NBA Mock Draft– Post Celtics/76ers Trade

2017 NBA Mock Draft

Jason Gandhi

  1. Philadelphia 76ers (from Kings)- Markelle Fultz
  2. Los Angeles Lakers- Lonzo Ball
  3. Boston Celtics (from Nets)- Jayson Tatum
  4. Phoenix Suns- Josh Jackson
  5. Sacramento Kings (from 76ers)- De’Aaron Fox
  6. Orlando Magic- Jonathan Isaac
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves- Lauri Markkanen
  8. New York Knicks- Frank Ntilinka (nee-lah-kina)
  9. Dallas Mavericks- Dennis Smith Jr
  10. Sacramento Kings (from Pelicans)- Malik Monk
  11. Charlotte Hornets- Luke Kennard
  12. Detroit Pistons- Donovan Mitchell
  13. Denver Nuggets- Zach Collins
  14. Miami Heat- Justin Jackson
  15. Portland Trail Blazers- Harry Giles
  16. Chicago Bulls- OG Anunoby
  17. Milwaukee Bucks- Jarrett Allen
  18. Indiana Pacers- John Collins
  19. Atlanta Hawks- Justin Patton
  20. Portland Trail Blazers (from Grizzlies)- TJ Leaf
  21. Oklahoma City Thunder- Terrance Ferguson
  22. Brooklyn Nets (from Wizards)- Ike Anigbogu
  23. Toronto Raptors (from Clippers)- Isaiah Hartenstein
  24. Utah Jazz- Andzejs Pasecniks
  25. Orlando Magic (from Raptors)- Tyler Lydon
  26. Portland Trail Blazers (from Cavaliers)- Rodions Kurucs
  27. Brooklyn Nets (from Celtics)- DJ Wilson
  28. L.A. Lakers (from Rockets)- Bam Adebayo
  29. San Antonio Spurs- Semi Ojeleye
  30. Utah Jazz (from Warriors)- Derrick White

NBA Mock Draft

6 days away from the NBA Draft! Our latest NBA Mock Draft is here with all the guys putting one out today. We will put one more out on Wednesday hopefully! Enjoy!

Check out our podcast for analysis over every pick:

NBA Team: 6/16/17 Jason Gandhi: Dan Magers: Dylan Stagge: Zach Munson: Michael Bailey:
1.     Boston Celtics Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz Markelle Fultz
2.     Los Angeles Lakers Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Lonzo Ball Josh Jackson
3.     Philadelphia 76ers Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Josh Jackson Lonzo Ball
4.     Phoenix Suns Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum Jonathan Isaac
5.     Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox De’Aaron Fox De’Aaron Fox De’Aaron Fox De’Aaron Fox
6.     Orlando Magic Jonathan Isaac Jonathan Isaac Jonathan Isaac Malik Monk Jayson Tatum
7.     Minnesota Timberwolves Lauri Markkanen Lauri Markkanen Lauri Markkanen Jonathan Isaac Malik Monk
8.     New York Knicks Malik Monk Malik Monk Dennis Smith Jr. Dennis Smith Jr. Frank Ntilikina
9.     Dallas Mavericks Frank Ntilikina Frank Ntilikina Frank Ntilikina Frank Ntilikina Dennis Smith Jr.
10.  Sacramento Kings Luke Kennard Zach Collins Malik Monk Lauri Markkanen Zach Collins
11.  Charlotte Hornets Dennis Smith Jr. Luke Kennard Zach Collins Zach Collins Donovan Mitchell
12.  Detroit Pistons Donovan Mitchell Donovan Mitchell Donovan Mitchell Donovan Mitchell Luke Kennard
13.  Denver Nuggets Zach Collins Dennis Smith Jr. OG Anunoby OG Anunoby Justin Patton
14.  Miami Heat Justin Jackson OG Anunoby Harry Giles Luke Kennard Harry Giles
15.  Portland Trailblazers OG Anunoby Justin Jackson John Collins Justin Jackson Lauri Markkanen
16.  Chicago Bulls Harry Giles Jarrett Allen Luke Kennard Jarrett Allen Jarrett Allen
17.  Milwaukee Bucks Jarrett Allen Justin Patton Jarrett Allen Justin Patton Justin Jackson
18.  Indiana Pacers Terrance Ferguson TJ Leaf Justin Jackson TJ Leaf OG Anunoby
19.  Atlanta Hawks TJ Leaf John Collins Justin Patton John Collins John Collins
20.  Portland Trail Blazers Bam Adebayo Harry Giles Bam Adebayo Harry Giles Terrance Ferguson
21.  Oklahoma City Thunder John Collins Ike Anigbogu TJ Leaf Ike Anigbogu Jawun Evans
22.  Brooklyn Nets Justin Patton Terrance Ferguson Ike Anigbogu Terrance Ferguson Bam Adebayo
23.  Toronto Raptors Ike Anigbogu Tyler Lydon Tyler Lydon Tyler Lydon Tyler Lydon
24.  Utah Jazz Isaiah Hartenstein Andzejs Pasecniks Semi Ojeleye Semi Ojeleye Ike Anigbogu
25.  Orlando Magic Jordan Bell Bam Adebayo Frank Jackson Bam Adebayo TJ Leaf
26.  Portland Trail Blazers Andzejs Pasecniks Isaiah Hartenstein Andzejs Pasecniks Isaiah Hartenstein Semi Ojeleye
27.  Brooklyn Nets Tony Bradley Ivan Rabb Terrance Ferguson DJ Wilson Isaiah Hartenstein
28.  Los Angeles Lakers Tyler Lydon DJ Wilson Ivan Rabb Jordan Bell Jordan Bell
29.  San Antonio Spurs Ivan Rabb Caleb Swanigan Isaiah Hartenstein Andzejs Pasecniks Ivan Rabb
30.  Utah Jazz Derrick White Derrick White Derrick White Derrick White Derrick White


Michael Bailey’s NBA Mock Draft

2017 NBA Mock Draft

Michael Bailey


  1. Boston (From Brooklyn) – Markelle Fultz-PG/SG-Washington

Boston, coming off of the first seed in the East are in no place to start rebuilding, but definite changes are needed if they want to contend with the LeBron James-led Cavaliers team which is poised to return to the NBA finals seeking vengeance over the Warriors. Fultz could be the last piece of the puzzle for the Celtics and could be needed if they wanted to sign a stud in free agency like Gordon Hayward. Although I think it would be smart to trade this very valuable pick to gain a player like Paul George or Jimmy Butler, Fultz is the definite pick if they are to keep it.


  1. Los Angeles Lakers- Josh Jackson-SG-Kansas

After lucking out and keeping their pick this year, the Lakers are in a prime spot to help their team out tremendously at this number two pick. Many thought Lonzo was no doubt the guy to take here, it appears the Lakers weren’t that convinced by his workout with them. They like Jackson in his workout with them and it is likely that they will take him here.


  1. Philadelphia (from Sacramento)– Lonzo Ball-PG-UCLA

The Sixers have plenty of young talent with the likes of Simmons, Okafor, etc. But they have a dearth of talent in the backcourt. If Lonzo falls to them at 3, they should no doubt add his talent to their team. He has superstar potential and even if he becomes half the player his dad thinks he will be, he will be well worth the number 3 pick.


  1. Phoenix- Johnathan Isaac-SF-Florida St.

Isaac is a great athlete and if he can develop a solid jumper, could develop into a star in the NBA. The Suns could use a strong starting SF to go alongside Booker on the wing. Taking a chance on Isaac is the best move at 4 unless they want to trade down to get a center assuming they let Len walk.


  1. Sacramento (from Philadelphia)– De’Aaron Fox-PG-Kentucky

With Darren Collison and Ty Lawson becoming free agents this offseason, the PG position is the number 1 need for the Kings this offseason. Fox showed a lot of upside at Kentucky his freshman year and could be the next star of the Sacramento Kings organization if he falls to them at 5.


  1. Orlando– Jayson Tatum-SF-Duke

Orlando currently only have Terrence Ross and Aaron Gordon as their forwards for the upcoming season. Drafting Tatum will give them the opportunity to possibly develop a star SF and have Terrence Ross coming off the bench.


  1. Minnesota– Malik Monk-SG-Kentucky

Monk can socre. Averaging 19.8 points per game in his freshman year at Kentucky showed that he can put the ball into the basket. Minnesota has a lot of young talent and adding Monk gives them leeway when deciding if they want to give LaVine major mullah when deciding or not to extend his contract.


  1. New York– Frank Ntilikina-PG-INTL

Derrick Rose will be a free agent this offseason and it looks like New York will not bring him back. Ntilikina is a solid prospect at PG that the Knicks can hope for and develop alongside their other young star Kristaps Porzingis.


  1. Dallas- Dennis Smith Jr-PG-NC St.

Dallas is pretty limited in cap space this offseason so will most likely look to upgrade at PG in the draft and will grab whichever one between Ntilikina and Smith Jr. that the Knicks do not.


  1. Sacramento (From New Orleans)– Zach Collins-C-Gonzaga

After predicting them to draft De’Aaron Fox with the 5th pick in the draft, the Kings will try to find a full time replacement for Demarcus Cousins. Zach Collins can score and be presence for the Kings on the boards as well.


  1. Charlotte- Donovan Mitchell-SG-Louisville

The Hornets need to find some way to improve their team. Mitchell will give them good scoring off the bench and provide depth in the backcourt.


  1. Detroit- Luke Kennard-SG-Duke

The Pistons will most likely lose Kentavious Caldwell Pope in free agency due to another team offering him a crazy amount of money. Kennard can shoot and could be the SG for the Pistons next season.


  1. Denver- Justin Patton-C-Creighton

If the Nuggets decide to let Plumlee go in free agency, getting a center in the draft is necessary. Patton has some of the best upside out of all the centers in the draft.


  1. Miami- Harry Giles- PF/C-Duke

Although coming off of a knee injury, Giles still has great potential. If he can stay healthy he could blossom into a great starter in the NBA. At 14, I think the Heat can afford taking a risk on Giles and hope that he can stay healthy.


  1. Portland- Lauri Markkanen-PF-Arizona
  2. Chicago- Jarret Allen-C-Texas
  3. Milwaukee- Justin Jackson-SF-North Carolina
  4. Indiana- OG Anunoby-SF/PF-Indiana
  5. Atlanta- John Collins-PF-Wake Forest
  6. Portland (From Memphis via Denver and Cleveland)– Terrance Ferguson-SG-INTL
  7. Oklahoma City-Juwan Evans-PG-Oklahoma St.
  8. Brooklyn (From Washington)-Bam Adebayo-C-Kentucky
  9. Toronto (From LA Clippers via Milwaukee)-Tyler Lydon-PF/SF- Syracuse
  10. Utah- Ike Anigbogu-PF/C-UCLA
  11. Orlando (From Toronto)-T.J. Leaf-PF-UCLA
  12. Portland (From Cleveland)-Semi Ojeleye-SF/PF-SMU
  13. Brooklyn (From Boston)-Isaiah Hartenstein-PF/C-Germany
  14. Los Angeles Lakers (From Houston)-Jordan Bell-PF/C-Oregon
  15. San Antonio-Ivan Rabb-PF- California
  16. Utah (From Golden State)-Derrick White-PG/SG-Colorado

Magic and Bird: The Rebirth of Basketball

By: Jason Gandhi


The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics have a well-known rivalry in professional basketball. It stemmed from the early 1960’s up until today still with the two teams squaring off every year. The reason the Lakers—Celtics rivalry has remained consistent throughout history is largely because of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The rivalry of Magic vs. Bird went from 1979-1992 in basketball but it stemmed much further than just on the court. “Bird and Magic would meet face-to-face in a celebrated NCAA title showdown that contributed as much as anything to making college tournament play finally a primetime “made-for-television” event”.[1] Converse came out with a commercial in 1986 pushing consumers to either purchase the “Magic shoe” or the “Bird shoe”[2]. There was also a Broadway show on them called “Magic/Bird” directed by Eric Simonson[3]. This seems to suggest that the men were not only basketball icons but also made an impact on pop culture. Basketball was on the decline at the turn from the 1970’s to the 1980’s. Ratings were down and people were just not interested in NBA basketball like they used to be. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird changed that, and revived basketball to where it is today. Without Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird, the NBA might not be around today. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird not only effected the game itself, but they brought basketball’s popularity to a whole new level.


NBA Basketball was on the decline in the 1970’s. “Attendance had already been dropping, as had television ratings. CBS routinely tape-delayed its games, even playoff games, which meant most markets saw these games on TV after midnight. The NBA was in a significant down period.”[4] In the 1960’s, it was mainly Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, but in the 1970’s the skill level was more balanced. None of the fourteen teams in the league were that much better than the next[5]. The NBA used to have a TV deal with ABC but at the end of the contract ABC declined to renew it[6]. CBS purchased the rights to show the NBA, but they could not market the product as well as ABC did[7]. Because there were no teams that were exponentially better than the next, fans did not have the desire to watch subpar basketball. It was hard for fans to rally behind the league, when they weren’t producing high-level basketball. The 1979 NCAA national championship between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird still has the highest TV shares, which is the estimated amount of televisions tuned in, to this day.[8] The correlation between the growth in popularity and the rise of Magic and Bird cannot be denied.


So, the NBA was at a low point in its popularity as stated previously. When Magic Johnson and Larry Bird burst onto the scene, they helped the ratings and the popularity go up. Magic said after his playing days were over, “Everybody knew that one of the main reasons for the dramatic increase in salaries was the presence of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.[9]” When the men got drafted into the NBA in 1979, the arenas were more empty than full, TV ratings were lowering and “the average player made less than $150,000.[10]” This evidence shows that before they burst onto the scene, NBA basketball was on life support. The two men had to try and revive the brand of professional basketball. Then once Magic Johnson and Larry Bird established themselves as the future in the NBA, things began to improve. By 1984, “Attendance had soared. TV ratings were way up-–especially during the 1984 Finals. The average salary was now well over half a million dollars.[11]”. This all demonstrates the clear correlation between the rise of popularity and the two men. Magic had his “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers, and Larry had his grind-it-out Boston Celtics. Yet every time the two teams squared off, everybody had to watch because Magic Johnson and Larry Bird made basketball fun again. The two teams met three times in the NBA Finals always on national television, as well as numerous times in the regular season. The uniqueness of an individual rivalry that repeats itself year after year because of team success, but also the men being friends off the court was something fans had never seen before. The Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics won eight of the ten championships in the 1980’s[12], so Magic got the upper hand on Larry in the team rivalry.

Some could argue that the rise of the NBA would have happened with or without Magic and Larry. David Stern, former commissioner of the NBA, believed it to be “more of saving the NBA than Bird and Magic”[13]. They believe it could not have gone any lower so the rise was inevitable. This claim cannot be true because of the evidence that the TV contracts rose from $500,000 in 1969, to over 1 million dollars just under 12 years later[14]. Their national championship game began the rise and their success in the NBA, just took it to the next level. The summer after the Laker beat the Celtics in the Finals, “the NBA signed a three-year, $1.5-million-dollar deal with the USA Network for Thursday night doubleheaders and early round playoff games”[15]. This all demonstrates the men had a clear impact on the growth and popularity. Others could say that Magic and Larry are the only reason that the NBA grew in popularity. That is also not accurate, because players such as Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal and other polarizing figures could have also boosted the popularity. In 2017, the NBA regular season attendance record was broken again for the third straight year[16]. So although they did impact the popularity, they were not the sole factor.

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are now in the front office of NBA teams, sprinkling their magic on the NBA even without playing. They are a reason that the NBA is growing as one of the most popular professional sports in the United States today.




Works Cited:


[1] Peter C. Bjarkman, The Biographical History of Basketball (Chicago, Illinois: NTC/Contemporary Publishing group, 2000) pages 48, 49

[2] Josh Mapes, “Magic Johnson and Larry Bird’s Rivalry,” Bio, last modified April 12, 2012,

[3] Josh Mapes, “Magic Johnson and Larry Bird’s Rivalry,” Bio, last modified April 12, 2012,

[4] “Magic, Larry and Cable Television:” Basketball Origins, Growth and History of the Game, accessed October 24, 2016,

[5] “A Decade of Parity” NBA Encyclopedia Playoff Edition, accessed October 26, 2016,

[6] “Magic, Larry and Cable Television:” Basketball Origins, Growth and History of the Game, accessed October 24, 2016,

[7] “Magic, Larry and Cable Television:” Basketball Origins, Growth and History of the Game, accessed October 24, 2016,

[8] Peter C. Bjarkman, The Biographical History of Basketball (Chicago, Illinois: NTC/Contemporary Publishing group, 2000) pages 48, 49

[9] Earvin “Magic” Johnson and William Novak, My Life (New York: Random House, 1992) pg. 204

[10] Earvin “Magic” Johnson and William Novak, My Life (New York: Random House, 1992) pg. 204

[11] Earvin “Magic” Johnson and William Novak, My Life (New York: Random House, 1992) pg. 204

[12] “Magic, Larry and Cable Television:” Basketball Origins, Growth and History of the Game, accessed October 24, 2016,

[13] Bill Simmons, The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy (New York: ESPN Books, 2009) page 138

[14] Peter C. Bjarkman, The Biographical History of Basketball (Chicago, Illinois: NTC/Contemporary Publishing group, 2000)

[15] Bill Simmons, The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy (New York: ESPN Books, 2009) page 139

[16] “NBA Breaks Attendance Record for Third Straight Season.” April 13, 2017,


How African Americans Affected Basketball History

By Dan Magers

Where would basketball be today if it wasn’t for black players? They have changed the entire outlook on the game. If James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, watched a game today, he would be amazed at how different everything is. African-Americans have affected the game of basketball forever.

It’s the 1966 NCAA Basketball National Championship. The clock is winding down in the game and the score shows 72-65. One team was Kentucky, a powerhouse in college basketball. They were 27-1 coming into this game and had arguably the best player-coach duo in the country with Pat Riley and Adolph Rupp. Riley was averaging twenty-two points and nine rebounds a game and was the SEC Player of the Year that season. Rupp is one of the best coaches in college basketball history with a career record of 876-190. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame just two years after this National Championship was played. The other team was the Texas Western Miners, the unknown team that squeezed their way into the Final Four after a controversial regional final game against Kansas. The Miners were also 27-1 entering the title game, but didn’t have as tough of a schedule as Kentucky. They were a very inexperienced group when it came to the National Championship. However, as the clock hit zero, the Miners were celebrating their first ever National Championship as they completely stunned the Kentucky Wildcats. This game is considered the biggest upset in college basketball history, but there is much more to the story.

Don Haskins is a huge contributor to bringing African-Americans into basketball.  Texas Western was coming off of a 12-12 season in 1961 under head coach Harold Davis.8 Davis was fired after the season, and Haskins was brought to the helm. He didn’t have any college coaching experience, but had coached girls and boys high school basketball. At the time, not many teams were playing a lot of black players, so Haskins used this to his advantage. He started recruiting them.18 This paid off as Haskins, in his fifth season, got his team a national championship. The special part about this though is that he started five black players for the title game. With a total of seven on the team, the Miners squared off against an all white team in Kentucky. Texas Western proved that African-Americans could play with anyone.

A lot of people who follow sports know about the Negro Leagues in baseball. Jackie Robinson played there before breaking baseball’s color barrier in the 1940s, but most people don’t know about the Black Fives. Beginning in 1904, this was the basketball league for only African-Americans. A man named Claude Johnson decided to dedicate an exhibit to the Black Fives. “There are ‘dozens and dozens’ of all-black teams that played basketball before 1950 — and that their legacy reflects the changing face of America at the time. They are in parallel with the evolution of black culture, black society — and they are a mirror of the way America evolved, the way the game evolved,” Johnson says. “You know, the pioneers of the game, for all of us, not just for black descendants, but anybody who loves the game and who loves sports.”

In 1945, Germany surrendered and World War II would soon be over. People began to think about a future of no war in America. Entertainment was in this future. That meant sports would be coming back. Baseball was the main sport of the time and people were looking forward to its return. Football, hockey, and horse racing were also looking to come back and make a huge splash in the sports world. Basketball however, did not have a professional league, but people wanted to take advantage of the excitement after the war. On June 6, 1946, they created the Basketball Association of America, which would later be called the National Basketball Association. The meeting was held in New York; they started with eleven teams and played sixty games a season. The future of basketball seemed bright.

For the first three years of the league, there were only white players. Then in 1950 the Black Fives ended and Earl Lloyd made history. Lloyd was the first African-American to ever play a game in the NBA. He wasn’t alone though. Chuck Cooper and Nat Clifton were drafted in 1950 along with Lloyd. Cooper was the first one to get taken with pick fourteen of the second round. These men are huge contributors to bringing equality between blacks and whites.

The 1950s were dominated by white players. Blacks were just starting to get their feet wet as there were only a couple that really made an impact. The one that stood out the most was Maurice Stokes. “Stokes was the NBA’s first great black player, but he played just three seasons before a devastating head injury left him afflicted with post-traumatic encephalopathy, paralyzed and tragically dead by 1970.” At this time fans came to see great fundamentals, defense, and hustle. George Mikan led the Minneapolis Lakers to five titles and created one of the first huge dynasties. This would be the only decade of white dominance as four black players, who are considered as some of the greatest of all time, entered the league in the late fifties and would dominate the sixties.

The 1960s was a decade that told whites to watch out. The best player was William Felton (Bill) Russell. He was a part of the Boston Celtics, who won nine out of the ten championships in the sixties. He was the key to their dynasty and he made everyone around him better. Don Nelson, a three-time NBA coach of the year, once said “There are two types of superstars. One makes himself look good at the expense of the other guys on the floor. But there’s another type who makes the players around him look better than they are, and that’s the type Russell was.” He played the game at a level no one had seen before. Russell had five Most Valuable Player Awards, was a twelve time All-Star, and had fifty-one rebounds in one game. With eleven titles to his name in thirteen seasons, Bill Russell undoubtedly changed basketball forever.

Wilt Chamberlain is another one of the greats of the sixties. Known for all the records he broke, he brought much interest to the game as people wanted to watch how dominant he was on the court. His scoring records were unbelievable. “Most games with 50+ points, 118; Most consecutive games with 40+ points, 14; Most consecutive games with 30+ points: 65; Most consecutive games with 20+ points: 126; Highest rookie scoring average: 37.6 ppg; Highest field goal percentage in a season: .727.” People said it was unfair for him to even be playing. He was one of the first seven-foot players ever and he used it to his advantage. The records were crazy and the man was fun to watch. People came to see him play. They didn’t care what his skin color was. Wilt is one of the greats that will never be forgotten.

Elgin Baylor was also one of the greats of this game. He didn’t have the kind of stats Wilt did, but his play did most of the talking. “‘He was one of the most spectacular shooters the game has ever known,’ Baylor’s longtime teammate Jerry West told HOOP magazine in 1992. ‘I hear people talking about forwards today and I haven’t seen many that can compare with him.’” Baylor made a mark in the game with his athletic style of play that some people might see in today’s NBA.

Another player from this great generation was Oscar Robertson. This man was a stats machine. Until 2017, he was the only player to ever average a triple double in a season. “During his 14-year NBA career with the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks, Robertson became the top-scoring guard of all time, amassing 26,710 points.” Although he was great in the NBA, his biggest contribution to African-American sports history would have to be when he was a teenager. He played for Crispus Attucks, an all-black high school. They were the most dominant high school the country had ever seen. This Indianapolis high school took home three state championships in the late fifties. In 1955, they were the first ever all-black high school in the country to win a state title. The next year they took home another championship going 31-0 becoming the first high school from Indiana to have an undefeated season. Robertson was the leader of this great high school finishing his career with thirty-nine points in a 79-57 win to give him two state titles and a legacy that will be remembered forever.

These four men revolutionized the game of basketball. They were the ones that started a slow integration of black dominance into the league. In the next decade, the 1970s, players began to craft their game after these greats. There were two main players that everyone associates the seventies with.

One of these players was Julius Erving. Every kid wanted to be like Dr. J. His style of play was so unique that the NBA might never see it again. “‘As a basketball player, Julius was the first to truly take the torch and become the spokesman for the NBA,’ said friend and former coach Billy Cunningham. ‘He understood what his role was and how important it was for him to conduct himself as a representative of the league. Julius was the first player I ever remember who transcended sports and was known by one name — Doctor.’ He will always be known as the face of his era.

The other great of the seventies was a man who came into the league known as Lew Alcindor but later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. His accomplishments are by far some of the best of all time. He won his first NBA title in 1971 for the Bucks and later won five more championships with the Lakers in the 1980s. This man not only won six MVP awards in the seventies, he also has the most points all time by any player in league history. He is without a doubt a top five player of all time. If it wasn’t for Jordan, many would consider Kareem the greatest to ever put on a uniform.

The other story being played out during the eighties was the rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Bird was drafted in 1978 by the Celtics, and Magic was drafted in 1979 by the Lakers, but the rivalry had started before this. In the 1979 NCAA National Championship game, these two met for the first time. Bird was trying to lead his Indiana State Sycamores to an undefeated season, but Magic denied that opportunity as he led Michigan State to the title. It took these two a while to get going in the NBA, but they met in 1984 in the NBA Finals. Bird took this title home, but the implications were much greater. People were starting to realize that this was becoming more than a rivalry.  It wasn’t just Bird vs. Magic, but it was also white vs. black.

Racism was very alive at the time as it has always been, but Bird vs. Magic brought a whole new aspect to the topic. Boston was known at the time for being a white city. Larry Bird came from French Lick, a small white town in Indiana, and had a blue-collar background. He seemed perfect for the Celtics. The Lakers on the other hand were seen as more of an African-American team with three black stars leading the way in Magic, Kareem, and James Worthy. These two players each came out with their own converse shoe. Each white kid wore Bird’s and each black kid wore Magic’s. They were helping the game of basketball but some might say they hurt the world around them.

The Lakers and Celtics met two more times in the eighties. Magic got back at Bird and took both of them home. Those were two of the greatest teams of all time in maybe the best era of all time. From the 1960s to the 1980s, blacks slowly came into the league and changed everything about it. By now black dominance was known in the game of basketball, and it set up perfectly what was next to come.

Michael Jordan is considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time. He played the game a way that no one will ever see again. His athletic ability and fundamental soundness to the game gave him a clear advantage over everyone. Almost every great player will praise his game. Magic Johnson once said, “There’s Michael Jordan and then there is the rest of us.” Larry Bird even called him “God disguised as Michael Jordan.” ESPN conducted a survey asking athletes, media members, and others related to sports to rank the greatest athletes of the twentieth century. Jordan beat out everyone including Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. This just shows how far ahead of his time Michael really was. There is no player that can compare to him; no one will ever be better than Michael Jordan.

In the twenty-first century basketball is known as an African-American sport. If someone were to look at the best players in the league, it would take a while to find a player that wasn’t black. As of December 11, 2016, Bleacher Report ranked the top twenty-five players in the league right now. Out of all twenty-five, only three players did not have African-American descent. The twenty-first century has seen some amazing players. Kobe Bryant, a black player who won five championships for the Lakers, is one of the greatest of this generation along with Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, and Allen Iverson. The player that stands out the most though, is Lebron James. He is the only one that people think can be better than Jordan. It is hard to compare them at two different positions, but Lebron has a way of taking over the game that people love to watch. With so many blacks in the league, today’s NBA is a lot different from the NBA fifty years ago.

African-Americans are known as some of the best athletes the world has seen. In basketball, it is no different. In 2015 Bleacher Report ranked the top 100 greatest players of all time. Each player was given a score based on playoff performance, career contributions, MVP awards, and other important metrics. Out of the 100 players, sixty-eight of them were either African-American or were of African-American descent, and the top seven players were all African-American.6 This just shows how much of an impact blacks have had on the league.

African-Americans have affected the game of basketball forever. When they came into the league, they showed how great they really could be. Every decade got more dominant, and now today the league is almost entirely black. One of the best white players ever, Larry Bird, once said “It is a black man’s game and it will be forever.”



1- Adler, Margot. “Before The NBA Was Integrated, We Had The Black Fives.” NPR. NPR, 15 Mar. 2014. Web. 09 May 2017.
2- “Bird: NBA ‘a Black Man’s Game’.” ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 10 June 2004. Web. 09 May 2017.
3- “Don Haskins, 78; Basketball Coach Was First to Win NCAA Title with 5 Black Starters.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
4- “Elgin Baylor Bio.” N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
5- Foxsports. “Earl Lloyd Broke the Color Barrier in the NBA.” FOX Sports. N.p., 19 Feb. 2014. Web. 09 May 2017.
6- Fromal, Adam. “B/R NBA Legends 100: Ranking the Greatest Players of All Time.” Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report, 12 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 May 2017.
7- “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Bio.” N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
8- “Kentucky Wildcats Index.” College Basketball at N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
9- Martin, Josh. “2016-17 NBA Superstar Rankings: The Top 25 Players in the Association Right Now.” Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report, 02 May 2017. Web. 09 May 2017.
10- Merlino, Doug. “Magic Johnson and Larry Bird: The Rivalry That Transformed the NBA.” Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report, 12 Apr. 2017. Web. 09 May 2017.
11- “Michael Jordan Bio.” N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
12- “The NBA — 1946: A New League.” N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
13- Bill Russell Bio. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
14- Julius Erving Bio. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
15- Oscar Robertson Bio. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
16- Wilt Chamberlain Bio. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.
17- Rothschild, Richard. “Crispus Attucks: Indiana’s True Underdog Story.” Sports Illustrated, 23 Feb. 2016. Web. 09 May 2017.
18- Sanchez, Ray. Basketball’s Biggest Upset. New York: Authors Choice, 2006. Print.
19- Ziller, Tom. “White and Height: Meet the NBA All-1950s Team.”, 17 Aug. 2015. Web. 09 May 2017.

Why the Lakers Should and Shouldn’t Take Lonzo Ball

By: Jason Gandhi

Lonzo Ball is down-to-earth and not very outspoken. His dad, Lavar Ball, is the complete opposite. With exalted expectations, outlandish statements regularly, and a lofty shoe price, Lonzo, and Lavar have dominated the sports talk the last few months. It is no secret that the Ball’s want Lonzo to go the Lakers in this year’s draft. Lonzo told multiple analysts he would rather play for the Lakers than to go #1 in the draft. He also will not work out for the Celtics, so that the Lakers have the highest chance to take him. That all sounds great… but does he really fit and do the Lakers want him? Here is why the Lakers should and shouldn’t draft Lonzo Ball:


Why They Should:

There is no question on Lonzo Ball’s talent. This article isn’t being written if not for Lavar and the Big Baller Brand fiasco. Lonzo is a perfect fit for the Lakers on a pure basketball level. He is a playmaker. He and D’Angelo Russell could form a dynamic backcourt together with both being able to run the point or play off-ball. D’Angelo Russell played off-ball the last few games of the season, one that included 40 points against the defending world champs. If the Lakers decide Lonzo is their guy, it brings a chance to “revive Showtime” and jumpstart the offense.

With Magic Johnson in the front office, it is assumed he would love to have “Showtime” back in Los Angeles. Magic was asked which player in the draft reminds him most of himself and he said, “That’s easy Lonzo Ball”. He is consistently creating open shots for his teammates, and his vision and creativity is what has people comparing him to Magic. Bringing that type of player in will help any team, because of the selflessness he plays with. It is hard to imagine another player in the draft that fits so well with the Lakers. The Lakers have two (hopeful) budding stars in Russell and Ingram, but also lots of good shooters to fill out their roster. It’s not just his passing though. He can shoot the rock efficiently as well. He ran the second-highest efficient offense in the NCAA last year. Ball was 45.6% on “catch and shoot” shots and shot 41% from 3 last year.

Why They Should Not:

The concern with Lonzo is defense and his dad. The publicity is nothing new for Los Angeles, but all of the headlines and statements from Lavar would be. When someone becomes a Laker, they know about the media and how public their life will be. What can be a red flag is when Lonzo has a bad game, will Lavar be able to keep quiet and not make a big deal about someone else making it happen? Back to on the court, the Lakers were not good

Back to on the court, the Lakers were terrible on defense last year. They had the 6th worst defense since 2000. Drafting Lonzo at #2 does not fix this problem. Lonzo and D’Angelo both do not have the “twitchiness” or the quick movements to keep up with the point guards in the league. Josh Jackson, De’Aaron Fox or if Markelle Fultz falls, all have shown that they are much better defenders. Watch the Sweet 16 game. De’Aaron pesters Lonzo all game long. The Lakers will be a defensive nightmare no matter who they draft, but drafting Lonzo definitely, does not take a step in the right direction. If defense wins championships, the Lakers can’t afford to have Lonzo on their team.



It is worth the risk. Ultimately, a team drafts the player, not the family. Although his defense is sub par, the energy and aura he would bring back to Los Angeles would be too great to pass on. If Coach Walton and the Lakers really want to “run-and-gun” like the Warriors, Lonzo needs to be the pick. He would be the best player available as well as fill a need. Lonzo Ball should and needs to be the #2 overall pick to the Los Angeles Lakers.

NFL Mock Draft 2017… The Last One

Here is our final mock draft! Dylan, Dan and Jason have come together to put our thoughts on where everyone will go. Enjoy!


  1. Cleveland Browns-

Jason- Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M

Dylan- Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M

Apparently Mitchell Trubisky is still in play here, but I think the Browns are bluffing to try to get a crazy trade from a team in exchange for Pick #1. There is no reason the Browns should pass on the best athlete and best defensive talent in the draft. The Browns need an upgrade at literally every position, and Myles Garrett is the best player available. There is no reason to pass on him, and they won’t.

Dan- Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M

2. San Francisco 49ers-

Jason- Jamal Adams, S LSU

The 49ers front office led by John Lynch have been trying to trade down all week. They believe that there is not too much of a gap in talent from picks 2-12. If they are unable to trade, I think they go Jamal Adams. He is a plug-the-gap type safety who can really make a difference on the 49ers and be a cornerstone of the rebuild. What better way to start a rebuild than to draft a guy who gets comparisons to the GM of your franchise.

Dylan- Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford

Dan- Jamal Adams, S LSU

3. Chicago Bears-

Jason- Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford

Dylan-  Jamal Adams, S LSU

Dan- Marshon Lattimore, CB Ohio State

4. Jacksonville Jaguars-

Jason- Leonard Fournette, RB LSU

Dylan-  Leonard Fournette, RB LSU

With the three best defensive players off the board and the first three picks and no glaring holes (at least on paper) in the Jags defense, they go with possibly the best offensive talent in the draft at #4. The Jags have a hole at the RB position with T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory underperforming, so Leonard Fournette seems like a good fit at 4. Jonathan Allen or a reach for O.J. Howard or Mike Williams are still in play for the Jaguars, but Fournette makes the most sense.

Dan- Leonard Fournette, RB LSU

5. Tennessee Titans (via Rams)-

Jason- Mike Williams, WR Clemson

Dylan-  Mike Williams, WR Clemson

Dan- Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford

Many predict Thomas to go to Chicago with the third pick. It’ll be hard for them to pass on him, but if Thomas is here for the titans at 5, there is no doubt they will take him. They need help on the defensive line and he would be perfect in their plan for the future.

6. New York Jets-

Jason- Marshon Lattimore, CB Ohio State

Dylan- Mitchell Trubisky, QB North Carolina

Dan- O.J. Howard, TE Alabama

Many experts have the Jets taking a QB with this pick, but OJ Howard might be too hard to pass on for New York. He is gifted athletically and has the tools to be one of the top TEs in the league.

7. Los Angeles Chargers-

Jason- Malik Hooker, S Ohio State

Dylan-  Malik Hooker, S Ohio State

The Chargers need some help in the secondary on a team that could come back and have a nice season this year. With Mike Williams off the board and no offensive linemen worthy of the #7 selection, the Chargers will decide to get help in the secondary and get good value for Hooker at #7.

Dan- Malik Hooker, S Ohio State

8. Carolina Panthers-

Jason- Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford

The Panthers took a major step back last year, after reaching the Super Bowl. Their secondary needs a lot of work, but with Jonathan Stewart constantly banged up, they need a new young running back. McCaffrey’s ability to catch out of the backfield is intriguing to teams and it seems like a perfect fit for Cam and McCaffrey to help lead the Panthers back to the playoffs.

Dylan- Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford

Dan- Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford

9. Cincinnati Bengals-

Jason- Jonathan Allen, DE Alabama

Dylan- Jonathan Allen, DE Alabama

Dan- Reuben Foster, LB Alabama


10. Buffalo Bills-

Jason- Haason Reddick, LB Temple

Haason Reddick is one of the best stories in this year’s draft. Walked on to Temple after playing just one season of high school football, and now will be a 1st round pick. He can play either as a LB or DE depending on the scheme, and Reddick would help bolster the Bills d-line.

Dylan-  John Ross, WR Washington

Dan- Mike Williams, WR Clemson

11. New Orleans Saints-

Jason-  Reuben Foster, LB Alabama

Foster was regarded as a top 5 pick by some before the combine. After the off-field concerns, some teams are still willing to take the risk, and some are hesitant. We really don’t know how the Saints feel about him, but if he is still there at 11, he is worth the risk. Great value, and possibly a great player.

Dylan- Haason Reddick, LB Temple

Dan- Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama
New Orleans could use help in the secondary, and Humphrey could be big for them. He is a great athlete and is excellent in coverage. There’s a good chance the Saints will pick him up at 11.

12. Cleveland Browns (via Eagles)-

Jason- Mitchell Trubisky, QB North Carolina

As Dylan mentioned, Trubisky is in play for the #1 pick and even the #6 pick to the Jets. I think the Browns get their ideal scenario and are able to snag Trubisky at 12. I would not be surprised if the Browns trade up to be certain they get their guy, but I think no matter what, Trubisky becomes a Brown.

Dylan- O.J. Howard, TE Alabama

Dan- Mitchell Trubisky, QB North Carolina

13. Arizona Cardinals-

Jason- Deshaun Watson, QB Clemson

Dylan- Deshaun Watson, QB Clemson

Arizona could go defense at #13 to fill the holes left from Calais Campbell and Tony Jefferson, but I think they take their QB of the future. Carson Palmer had a pretty bad year in 2016 after his best year ever in 2015. If he struggles again, Bruce Arians could throw the National Champion in at QB this year, the first of many successful ones for Watson.

Dan- Patrick Mahomes II, QB Texas Tech

14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Vikings)-

Jason- Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama

Dylan- Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama

Dan- John Ross, WR Washington

15. Indianapolis Colts-

Jason- Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee

Dylan- Reuben Foster, LB Alabama

Dan- Jonathan Allen, DE Alabama

Allen is maybe a top 5 prospect in the draft, but there are questions about his shoulder problems that teams don’t want to risk with a top pick. Now if he falls, a team will be lucky to find this much talent this late in the draft.

16. Baltimore Ravens-

Jason- O.J. Howard, TE Alabama

Dylan-  Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan

Dan- Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan

With a glaring need at WR, the Ravens seem inclined to sit back and take the best available of the three WRs: Williams, Ross, or Davis. With Williams and Ross already gone, the Ravens go with the consistent WR from Western Michigan who can contribute right away.

17. Washington Redskins-

Jason- Charles Harris, LB Missouri

Dylan- Charles Harris, LB Missouri

Dan- Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee

Barnett became a standout at Tennessee as he was the first freshman to ever start on the line for the Vols. Washington will need him to fill a whole at DE.

18. Tennessee Titans-

Jason- Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan

Dylan- Chidobe Awuzie, CB Colorado

The Titans reach a little bit at 18 for Awuzie, but he has the potential to pay off. With some dangerous weapons in the division such as T.Y. Hilton and Deandre Hopkins, the Titans go with the athletic corner from Colorado.

Dan- Charles Harris, LB Missouri

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-

Jason- Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State

Dalvin Cook, similar to Reuben Foster, has off-field concerns that has caused his stock to fall. Some think he might fall out of the 1st round, but I think that if he is there at 19 for the Bucs, pairing Jameis with his former teammate could be a deadly combination.

Dylan- Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State

Dan- Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State

20. Denver Broncos-

Jason- Ryan Ramczyk, OT Wisconsin

Dylan- Cam Robinson, T Alabama

Dan- Ryan Ramczyk, OT Wisconsin

Ramczyk is arguably the best OL in the class. He is the perfect fit for Denver and will use his size and strength to be great at the next level.

21. Detroit Lions-

Jason- Takkarist McKinley- DE UCLA

McKinley is someone who’s draft stock is constantly fluctuating. He could go anywhere from 15 to the Colts all the way down to a early 2nd-rounder. He had back surgery this offseason which led to scouts not being able to see him workout for them. The Lions could be a good fit because the Lions need someone who can help Stafford not have to carry the team on offense.

Dylan- Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee

Dan- Jarrad Davis, LB Florida

22. Miami Dolphins-

Jason- Forrest Lamp, G Western Kentucky

The Dolphins took Laremy Tunsil last year, and once again are in the offensive line market. Tannehill got knocked around last year, and if they want to go back to the playoffs, they need to protect him Lamp can do that.

Dylan- Forrest Lamp, G Western Kentucky

Dan- Forrest Lamp, G Western Kentucky

23. New York Giants-

Jason- Patrick Mahomes II, QB Texas Tech

Mahomes has been one of the biggest risers of the draft class since the season has ended. Teams including the Chiefs, Steelers, and Giants have all expressed interest in Mahomes. The Giants have the #23 pick and can snag him before the other teams do, so Mahomes is now the Manning successor.

Dylan- David Njoku, TE Miami

The Giants continue to fill out their array of weapons, bringing in an athletic TE in Njoku to complement OBJ and Brandon Marshall. Njoku will fit well and the Giants will have a very dangerous passing game this year.

Dan- David Njoku, TE Miami

24. Oakland Raiders-

Jason- Jarrad Davis, LB Florida

The Raiders have all the pieces they need on offense. Defensively, they are a mess. Karl Joseph, Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack are the only cornerstones of the defense. Jarrad Davis would fit in nicely in the Silver and Black and he could be a good middle linebacker to help take some pressure of Mack.

Dylan-  Kevin King, CB Washington

Dan- Haason Reddick, LB Temple

25. Houston Texans-

Jason- Cam Robinson, T Alabama

Dylan- Patrick Mahomes II, QB Texas Tech

Dan- Cam Robinson, T Alabama

26. Seattle Seahawks-

Jason- Garret Bolles, OT Utah

Dylan- Ryan Ramczyk, OT Wisconsin

Dan- Garret Bolles, OT Utah

Seattle’s top need is at OT right now. Bolles could fill that perfectly with his great footwork and athletic ability. If he is here, they will take him.

27. Kansas City Chiefs-

Jason- Kevin King, CB Washington

Dylan-  Taco Charlton, DE Michigan

The Man, The Myth, The Taco. Although Charlton was inconsistent at times at Michigan, he will provide some much-needed pass rushing to the Chiefs to go along with their great secondary. Lots of potential from him- the Chiefs see it and pull the trigger at 27.

Dan- Deshaun Watson, QB Clemson

28. Dallas Cowboys-

Jason- Taco Charlton, DE Michigan

Dylan- Adoree Jackson, CB USC

Dan-  Gareon Conley, CB Ohio State

There are many questions with Conley as he is now a part of a sexual assault case. A lot of analysts are reporting that he could fall to the third round, but I still have Dallas picking him up at 28.

29. Green Bay Packers-

Jason- Tyus Bowser, LB Houston

Dylan-  TJ Watt, LB Wisconsin

Green Bay will find a fan favorite in Watt. The man from Wisconsin has a lot of potential with his brother as one of the best players in the league right now. He even put up better numbers in the combine then JJ. The Pack might’ve found themselves a steal this late in the round.

Dan- TJ Watt, LB Wisconsin

30. Pittsburgh Steelers-

Jason- David Njoku, TE Miami

Dylan-  Obi Melinfonwu, S UCONN

I don’t know what kind of training they do over at UCONN, but they’re doing something right after the combines put on by Byron Jones and Obi Melifonwu. Melifonwu could easily slide into the end of the first round, and I think the Steelers are the team that snags the 6’4 athletic freak to help fix an atrocious secondary.

Dan- Evan Engram, TE Ole Miss

31.Atlanta Falcons-

Jason- Adoree Jackson, CB USC

The Falcons won the Super Bowl…. Oh wait. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots crushed the Falcons dreams last year, but the Falcons are looking to be  back again. Adoree Jackson can help lead that charge as he is someone who can defend in the slot, outside or even return kicks if needed.

Dylan- Takkarist McKinley- DE UCLA

Dan- Taco Charlton, DE Michigan

32. New Orleans Saints-

Jason- John Ross, WR Washington

Ross is a prospect others are much higher on than myself. He could realistically go anywhere from 10 – early 2nd round. He has got unbelievable speed (obviously) and he can really stretch the field for an offense. Brees could love him in this offense.

Dylan- Jarrad Davis, LB Florida

Dan- Adoree Jackson, CB USC