Jonathan Ogden is a huge man. We met the greatest LT in NFL history following the Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards.
Jayson Tatum and Sydney McLaughlin took home the hardware as they were named Gatorade Male and Female Athletes of the Year for 2016. We were on hand at the L.A. Hotel in downtown Los Angeles for the festivities hosted by ESPN’s Sage Steele.
This prestigious award for high school athletes has been an annual tradition since 1985 (when it was know as the Player of the Year Awards), and this was our fifth year covering this fun event. The event was attended by sports stars including Cam Newton, Karl-Anthony Towns, Todd Gurley, April Ross, Abby Wambach, Landon Donovan and Matthew Stafford.
I asked Cam Newton to teach me how to dab and this was his response.
In the first 15 minutes at the official after-party of the 2016 ESPYS, I shook Richard Sherman’s hand, met former Lakers’ player/coach Byron Scott and told him he got a raw deal after his recent firing, and got a selfie with former Detroit Pistons “bad boy” John Salley.
As part of the launch for two new spots for the new “Smell ‘Em Who’s Boss” campaign (and two new Old Spice Guys: Swagger Guy and Desperado Guy), Old Spice set me up with full access to the ESPYS and after party.
Kevin Durant has declared his independence and taken his talents to Oakland. He’ll sign a two-year deal with the Golden State Warriors in an attempt to form a super-team and finally win a title.
I don’t blame Durant for leaving, it’s his decision, yet I also feel bad for the fans in Oklahoma City. As a Cavs fan I know how they feel. But I am a little confused by this decision, as Durant had a very good team in OKC with a clear shot at getting back to the Finals. He clearly didn’t have to leave, which makes this even more painful for OKC fans.
Many assume that Durant and the Warriors will be unbeatable, but how many scorers can a team accommodate? We’ve seen Kevin Love and Chris Bosh make real sacrifices to win a title in a Big Three environment. Who will make the sacrifices here? Who takes the big shot at the end of the game? Durant thrives on ISO basketball. What happens now?
Chemistry is critical in basketball, so now we’ll have to see what kind of chemistry develops in Golden State.
Also, the Warriors will have to shed salary in order to make this happen, so say good bye to players like Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli. Who will play center now for the Warriors? How will they handle bigger teams? Will Draymond Green wear down as he’s forced to handle the load against big centers over a long season? The starting five of the Warriors looks like a dream team, but there’s so much more that goes into winning a title.
In many ways this is great for the NBA, driving some serious buzz heading into next season. Lebron James and the Cavs can play the role of underdog yet again. It should be fun to watch!
Many of us expected an epic series, and Game 7 certainly delivered.
The Block – The video above will be replayed for generations. This highlight will forever be one of the iconic moments that define the greatness of Lebron James.
The Shot II – Cleveland fans have had to endure a 52-year championship drought, along with the never-ending montage of failures including The Shot from Michael Jordan. Now Cleveland fans have their own “shot” to celebrate for generations, as Kyrie Irving delivered the three-point dagger over Steph Curry to give the Cavs a three-point lead with under a minute left in the game.
The Comeback – No team had ever come back from a 3-1 definite in the NBA Finals. Also, the Cavs were facing the record-setting 73-win Warriors and had to win two games on their court, including game 7. This was a comeback for the ages. Much of this comeback was fueled by the arrogance of the Warriors as they called out Lebron James after game 4, only to see Lebron rise to the challenge and make them eat their words.
The Collapse – Speaking of Steph Curry and the Warriors, this one has to hurt. The either choked or they were exposed. Either way this was an epic fail. The Cavs turned up their defense on the Splash Brothers and dared them to try to take over the game. They wilted under the pressure.
This series, and this Cavs championship, will be talked about for years to come.