Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. matched up with the Suns’ Devin Booker in the first round of the NBA 2K Players Tournament. Porter Jr. proposed the idea of both players playing with their respective teams. “Ehhhh, no,” Booker responded.
The comments went viral because Booker curved his own team on national television; a team that hasn’t come close to a playoff berth in his five seasons.
However, the situation was overblown.
Why would Booker place his bottom-of-the-pack Suns roster against a top-four team in the west? He would’ve walked right into a loss. Booker later stated that he didn’t play with the Suns because NBA 2K doesn’t rate his player properly.
Booker picked the Bucks and defeated Porter Jr.'s Lakers by 10. All eight first-round games have concluded and as expected, this tournament favors the younger players.
It didn’t take Rob Gronkowski long to add his first post-NFL championship. Gronkowski won the 24/7 title at Wrestlemania 36 after jumping into a pile of opponents and pinning Mojo Rowley.
Gronkowski signed a contract and joined the WWE in March. The former All-Pro tight end made his debut on SmackDown on March 20.
Gronkowski is going to have to stay alert like he would with safeties and linebackers on a crossing route. The 24/7 title can be challenged and must be defended at any time.
Things aren’t looking good for the NBA season. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said the “pessimism is really growing” about an NBA season in 2020.
“They’re preparing for the worse and hoping for the best,” Windhorst said of the NBA owners. “It’s really depressing. The only way this is happening is if mass testing is available. Until there is testing, everything that we are talking about is pie in the sky.”
Owners and players have focused the conversation more on the financial impact of a lost season. Less than 20 players in the NBA would receive maximum salary if the league was canceled.
The Ed Snider Hockey Foundation is making its impact on kids in the inner-city amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The staff has continued to support kids with its academic and life programs.
“We felt it was very important for us to continue the services to our kids,” President Scott Tharp said. “In a time of crisis like this, I think they need us now more than ever. We are so much more than hockey."
The seven locations include 1,600-plus kids across the after-school programs in Philadelphia ranging from five years of age to graduating high school seniors. Kids are unable to go to the rinks, but the foundation is setting up Zoom meetings with all kids at least 2-3 times a week to discuss things that include hockey workouts, academic support and other aid.
“We just want the kids to stay in contact with each other,” Tharp said. “In times like this, it’s very easy to feel isolated.”
Former Flyers forward Scott Hartnell produced a video for Snider Hockey student-athletes to stay in shape during social distancing.
The Snider Foundation is also keeping all of its full-time staff employed without salary cuts and benefits. Outside of the scheduled meetings with groups of kids, academic instructors are matching up with students via video and phone calls to help with online work.
“Our founder Ed Snider left us in a pretty good financial position that we’re able to do this,” Tharp said. “Without [the staff], we’re nothing.”
80% of Snider Foundation kids graduate high school and attend a form of post-secondary education. The program is made of around 60% African Americans, 12% Hispanics and the remainder is “blue-collared Caucasians," Tharp said.
Ed Snider is the founder of the Philadelphia Flyers, former Eagles vice president and he also privately financed the Wells Fargo Center. Snider founded the Snider Hockey Youth Foundation in 2005. He is a member of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame (2005) and the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (2011).