Unpopular Sports Opinions- The Second Edition

Ever read something that made you scratch your head and wonder what really is going on? Well step into the ring with members of The 3 Point Conversion as unpopular opinions are thrown around like haymakers to those that are scrunching up their heads while reading these

Disclosure: These aren’t made up opinions at all. These are real thoughts backed up with facts. Enjoy!

 

“Chris Paul got robbed out of the 2007-2008 NBA MVP Award.”- Damian Adams

Steve Nash indirectly cost Chris Paul a Most Valuable Player Award. Nash won the back-to-back MVPs in the 04′-05′ and 05′-06′ seasons. In the 05′-06′ season, Nash led the Phoenix Suns to the No. 2 seed in the western conference, while averaging 18.8 points per game, 10.5 assists per game and shooting 51% from the field. Definitely MVP numbers.

Nash’s great year was one of the reasons Kobe Bryant did not win MVP that season. Bryant had a great individual season averaging 35.4 points per game, carrying the Los Angeles Lakers to the playoffs. So by the time the 2007-2008 season came around, one of the top 10 players to ever play the game, Bryant, didn’t have a MVP award, which seemed silly.

The Lakers improved immensely going into the 2007-2008 season with the addition of future Hall of Famer Pau Gasol. Bryant lead the Lakers to the No. 1 seed in the western conference. During that season, the No. 2 seed in the western conference was the far less talented, New Orleans Hornets, who finished one game behind the Lakers.

Chris Paul lead the Hornets averaging 21 points, 11.6 assists and 2.7 steals per game. Paul led the league in assists and steals. If Bryant would have had a MVP award on his resume before the 07′-08′ season, Paul would have won the award that year.

 

“Klay Thompson is the most important Golden State Warriors player.” – Mike Patton

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant won MVPs for the Warriors but their MVP is Klay Thompson. In every game over the years where the Warriors had their backs against the wall, Thompson was huge.

Remember Game 6 against the Oklahoma City Thunder back in the 2016 Western Conference? Thompson sure remembers where he was. He had 41 points, including eleven three’s on the way to Golden State winning in a very hostile environment in Oklahoma City with the Thunder having a chance to close them out at home.

Does anyone remember Game 6 versus the Toronto Raptors? There can be a case made that if Thompson does not get injured, he could have led them back to a win that game. He was the only one playing with a ton of heart that game and doing what needed to be done. Heck, he even came back and shot free throws on a blown-out knee before exiting with 30 points on 66.7% shooting.

He is the heart and soul of the Warriors. Curry never was, Durant never was, and Draymond Green never was. Thompson is the quintessential piece of that team that does everything.

 

 “Steroids saved baseball.” -Eric Urbanowicz

Think back to 1998 MLB Home Run record chase between St. Louis Cardinals’ first baseman Mark McGuire and Chicago Cubs’ outfielder Sammy Sosa, it was perhaps one of the most watched races in sports history. Now, it’s been swept under the rug due to their steroid disclosures.

What gets lost in the shuffle of the steroid era is that it essentially saved the sport. Anytime a sport sees a player strike, there’s always a period where fan interest is low and baseball was no different in 1995 following a year-long strike. Events such as San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds chasing Hank Aaron’s career home run record or the 1998 home run race helped give baseball the steam it needed to stay relevant.

Should players who used it be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame? Absolutely not. Should this era be remembered? Why yes, it should.

 

“Lawrence Taylor is not the greatest linebacker in NFL history, Ray Lewis was.” -Raphael Haynes

Lawrence Taylor is one of the greatest players to ever step foot in the NFL but there is one other player better than him, Ray Lewis. Both happen to be linebackers but Ray’s impact was much bigger. Lewis is the smartest defensive player in history having to read the offense, direct teammates and becoming the first player to record 40 sacks and 30 interceptions while playing for five or more defensive coordinators. (L.T. had Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick for 11 of his first 13 years).

Taylor was a player that we never seen before but we also witnessed his coaching staff come up with a scheme that the league never seen before, rushing from a stand up position. The one thing that went against L.T. was having Derrick Thomas come in and becoming a greater pass rusher than L.T. in the same scheme and rushing stance.

Lewis was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, and like Taylor, made a horrible team into a championship team. Although L.T. won MVP of NFL in the 1986, the difference is Lewis had his biggest games in the playoffs which included the championship run when he won Super Bowl MVP in 2000. Even in his 17th and last year during the playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl, he had 3 straight games where recorded 13, 17 and 14 tackles respectively.

In the two championship years for L.T., they were either the No.1 team or the second best team, In 2000, the Baltimore Ravens had no offense but Lewis single handedly led a wildcard team to a championship by putting the team on his back the entire year and the playoffs giving up an NFL record 165 point in 16 regular season games (also 2012 as a 4th seed).

 

“The Stanley Cup Playoffs are the best playoffs in sports.” – Danny Thompson

Why is the National Hockey League the most exciting playoffs in all of sports? What sport has “sudden death Game 7s”, constant strategic changes and playoff beards?

Neither team can call 25 timeouts to set plays in end of game situations because games change at the drop of a dime. The NHL playoffs is two months of heart stopping, stay on your couch and wait to go to the bathroom action.

There is nothing better than watching a sudden death overtime game on your big screen with the sound up, the loudest fans, towels waving and everyone on the edge of their seats waiting for the goal that will either send them home happy or sitting in disbelief.

Yes, there even more exciting than the NFL playoffs, college basketball “March Madness”, the long drawn out MLB playoffs that at time seems like it goes on forever and the NBA playoffs that like to take a week in between the Conference Finals and NBA Finals.

 

“Running backs should view Christian McCaffrey’s contract as the new benchmark.” – Carita Parks

Earlier this week, the Carolina Panthers made Christian McCaffrey the highest paid running back in NFL history. McCaffrey agreed to a four-year contract extension worth $64 million, giving him an average salary of $16 million per year.

For a position that has been undervalued throughout the years, running backs should view McCaffrey’s contract as the new benchmark. The narrative being pushed since the extension is that McCaffrey deserves a huge payday because of his versatility and no other NFL running back should expect the same.

McCaffrey is definitely one of the best all-purpose backs in the league. However, it is unrealistic to think other starting running backs will reduce their value because it is perceived that they don’t “measure up.” No competitor will approach a deal with their shortcomings in mind.

Next year’s free agent running backs include Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook and Aaron Jones to name a few. While other analysts may disagree, they should all be prepared to negotiate based on the current market rate. Whether teams agree to the asking price, it isn’t for them to worry about. McCaffrey has set the standard for the next round of running back contracts and it is in their best interest to take advantage of this opportunity.

Damian Adams

San Diego, California

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