This, That And The Other Thing

Last week, I suggested that Adam Silver as the Commissioner of the NBA should strip the Dallas Mavericks of their first round pick this year and next year as punishment for purposely and purposefully losing a regular season game.  Well, we can now measure the degree to which Adam Silver values the integrity of his regular season games.

  • The “punishment” for tanking that game is a fine of $740K.

Mavs’ owner, Mark Cuban, has an estimated net worth of $5.1B.  So, let me present to you the degree to which this “punishment” might deter any similar future behavior.

  • Imagine you had an IRA with $100K in it.
  • If you were fined an equivalent fraction of that $100K, you would owe a total of fourteen dollars and fifty-one cents.

You showed him, Mr. Commish …

Switching sports …  There were two interesting personnel moves in the NFL last week.  The Falcons got CB Jeff Okudah from the Lions for a fifth-round draft pick this year.  The reason that is interesting is that Okudah was the overall #3 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.  Okudah has had difficulty with injuries; in three NFL seasons he has only appeared in 25 games, but his stats for 2022 seem to demonstrate his talents when he can stay on the field.  Last year he played in 15 of the 17 games; he had one INT (which he returned for a TD), defended 7 passes and forced a fumble.  Okudah is going into the fourth year of his rookie contract; so, the Falcons will need to decide if they are going to pick up the fifth year option that goes with a first-round pick’s contract.  According to, that option for 2024 would cost the Falcons $11.5M

The other interesting personnel move was the signing of Odell Beckham, Jr. by the Ravens on a 1-year contract worth $15M.  Like Okudah, OBJ has had injury issues recently.  He has been in the NFL for 8 years; he was named as an All-Pro in his first three seasons but the last time he had 1000+ yards receiving in a season was in 2019.  And, he missed all of 2022 rehabbing from knee surgery.

Paying a WR $15M for a season with that recent history of injuries is interesting.  Many have speculated that this move by the Ravens was done as an olive-branch offering to Lamar Jackson in an attempt to get Jackson either to sign the franchise tag or to return to the negotiating table hopefully leading to a long-term contract with the Ravens. If signing Beckham sets in motion a series of events that moves the Ravens/Jackson standoff in a positive direction, then it will be money well-spent.  If not, the Ravens at least will have acquired a WR with the potential to be their #1 WR for 2023. As of now, the “Top 4” WRs on the Ravens’ roster would be:

  • Nelson Agholor
  • Rashod Bateman
  • Odell Beckham, Jr,
  • Devin Duvernay

Moving on …  Back in 2021, the folks who run women’s tennis severed ties with China and boycotted any events there based on allegations by tennis player Peng Shuai that she had been sexually assaulted by a high ranking Chinese government official.  Last week, that boycott ended with these statements from the head of women’s professional tennis, Steve Simon:

“The stance that we took at the time was appropriate. And we stand by that. But 16 months into this, we’re convinced that our requests will not be met. And to continue with the same strategy doesn’t make sense … So, we needed to look at a different approach.

“With this, our members believe it’s time to resume the mission in China, where we believe we can continue to make a positive difference, as we have for the last 20 years, while at the same time making sure that Peng is not forgotten. By returning, hopefully more progress can be made.”

Allow me to translate this for you:

  • Well, that did not work at all.  Peng Shuai has not been involved in tennis since her accusation and none of the “tennis officials” have been able to meet with her to see if she is alive and well.
  • The “different approach” here can best be described as “follow the money”.  Participating in events in China means more revenue for the tour and for the players.  So … having virtue-signaled our support for Peng Shuai, it is now time to let economics play the dominant role in our decision making.

In case you think I am being too harsh, let me insert here what Mr. Simon said about the importance of the boycott back in 2021:

“ … the one thing that we can’t do is walk away from this, because if we’re walking away from the key elements — which is obviously not only her well-being, but the investigation — then we’re telling the world that not addressing sexual assault with respect to the seriousness it requires is OK, because it’s too difficult. And it’s simply something that we can’t let happen.”

You make the call…

Finally, I’ll close today with this assessment of tennis as a sport by Billie Jean King:

“A perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquility.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “This, That And The Other Thing”

  1. I liked Nelson Agholor when he was a Raider in 2020. His last two years as a Patriots were meh. It will be interesting to see how the 2023 Ravens receiving team turns out. It looks like there are too many balls in the air right now.

    1. TenaciousP:

      Agholor had his best season with the Raiders – – 896 yards receiving and 8 TDs. His career averages over his 8 years in the NFL are more modest – – 531 yards and 4 TDs.

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