Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thabeet and Thunder agree to two year deal

To say Hasheem Thabeet has had a disappointing start to his NBA career would be generous. He's been an absolute bust, but you don't give up on a seven foot three center who was once the number two pick in the NBA draft.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are taking a flyer on the former Big East defensive player of the year and have agreed to a two year deal with the University of Connecticut product.

The deal cannot officially be signed until the league's free agent moratorium period is lifted on July 11. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately known, but the contract, which will be fully guaranteed for both seasons, is believed to be a minimal salary, or roughly $880,000 in the first year of the contract.

Thabeet will be playing for his fourth team in four years. He was picked one spot ahead of current Thunder guard James Harden. It is a minimal investment for the Thunder and could turn out to be a bargain if Thabeet realizes his potential. If not, cut him loose and move on. What could work in Thabeet's favor is that he won't be looked upon as a savior and can just play basketball.

“Playing in that environment is positive,” said Thabeet's agent, Bill Duffy. “Sam Presti has done a great job of not only building a winning organization but a culture that's conditioned to developing and nurturing. So we think it's a really good fit. So now the onus is on Hasheem to buy into that and to develop and to reach his potential.”

It would seem to be the perfect landing spot for him, but I'll just wait and see.

Toomer says Romo is better than Eli

Despite winning his second Super Bowl, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning still has his detractors. If you ask some fans, they would call Manning the equivalent of a hot goalie.

Former Giants receiver, Amani Toomer, might have said a few things that might serve as motivation for Manning this upcoming season. On the Sirius XM NFL show, Movin' the Chains, which Toomer co-hosts, he said that he prefers Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo, over Manning.        

“Tony Romo is probably, if you look at it statistically, he’s probably the best quarterback in the NFC East,” Toomer said.  “You look at Eli Manning and what he does in the fourth quarter, but you talk about consistency, talking about 31 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, that guy can play.”

“For me, if I wanted a guy that is going to throw less interceptions, (be) more productive, higher completion percentage, I'm going to go with Tony Romo. At crunch time, he's not as good as Eli, but every other time, he's pretty darn good.”

You can have this debate with quartebacks of years past. Stabler/Fouts, Marino/Montana, Bradshaw/Staubach. I think Manning can put up the same kind of numbers if called upon, but the Giants have always relied on a solid ground game to balance their offense. The Cowboys put more on Romo's shoulders than the Giants do Manning.

Manning is also a better crunch time performer, and that's why he has two Super Bowl rings in four years and Romo is still looking to get a playoff win under his belt. Romo may have the glitzier stats, but Manning has what really matters. The bling.

Vitali Klitschko gets teargassed at a Russian protest

WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko, is well known for his skills in the boxing ring. He also has his hat in the political arena in Russia as well. Klitschko is running for mayor of Kiev and is also the head of the UDAR, a Ukranian political party.

Klitschko attended a rally in Kiev Wednesday, staged by Ukranians, to protest a Russian language bill passed by parliament, making Russian, not Ukrainian, the official language in some formal settings in the former Soviet republic.

What was supposed to be a peaceful protest quickly turned violent. Klitschko managed to avoid serious injury as authorities used batons and tear gas to control the crowd. Klitschko suffered a cut on his left hand but he still plans on defending his title on September 8 against Manuel Charr.