Thursday, April 16, 2015

An Open Letter to Russell Westbrook

By Charlie Scaturro


Damn man, it was one hell of a ride. The numbers are beyond impressive but even they don’t do your season justice.

28.1 points.

7.3 rebounds.

8.6 assists.

2.1 steals.

I won’t even bother looking up the other players who have posted those numbers for a full season, but I feel pretty confident saying that you’re in some extremely exclusive company.

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but the grind of an NBA season can really drag on. There are way too many games and there’s way too much time for people to stay focused solely on basketball. In a sport that’s fueled by stars, you were one of the players who made this season so much fun in spite of that monotony. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from talking.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bo Ryan and the Death of a Dream

By Charlie Scaturro

Few things in life are truly finite. Few times are we presented with a situation where we know there will be no chance to try again in some capacity. For Bo Ryan, that truly finite moment happened on Monday night as the clock ticked down to 0:00 and Duke players stormed the court to celebrate.

In the aftermath of Wisconsin’s loss to Duke, Bo Ryan didn’t say the things we’ve become conditioned to hear from a losing coach. He criticized the officiating. He took a not-so-thinly-veiled shot at one-and-done players like Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow. He wasn’t beaming with positivity about the amazing season his team had just completed. He was bitter, angry, and unhappy. And he’s taken a lot of criticism for it during the past 24 hours.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Few Quick Final Four Thoughts

By Charlie Scaturro

I hope we’re all ready for Saturday because Kentucky vs. Wisconsin and Duke vs. Michigan State might be one of the best Final Four slates the college game has ever seen. Generally, a statement like that would just be hyperbole but that last sentence might be 100% true, so with that being said, here are a few quick Final Four thoughts in advance of this weekend’s games.

1. The Okafor vs. Towns championship showdown really needs to happen

I say this on a number of levels. First off, strictly from a basketball standpoint, having two of college basketball’s most dominant post players going head-to-head for 40 minutes would be amazing. But from an NBA Draft perspective, this match-up would have Chad Ford foaming at the mouth and reduce him to sending out tweets where he just mashes the keys on his Blackberry (Chad Ford definitely still uses a Blackberry, right?).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sometimes, March Madness Can Wait

By Charlie Scaturro

“Uncle Hank died,” My girlfriend said solemnly a few weeks ago as I walked into our apartment coming home from work. Hank was in his early 70’s and had been battling cancer, but you’re never quite ready to hear those words uttered about a person you know, especially when they’re a family member of someone you’re close to.

Though I had only met Hank a handful of times, that’s all it took for him to make an impression on me. Based on stories I’d heard, the man wasn’t without his flaws but whenever I encountered him at my girlfriend’s family gatherings he went out of his way to make me feel welcome. As someone who comes from a small family it was intimidating to interact with my girlfriend’s huge family when she initially brought me around. But Hank’s kindness those first few times went further than he ever could have known.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Mase

By Charlie Scaturro

“Damn. We lost Mase.” Is all I could think this morning when I heard Anthony Mason had passed away at the age of 48.

For basketball fans in the 90’s Mason was the epitome of the physical, hardnosed style of play that is a distant memory in today’s NBA. But for anyone who grew up in New York City in the 90’s, Mason was a bit more than that. From his iconic haircuts to his fur coats to being featured in music videos and songs by the Beastie Boys, Mason WAS New York City in the mid-90’s.

The fact that he was a part of some of the best teams in Knicks franchise history only further ingrains Mase in New York City’s ethos. I remember when the Knicks won the Eastern Conference Finals and subsequently lost to the Houston Rockets in agonizing fashion in the summer of 1994 and for me, at 8 years old, it seemed like that was the most important thing that had happened to the city in my brief lifetime.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tom Brady and Outside Forces Helping to Decide our Fate

By Charlie Scaturro

With 20 seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLIX, an undrafted rookie cornerback from the University of West Alabama stepped in front of an undrafted wide receiver from Fort Valley State University and caught a football that was not intended for him.

Roughly 40 yards away stood Tom Brady, who, like the rest of the world, was fixated on what had just transpired between two players few people watching the game had ever heard of before. Though Brady was one of the 114 million spectators watching the Super Bowl at that point in time, he had far more on the line than those of us sitting in our living rooms.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Remembering Stuart Scott

By Charlie Scaturro

I suppose it’s fitting that I was at my parent’s house getting ready to work during the Colts-Bengals game this past Sunday when I heard Stuart Scott had passed away. After all, that’s where I grew up watching and listening to him on SportsCenter.

We didn’t get cable TV until I was around 10 years old and I actually remember the day the cable guy came to our house to install it. Suddenly having nearly 100 channels including Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network was nice, but the real reason I remember the day we got cable was because it meant we got ESPN. And of course, at that time ESPN’s main attraction was SportsCenter.