. With this just being a preseason game, there shouldn’t be much stock taken with how good these players do, especially the young guys. Here’s to a fun game, and most importantly, welcome back football!