Greg and Brandon Aussie Open Podcast!

Greg Calarco and Brandon Tew discuss the 2017 Australian Open and hit on all the storylines, including the major upsets of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Angelique Kerber, and the exciting proposition of potential Federer-Nadal and Serena-Venus Finals! If you’re a tennis fan in any way, we implore you to spend some time with us!

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Kobe’s Farewell

20 years after his legendary career began in 1996, the great Kobe Bryant has decided this season will be his swansong year. Bryant, 37, posted an emotional message on The Players Tribune Sunday saying that although his heart and mind can still handle the NBA grind, his body has nothing left to give. Whether you’re a diehard Kobe fan or not, it’s immensely depressing to see such an amazing legacy come to its final chapter like this.

The Black Mamba is shooting an abysmal 67 of 220 (30.5%) from the floor this year, his worst ever. But it will not tarnish his amazing legacy.

17 All-Star selections, 11 All-NBA 1st Team selections, an MVP award, five championships, and two Olympic gold medals is merely scratching the surface of what Kobe has accomplished. He’s one of only four players in NBA history with 25,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, and 6,000 assists. The other three are Oscar Robertson, John Havlicek, and LeBron James.

His competitiveness was second to none. Many NBA greats consider Kobe to be the closest thing we’ve ever seen to Michael Jordan. Kobe is a winner. He always will be.

Byron Scott, the Lakers head coach, was shocked and depressed upon hearing the news. His words do a great job of summing up how many are feeling at this moment. “I’m just sad more than anything. Just sad more than anything. Somebody who I truly care about, have a lot of respect for. I think it’s always hard when greatness like Kobe decides to hang it up.”

Four and a half months is all we have left to cherish one of the very best of all time. Let’s make the most of it.

Rockets Take Off From McHale; Too Soon?

By Mitchell Lea

Kevin McHale has been fired as the head coach of the 4-7 Houston Rockets. Today, impatience has been taken to another level completely.

Yes, in the Western Conference nothing beats winning. You can have all the talent in the world, but that conference is too good to not get results.

11th place wasn’t what the players, coaches and fans had in mind with this promising season about to begin, but should we be all too surprised? When they brought in Ty Lawson, the offense changed whether they liked it or not. The defensive-minded Patrick Beverley was replaced with a much more offensively-gifted Lawson.

Basketball is a game of chemistry, however. No one should have expected Lawson and Harden to suddenly gel. Even LeBron James and Dwayne Wade needed to get into the ebbs and flows of the 2010-2011 season before they could really start dominating.

Lawson is shooting an abysmal 33% from the field and averages only 8.9 points per game. Harden’s shooting numbers is way below the norm, shooting 37% from the field, and Dwight Howard has been missing in action, having not played in four games already this young season.

McHale was doing a stellar job with this Rockets organization and yes, this slow start is extremely disappointing. However, 11 games in is too early for any team to give up on a head coach. We aren’t even in a month into this season. This is extremely reminiscent of the 2012 firing of Mike Brown just five games into the Los Angeles Lakers season. Those Lakers are widely considered one of the greatest “What went wrong?” stories in NBA history and the Houston Rockets are following a dangerous path by firing McHale as their coach.

Maybe we can all sit back and, once more, blame the Kardashian’s for this one.

The King (And His Numbers) Has Returned

As the young NBA season continues, it’s important we remember not to look too much into certain trends that may be short-lived. We must remain cautious of overreactions, especially with us only having a small sample size for this NBA year. Streaks inevitably die down. Most trends have a short life-span. Obviously, Steph Curry won’t average over 33 points per game for an entire season (At least I think…).

However, even with only a small portion of the NBA season in the books so far, there are some inferences we can draw. The first three weeks of the year have been very telling of the year LeBron James may be set to have. James’ stats in his first five games compared to his most recent five are staggering.

Through the first week or so it looked as if James would really cruise through the regular season. It’s not like he needs another regular season MVP award anyways; he already has four at home. What James really wants this year is his third ring and, in particular, the first Cleveland pro sports championship in what will be 52 years. So since James needs to save his body for the postseason, many predicted his numbers would take a big dip. And they did.

Through the first five games, James was averaging a horrid (for him) 22.2 points per game while shooting 49 percent from the field. He had no 30 point performances, and didn’t even look he was trying at times early on. His usual 27-7-7 stat line looked like it may be a rarity for this year. But then LeBron played his next five games.

He’s been scorching the last week and half, putting up 31.8 points per game on 52 percent shooting. He’s had four games of 30 or more in the last five, and is the main reason the Cavaliers are 8-2 and leading the East right now. Through three weeks of the season now, LeBron’s numbers have been looking more LeBron-like. His averages are back up to 27, 6.8, and 6.4, and he even has an above-career-average 2 steals per game. He’s still not playing as many minutes as he used to, but that seems like a smart choice by he and Blatt. James will have plenty of heavy lifting to do come May and June, so keeping his body relatively fresh will be key.

All in all, it’s been a great start for LeBron and his Cavs. They’re winning games, and James has his numbers back to normal after a shaky start to his campaign that included a 12 point outing in Memphis.

Now all the king has to fix is his 61 percent free throw percentage…