#PSBSportsChop: The Most Expensive Pickup Run in 2017? – August 16, 2017

NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony has been on one this offseason. From his late night training to sparking a trend while wearing a hoodie during his shooting workouts, Anthony has been the league’s most visible figure since the season came to a close. He might have pulled off the most expensive pickup run in recent memory bringing in Kevin Durant and LeBron James this week. Both took private jet trips costing five figures a piece for the action at the Lifetime Fitness that has served as Anthony’s workout hub this summer.

My group message was buzzing this morning about the run. After seeing a clip of Anthony get by LeBron off of the dribble drive, Donte Grant and Jermale Wilkerson both chimed in with, “Melo can still score that basketball.”

The NBA should let Anthony rock the hoodie all season. He might post all-time career high numbers.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

WATCH CLIPS:

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: How Good is Devin Booker? – July 1, 2017

Devin Booker has proven himself as the face of a struggling Phoenix Suns franchise looking to get back to being an annual contender like they were when Steve Nash and Amare Stoudamire led the way. Just finishing his NBA second season, Booker has established himself as a capable scorer even hanging a 70-point barrage late in the season against the Boston Celtics. At just 20 years old, Booker is the youngest player in NBA history to score 60 or more in a game.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

The Breakdown:

Coming out of Kentucky, Booker was known as a shooting specialist but had multiple question marks from draft pundits and general managers alike about his skill level to be consistent in other areas.

BrandonClayScouting.com Director of Domestic Scouting, Jonathan Hemingway said this about Booker as a high school prospect, “Booker is a silky smooth guard who projects to an impact wing next year at Kentucky. This evening, in front of his future coach John Calipari, he put up 40 points vs. Ballard HS. He did it in an array of ways by hitting the long range 3, getting to the rim to finish and tallied a number of points at the free throw line. He showed his athleticism on a tremendous tip-dunk where he had to hang in the air to control the ball & then brought the ball up to dunk it. His slender frame may be cause for worry, since he is not ready for the physicality of college ball at this moment. After a year of consistent training in a weight program, that concern will be alleviated.”

Booker’s NBA stats backup Hemingway’s claim that Booker can score the basketball with the best of them while displaying the athleticism needed to be an elite perimeter option in the league for years to come.

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: “Mind Over Body: Playing in the N.F.L. at 38” – Terence Newman – Mar. 10, 2017

It’s rare for a cornerback to survive a decade in the N.F.L. let alone 15 seasons. That’s exactly what Terence Newman of the Minnesota Vikings is in the process of doing. Most guys get moved from cornerback to safety as they age but Newman is defying the odds. He gives us a look at how he’s managed to beat the numbers:

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

The Breakdown:

Newman provides a fairly in-depth breakdown of what he does to prepare all year long. He’s the oldest cornerback in the league by five years and made 1.65 million last season so I’m definitely paying attention to how he’s making it happen. It was a good read even for me as I continue to change my way of living (exercise and food intake).

READ THE ARTICLE: Mind Over Body: Playing in the N.F.L. at 38 | The New York Times

PSBPCBC100Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: “The Tree” – Jeff Capel – Mar. 10, 2017

Duke associate head basketball coach Jeff Capel III has long been a favorite of mine dating back to his playing days at Duke. Capel was so talented that legendary hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur wore his Blue Devil jersey at one point. Like us all, Capel III has a family. His father, Jeff II, was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Capel III took time to document the highs, lows and the stories that have defined his relationship with his father over the years in this article.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

The Breakdown:

This article almost brought me to tears. At one point, Capel is complaining about Duke wanting sympathy while starting on the No. 2 team in the country as a freshman.

Capel’s dad tells him “Man, SHUT THE F*** UP. Stop calling home and complaining. And just play.”

READ THE ARTICLE: The Tree | The Players’ Tribune

PSBPCBC100Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: Top 10 NBA Point Guards – Opening Week 2016 – Oct. 27, 2016

With another NBA season upon us, I’ll rank the top players at each position in the league. Arguably the most important position in the game, point guards lead the discussion.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

The Breakdown

1) Russell Westbrook (OKC): Westbrook put up monster numbers with 23.5 points, 10.4 assists, 7.8 rebounds per game last season. Without Kevin Durant, he’ll have an even larger chip on his shoulder than normal. Best of luck to opposing defenses. And yeah, Westbrook also leads the league off the floor in the fashion department too.

2) Stephen Curry (GSW): Don’t let LeBron’s block diminish the player Curry has become. We talked about Curry’s unique rise last winter. His numbers are staggering and warranted the second straight MVP selection last season: 30 points, 6.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds per. The scariest part of his output were the FIVE made 3-pointers a night. Even if his stats dip a little with the addition of Durant, Curry is still at the top of this discussion.

3) James Harden (HOU): ESPN analyst and former NBA champion Chauncey Billups said it best, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” That describes the sentiment in the public towards Harden who has become a pop culture icon of sorts. On the floor, he’s leaned out and had a quietly productive 2015-16 season: 29 points, 7.5 assists and 6.1 rebounds per. He’s the best in the league at getting to the free throw line shooting 86 percent from there.

4) Damien Lillard (Portland): Lillard turned heads with his debut rap album, “The Letter O,” last week. But his 140 million guaranteed contract came from his domination on the hardwood. Dame dropped 25 points, 6.8 assists and 4 rebounds per in 2015-16.

5) Chris Paul (LA Clippers): Paul is the consummate floor general. Even as he starts to enter the latter years of his elite prime, his numbers held as steady as ever. Paul dropped 19.5 points, 10 assists and 4.2 rebounds per. He doesn’t shoot the 3-pointer at the same clip as Lillard, Curry or Harden but averages more assists than any of those three.

6) Kyrie Irving (Cleveland): Irving’s ability and willingness to score the ball from the position makes him unique. He found a way to coexist with ball dominant guard option in LeBron and win an NBA title in the process. In a shorter season recovering from a kneecap injury that ended his 2014-15 campaign, Irving posted 19.6 points, 4.7 assists and 3 rebounds per. His assist numbers will always project to hover lower than the other guys on this list as long as King James is playing at his current level so don’t be swayed. Irving is a goon in late-game situations.

7) Kyle Lowry (Toronto): Lowry made a believer of most in last year’s playoff run. He was fantastic all year north of the border averaging 21.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds while making close to three 3-pointers a game too.

8) John Wall (Washington): Wall’s showing signs of the prospect who warranted a first overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft. He might not ascend past Lillard, Curry into the elite discussion of NBA point guards but Wall is a nightmare on any given gameday for opposing defenses. He dropped 19.9 points, 10.2 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 2015-16 so he’s headed in that Chris Paul direction as a player.

9) Isaiah Thomas (Boston): After leaving Phoenix, Thomas saw his playing time and role increase. The diminutive guard took full advantage averaging 22.2 points, 6.2 assists and 3 rebounds per. Thomas is one to keep an eye on this season to possibly move up the ladder.

10) Kemba Walker (Charlotte): The moving on up radar watch same goes for Walker as Thomas. Walker was fantastic last season posting 20.8 points, 4.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds per. His assist to turnover ratio is hovering under 2 which is not an elite stat in the NBA. Harden’s is 1.64 but his numbers justify the dip while Walker has yet to post Harden like stats in his career.

Honorable Mention: Eric Bledsoe (Phoenix), Mike Conley (Memphis), Goran Dragic (Phoenix), Rajon Rondo (Chicago), Jeff Teague (Indiana)

PSBPCBC100Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: #DewNBA3x – May 23, 2016

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

Mountain Dew is putting a twist on one of the timeless traditions of the game with a unique series of 3-on-3 outdoor basketball tournaments. The initial stop, held at The Gulch in downtown Atlanta, provided an atmosphere and execution that was first class.

I want to give a special thanks to everyone who assisted us in getting out for the stop: Jason Brown, Kimberly Hogg, Jared Leake, Jah Rawlings and John Shumate.

The 2016 tour will run on the following schedule:

DewNBA3x Schedule

Here’s a look at the Atlanta stop via social media:

Welcome to Atlanta. #DewNBA3X

A photo posted by @dewnba3x on

RISE UP! #DewNBA3X

A video posted by @dewnba3x on

@posterchildj1 is out here at The Gulch spinning all day at 77 Forsyth! #DewNBA3X

A photo posted by @dewnba3x on

Legends are out here at The Gulch in Atlanta, Georgia! #DewNBA3X

A photo posted by @dewnba3x on

PSBPCMayDayBrandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: #MambaDay Recap – April 19, 2016

We talked last week about Los Angeles Laker guard Kobe Bryant bidding farewell to the NBA after 20 seasons. Nike even created a special week-long advertising campaign with activation from athletes across multiple sport platforms to document Bryant’s legacy. What a farewell game it turned out to be as the 18 time NBA All-Star torched the Utah Jazz for 60 points in a home win at the Staples Center. David Beckham, Jay-Z, Kanye West and the legendary Jack Nicholson were amongst the celebrities court side for Kobe’s final game. Hip-Hop artist Fabolous even documented Bryant’s night with a freestyle titled “Black Mamba” that he released the following day.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: #MambaDay – April 13, 2016

Los Angeles Laker guard Kobe Bryant is one of the best to ever lace them up and a surefire first ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Tonight, he bids farewell to the NBA after 20 seasons. Nike even created a special week-long advertising campaign with activation from athletes across multiple sport platforms to document Bryant’s legacy.

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: A Day in L.A. – February 24, 2016

By: Brandon Clay @PSBPopCulture

I get out to Los Angeles a couple of times a year. With the weather, it has become one of my favorite stops especially during the winter months. I took a day trip earlier in the month to visit UCLA and take in their game against Washington State.

Here are some of my takeaways in an Eastern Standard Time(line):

5:25 am: This Rick Ross “Bel Air” alarm is perfect way to get the trip started.

Bel-Air-Alarm

7:00 am: Atlanta Airport is always packed on a Friday morning. Today is no different.

8:05 am: We’re taking off in the Boeing 757…

1:30 pm: We just touched down at LAX. It’s 75 degrees here on a Friday in February. This is outstanding.

2:20 pm: Hertz doesn’t have the small convertible that I rented available. So I wait…

2:35 pm: Celebrate success (DJ Khaled voice). Hertz just let me take a Porsche Cayman off of the lot for the day.

2:52 pm: NEW MUSIC ALERT – It’s only right to listen to Tory Lanez “L.A. Confidential” as I take the back way from LAX to UCLA.

3:45 pm: Westwood Village is the spot for lunch. It’s easy to tell that people here are used to this weather though. No one seems overly excited about the day. The whole city of Atlanta would be out if it were 75 degrees back home.

4:30 pm: I LOVE UCLA’s campus. It’s one of the nicest I’ve had a chance to visit. The renovation to Pauley Pavilion is golden.

5:15 pm: I’m watching in the gym Redshirt Junior Nicole Kornet workout with coach Jenny Huth. Kornet is a big forward who can really shoot the ball. She’s sitting out this year after transferring from Oklahoma.

5:27 pm: Huth’s skill workout is crisp. Kornet is posting to score, reading screens to get shots and using the pick and roll to create.

5:58 pm: Director of Operations, Pam Walker, has to be amongst the best in the business. She’s organizing the Play4Kay initiative tonight and let me take a picture of in my grandmother’s memory.

Play4Kay

7:30 pm: Head coach Cori Close has her team focused. From the shoot around to the film room, Close demands excellence. It’s been cool to see her progression since the first time we sat in her office after getting hired in 2011.

8:47 pm: Just spent an hour with assistant coach Tony Newnan. The conversation ranged from the girls game at the high school level all the way to former Bruins, Zach LaVine and Kevon Looney, now in the NBA.

8:58 pm: No surprise at all that Redshirt Junior guard Kari Korver is the first one on the floor for the Bruins. She’s out here going through a shooting workout before the team hits the hardwood. There is a reason she is shooting 40% from beyond the 3-point line during Pac 12 play.

10:00 pm: It’s game time in Westwood. Naismith Midseason 30 Team member Jordin Canada is on my radar tonight. She’s had a fantastic season so far averaging 16 points, six assists per contest.

10:42 pm: I still remember watching Senior guard Nirra Fields play for Oak Hill during her high school days. Fields has put together a terrific career and currently leads the Bruins at 16.3 points per contest. She’s on track to represent Canada in the 2016 Olympic Games.

11:35 pm: UCLA is going to win this one. Keep an eye on Sophomore Monique Billings. Her activity and energy on both ends of the floor was crucial to the victory.

12:15 am: Spent time at Chick-Fil-A with assistant coach Shannon Perry. Without question, she’s in the mix on the PSBPopCulture Best Dressed “Watch List.” Keep an eye out for that segment during the NCAA Tournament thanks to Taylor Johnson.

2:00 am: Back at LAX ready to head home. Until next time, L.A.

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.

#PSBSportsChop: USA Women’s National Team Finalists – January 31, 2016

By: Keil Moore @KeilMoorePSB and Brandon Clay @psbpopculture

The 2016 Olympics are just around the corner. As we approach the homestretch of the college season and the beginning of WNBA play, we aim to answer the question of who the final 12 members of the USA Women’s senior national team will be.

We will divide the 25 finalists into one of three categories:

LOCKS = Finalists who we can’t see USA National Team coach Geno Auriemma leaving at home.

BUBBLE = Finalists who will have to play their way on the team. Factors such as positional needs and/or specialty’s will most likely impact their selection to the team.

PATIENTLY WAIT FOR 2020 = Finalists who will most likely have to wait for the 2020 Tokyo Games to be in the mix.

2016 USA Basketball Senior Women’s Team Finalists

Seimone Augustus
Sue Bird
Tamika Catchings
Tina Charles
Elena Delle Donne
Skylar Diggins
Stefanie Dolson
Candice Dupree
Sylvia Fowles
Brittney Griner
Briann January
Jantel Lavender
Jewell Loyd
Kayla McBride
Angel McCoughtry
Maya Moore
Chiney Ogwumike
Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Candace Parker
Danielle Robinson
Odyssey Sims
Breanna Stewart
Diana Taurasi
Courtney Vandersloot
Lindsay Whalen

KEIL MOORE’S TAKE

LOCKS:

Seimone Augustus
Sue Bird
Tamika Catchings
Elena Delle Donne
Brittany Griner
Angel McCoughtry
Maya Moore
Candace Parker
Diana Taurasi
Lindsay Whalen

BUBBLE:

Tina Charles
Skylar Diggins
Candice Dupree
Sylvia Fowles
Chiney Ogwumike
Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Odyssey Simms
Breanna Stewart
Courtney Vandersloot

PATIENTLY WAIT UNTIL 2020:

Stefanie Dolson
Jantel Lavender
Jewell Loyd
Kayla McBride
Danielle Robinson

KEIL’S BREAKDOWN: With 10 players in great shape to make the roster this summer, it will be hard for the people on the bubble to get one of those final two spots. I predict that an additional post player will be selected with Breanna Stewart getting the “Christian Laettner” (direct reference to the 1992 Dream Team) spot as the 12th person on the roster.

BRANDON CLAY’S TAKE:

LOCKS:

Seimone Augustus
Sue Bird
Tamika Catchings
Elena Delle Donne
Sylvia Fowles
Brittney Griner
Angel McCoughtry
Maya Moore
Candace Parker
Diana Taurasi
Lindsay Whalen

BUBBLE

Tina Charles
Skylar Diggins
Candice Dupree
Breanna Stewart
Courtney Vandersloot

WAIT PATIENTLY UNTIL 2020:

Stefanie Dolson
Briann January
Jantel Lavender
Jewell Loyd
Kayla McBride
Chiney Ogwumike
Nnemkadi Ogwumike
Danielle Robinson
Odyssey Sims

THE BREAKDOWN: I put 11 players as locks. I realize that doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room so people will have to impress at camp to carve out a spot. I could certainly see Charles on this roster as an additional post player. The same goes for Diggins providing depth at the guard position though the ACL injury is certainly something to keep an eye on. Keil’s assessment of Stewart potentially making the team is on point as well. It’ll be interesting to see what direction the team goes when it’s all said and done. This could be the final Olympics for Augustus, Bird, Catchings, Fowles, Taurasi, and Whalen. They are all over 30 and there are plenty of talented players in waiting.

Keil Moore Keil Moore is a Philadelphia sports fan who loves the Eagles, 76ers and Phillies. He’s the go-to NBA League Pass subscriber in the PSBPopCulture.com. Moore will contribute his expertise to multiple categories on the site. He is the owner of Keil Moore Basketball, Inc. You can follow him on Twitter @KeilMoorePSB.

Brandon Clay serves as the publisher of PSBPopCulture.com. A self-professed entertainment, music and sports junkie, Clay has been on his game since picking up his first Nintendo and Sony Walkman in the early 90’s. Adding in a SLAM (Basketball) Magazine subscription in the late-90’s had him setup up for lifelong success. Clay is also a founding member of the “Luxury Boys Club” designed to stay on top of whatever is next in the world of PopCulture. You can follow him on Twitter @psbpopculture.