﻿ Plus and Minus in Betting - World Sports Network

# Plus and Minus in Betting - World Sports Network

• Plus and Minus in Betting - World Sports Network
• What Do Numbers Like -200 and +300 Mean In Sports Betting?
• What does "plus" and "minus" mean in sports betting?
• What does the plus and minus mean in sports betting
• A Simple Explanation: How to Read Sports Betting Odds

# Closing Line Value

Most recreational bettors simply bet with the hopes to get lucky and win. Winning money is obviously a way to tell if you're making good bets. The ultimate measure of identifying how well a sports bettor is doing Is with closing line value or CLV. Beating the closing line means that you take a better number or price than what the market closes at, therefore having a bet with a higher probability of winning than if you made it at a later (or earlier) time. By beating the closing line, we add a share of possibility in our favor against the market. The closing lines represent the most efficient market conditions, because, at this point, all participants in the market had the best information available and the line reflects this.
In the sports market, the sharp bookmakers’ closing lines are considered to be the expected value (EV). Meaning that If you bet at better odds than the closing line you have made a +EV wager (positive/plus expected value), while if the odds you bet at are worse than the closing line you have a -EV bet (negative/minus expected value). Obviously when you are looking to make a bet you do not know what the closing line will be. However there are multiple factors that impact the movement of the odds which ultimately conclude the closing line. (I will detail this more in future lessons and weekly classes)
According to the efficient market hypothesis the closing odds are on average more accurate than the opening odds in predicting the probability of how an event will play out. Opening lines don’t reflect all the information available in the market, and therefore “inefficiencies exist”. As bettors, we want to bet into inefficient markets, to exploit discrepancies when we think our pricing is more accurate than the market. By beating the closing line consistently, you can prove that you do just that. Pinnacle was for a while considered the sharpest closing line, recently CRIS has taken over that spot and is now known as the sharpest bookmaker in the world, using their closing lines as an indicator makes the most sense.
Sports betting is not about results; it’s about the process. I know that sounds crazy to some so I’ll say it again, sports betting is not about results; it’s about the process. You cannot control the outcome of games, but you can manage your handicapping/betting process. The goal is to make +EV decisions that lead to profitable outcomes long-term. The probabilities we apply in our handicapping process are estimated probabilities, we don’t know what the real chances for winning a particular bet are.
Nobody is able to accurately predict the outcome of every sporting event. However, this does not imply that it is impossible to become a profitable sports bettor or that those who are profitable are just lucky. Placing bets that have a larger chance of winning than implied by the odds. Over a small sample size of bets anything can happen or in other words variance will have a large impact on your results. A friend of mine who made her first ever real money bet this past NBA season went on a 16 day winning streak going 19-6 in her first 25 bets, close to an 80% winning %. Of course she’s not one of the world’s sharpest sports bettors because she hit 80% over a 2 week span. What happens is over a larger volume of bets the variance will even out and only sports bettors who are able to consistently beat the closing lines will be profitable. (Update she lost the \$250 she deposited into her sports book account after exactly 60 days and hasn’t bet again)
The key to handicapping is pricing teams more accurately than the market, consistently over the long run. A point spread on any given game says: this is the point where the market believes that 50% of possible outcomes fall on either side of the number. Our job as handicappers – no matter how we do it – is to find discrepancies between our estimate and the market’s estimate for a spread, total or whatever.
Let’s say Wake Forest is favored by 3 points over North Carolina. If your handicapping process comes up with an estimated line of -6 in favor of WF, your edge will be three points. You would think that Wake Forest wins by 3 or more points in more than 50% of the possible outcomes. You apply a higher probability by your estimated line. That’s what handicapping is about. Pricing teams more accurately than the market is beating the closing line. When bettors combine this with other factors like discipline, money management, they are on the right path to being profitable.
Beating the closing line requires handicapping skills or what we refer to in the community as game theory, but also market analysis must be combined (Art & Science). One isn’t enough, both must be combined. As I explained above, your goal is to price teams/events and totals more accurately than the market. By that, you can exploit inefficiencies in the markets. A big advantage is to try and always be looking ahead. On Sundays I’m always looking at the next week and handicapping those games. Make notes and write down which market reactions you expect depending on possible results during the current week. Try to anticipate where influential money will be going. Some services advertise things like “sharp action reports” to bait you into betting on so-called “steam moves.” But we want to bet those numbers as early as possible, not after the whole world recognizes the move. Does you no good knowing which side has been steamed after the fact.
One suggestion I have to help you get CLV, which will help result in +EV positions is to start making your own projections before lines are posted, that way you can bet proactively instead of reactively. If you do this before looking at the lines it will help eliminate some bias. I wouldn’t recommend backing these positions with money if you don’t have a sound process established but by tracking this it will give you a good idea of impact points in the market and find patterns.

##### What you should know about gay sex - from a future porn education star

Below is a dump of things I think gay guys should know. It’s long, heads up, because it’s thorough. Also, I am annoyingly wholesome, haha. It can be cheesy but embrace the cheese. There’s useful stuff on the other side.
My credentials are: - A lot of sex from ages 18 to 31. - Successful open relationship of 11+ years, despite rocky events in our lives. (Recently ended, no one’s fault.) - Currently creating an educational sex series, so this advice comes from a lot of research, thought and experience. The series will be called Pornducation and will feature me giving sex tips and making jokes while literally having sex. Made a pilot already. It turned out as fun as I thought it would be.
To be clear, this info is a work-in-progress. For instance, I haven’t yet run it all past sexual health organizations. I stand behind my advice but it’s good to assume that NO ONE’s advice is 100% accurate or 100% everything you need to know.
Here is what I have so far, much condensed. Feel free to share it yourself. I'd appreciate credit and a mention of Pornducation but that's not as important as the sharing. Enjoy!
THINGS I BELIEVE GUYS SHOULD KNOW
Kissing: - As with anything, kissing will improve with practise. - Lead with the lips. My opinion is: lips should touch at least a little before tongue. Like, all the time. It builds anticipation and avoids odd surprises. - Well-cared-for lips feel nicer. I used to deal with dry lips but the best solution I found is to have lip balm in my pocket all the time. I put it on my lips when they feel a bit dry, which is maybe once an hour? Fairly often. But you work out what works for you. - Pecking too much can be weird, it doesn’t give much sensation. - Mix it up. Peck just a little, maybe. Push lips together for a bit. Bring the tongue in. Back to just touching lips every so often. Mixing it up is great advice for any sex act. - Kissing the edges of their lips or other uncommon zones can be great but should be done in moderation. It’s more of a thing to add variety than fun on its own, in my opinion. Play it teasing and sensual if you want to do this. - I think hovering just before touching lips together is underrated. Tease them a little. Make them come get it. Use this rarely, though. It’s easy to tease someone so that it gets a little annoying. - Start small and low-intensity. Build up to passionate. - Use pacing, like is described below, under All-applicable Tips.
Rimjobs: - A rimjob is where you use your tongue and mouth to pleasurably stimulate someone’s sphincter. - Obviously, the receiver of a rimjob should make sure they are very clean. - Again, this is all my opinion: A good rimjob is all about teasing. Building anticipation. I'm not big on them in general but I DEFINITELY don't enjoy it if they go straight for the hole with their tongue. I lose all sensitivity; I stop feeling it. Play around the edge, dip in. Build up to applying more tongue to the hole, then go back to the edge. - That said, I’ve seen some people really enjoy their butt getting eaten like someone’s life depended on it. Everyone is different.
All-applicable tips: - Use pacing. Pacing like movies use. Google, "Interest curve, Star Wars." The intensity of what's happening on screen starts out high to grab interest, drops down, then goes up a little, down, up a little more, down, etc until it reaches the climax. It’s a classic, excellent wayto get the most enjoyment out of an audience member. Every sex act is improved by applying this. Same with applying pacing to the sex as a whole. Don't feel too much of a slave to this, but I definitely became a better lover when I learnt about the pacing in Star Wars, no lie. (It comes down to how human brains work. Specifically, the Law of Diminishing Returns.) - Like I said, mix it up. Variety stops someone from getting bored of what you’re doing. They stay keyed in and feeling pleasure. - Like I’ve mentioned in other sections: Build anticipation. Going straight for the most pleasurable thing is, ironically, not that pleasurable. There’s something about the tension between knowing something is coming and when it arrives that is just so fucking hot. If I learnt pacing from studying movies, then I learnt tension from studying music. Tension is what makes a bass drop so satisfying when it finally hits. - You could argue that how much you enjoy something comes down to a formula: (Results minus Expectations equals Enjoyment.) If something was good but you expected better, you don’t enjoy it that much, for instance. But if you went to see something kinda rubbish and it turned out to be good, wow! That was surprisingly fun, I enjoyed that! So, expectation control is important. Both in yourself and in others. Undersell, overperform is a good rule of thumb. Though don’t undersell too much. You’ll get a feel for it over time. Also, keep your own expectations low (on the quiet. No need to be rude.) - Like I said in other sections, and this is weird but true: People tend to follow how you act about things. If you act like a bit of poop or a dick going a bit soft isn’t a big deal, people will feel it isn’t a big deal. Which it isn’t! And then you’re more likely to be able to deal with the obstacle and continue with sex. - Sex isn’t everything, don’t base too much of your identity on being good at it or getting it. If you go that way, you’ll never have enough.
That’s the word limit, so I’ll put the rest in comments below. I told you it was thorough! Which is a nice way of saying going on for way too long.

##### How to Get Started With Sports Betting

Sports betting is simply placing a wager on a sporting event. You are betting that your team, horse, dog, or driver will win. If they do win, so do you! If they lose, you lose your bet amount. Sports betting takes place all over the world, though in the United States this type of betting is not as highly accepted as it is in Europe.
Online sports betting is probably the best option for those who are interesting in trying it for the first time. If you have never tried online sports betting, you are missing so much fun and excitement, and it can all happen in the comfortable surroundings of your home! The art of sports betting can seem confusing at first, but once you are familiar with some of the jargon that is used to explain the concepts and logic behind each type of bet, it is all much easier to understand.
One of the best ways for you to experience this engaging way to bet on your favourite racing and sporting events is to get acquainted with online sports betting. However, in order to best take advantage of all that sports betting has to offer, you need to know a little more about it.
Sports Betting - The Odds
How does online sports betting work? You should start by studying the odds for the sporting event you are most interested in placing a wager upon. When using online sports betting, you can find these odds in the various online sports books used by Internet gamers everywhere. You must open an account with an online sports book before you can place your bet, but this is simple to do.
Once you have chosen where you are going to do your sports betting, you need to decide how you are going to place your bet. There are many different ways for you to wager your chosen amount of money, but first, let's talk about the spread and how it can affect the amount you bet.
The spread is a point advantage in sports betting, which is usually given to the team that is generally expected to lose a particular sporting event. If you decide that you will bet on the team that is expected to win, they will have to win by more than the spread number and cover the spread before you are considered to have chosen correctly. If you choose the team that is expected to lose, that team will have to lose by less than the spread number in order for your pick to be considered correct. If by chance the team wins by the number of points that were chosen as the spread, the game is called a push.
No one who engages in sports betting wins a thing if a game is called as a push, but you do get the amount of your original bet back. The point spread is done in order to make the all of the bets come out even for the sports book, and is usually done for sports such as basketball or football.
Sports Betting - The Bet
If you were to bet against the spread, most likely you would place a type of bet called an 11-10, or spread bet. By betting \$11, you win \$10 if your team's score covers the spread. This is another way that the online sports book makes its money.
An over-under bet is also an 11-10 bet. With this type of bet, the total score of the two teams that played will be either over or under the total score that was listed before the game was played. Betting on the score being over is called 'betting on the ball'. Betting on the score being under is called 'betting on the clock'.
A proposition bet is a type of bet where the online sports book chooses what the odds and the conditions of the bet are going to be. This type of bet can be most interesting, even a little fun at times, for the conditions can be as unusual as which of two football teams will make the most touchdowns, which of two basketball teams will score the most three pointers, or even which individual player will make a certain move for the team. The odds for this kind of bet are sometimes 11-10, but can be better or worse depending on the circumstances.
A parlay bet happens when you are betting on more than one event, usually three. This type of bet gives you a much higher payout if you should win, but the catch is that all the events you bet on will have to win. If even one of them loses, they all lose, and you lose the amount that you bet.
A money line bet seems rather formidable, especially to someone who is just getting into online sports betting, but it is really one of the simplest bets of all. It is also called a Straight Up bet, and there is no point spread to consider. You will just choose your sport, and then the team you think will be either the underdog or the favourite. In a money line bet, the sports book will have numbers listed that are in the hundreds, with either a plus or a minus sign beside them. These numbers are considered the 'money line', and are the multipliers for the bets.
If the money line for your team is listed as 100, you will make an even bet. This means you will wager the same amount that you will get back. If the money line reads -110, then you must come up with the amount of money you have decided to bet, plus 10%. This extra 10% is known by the name of 'juice'. If the money line for your team is listed as +110, then you simply place your bet with the amount you choose to bet. If you win a money line bet, you get the amount of your bet plus 10% back. For example, if you bet \$10.00 and \$1.00 in juice on a -110 money line and it wins, you get \$21. 00.
A teaser bet in sports betting is actually a proposition bet that allows you to change the odds for the bet in either direction so that the wager is in your favour. You can go up or down in points, and must choose at least two teams, as is done in a parlay bet. You can have as many as 6 separate teams included on a teaser bet, but all of the teams chosen have to win in order for your bet to be declared a winning one. Once the games are over, the points from the teaser bet are added or subtracted from the final scores. The odds for teaser bets can be different each time, so it is a good plan to always check the sports book before placing your bet.
A tip to remember is that generally, when placing a wager on any sport that can finish with a high score, such as football, you will have a spread. Sports where the ending score is low, such as in baseball will have a money line. Remember also that favourable odds on a game can sometimes work in your favour. Online sports betting allows you to easily go from sports book to sports book to find the best odds.

##### Goliath Casino 50 free spins and €1200 free bonus code

Goliath Casino Free Spins & Welcome Bonus
All new players to Goliath Casino receive exclusive welcome bonus. Get €1200 free bonus and 50 free spins on deposit. Play any game and as much as you can! No max cashout! No download needed! Fast pay and play!
>> Claim Free Spins Bonus <<

# Goliath Casino Review

Arriving on a crowded scene in 2018, Goliath Casino is owned and operated by Goliath LTD, a company based in Malta. The ambitious name of the casino clearly states its intention of becoming a big and popular brand. However, distancing yourself from a sea of casinos that are just too alike is a mammoth task. To stand out from the rest, a casino should have unique features apart from a different look and feel. Our reviewers feel that Goliath Casino doesn’t really excel in that department, although it’s on the right path.
The casino is licensed by the UK and Alderney Gambling Commissions as well as the Malta Gaming Authority, which means that it’s targeting users from all over Europe. All European players are welcome at Goliath Casino, but USA gamblers have no such luck. The casino is available in a few languages that include English, Swedish, and Finnish.
There’s a nice selection of games, predominantly slots, at this online casino. All the games are provided by top-notch developers, so you can expect quality titles to play here. However, there are more than a few shortcomings too. So, is the casino really worthy of bearing the mythical name of Goliath?

## A Generous Welcome Offer for Newcomers

It’s fair to say that this casino offers a welcome bonus of Goliath proportions. Once you sign up, you can enjoy a very generous welcome offer that is spread over several deposits. That’s a hefty pay cheque if you ask us, and players would be foolish not to claim it. When a casino lends you such a lucrative hand, you should greet it.
With that being said, our casino review team were disappointed with the lack of any other promotions at Goliath Casino. There is a VIP scheme – which we’ll get to later – plus a promo for new sports punters (the website has a sportsbook as well), but literally nothing else in the casino department. That’s a large minus in our book, and something we hope gets fixed pretty soon.
Still, the generous welcome offer will make you forget things for a while – probably until you spend all the extra funds and free spins.
>> Claim Free Spins Bonus <<

## Join the Very Rewarding VIP Scheme

Your gambling exploits at Goliath Casino will be handsomely rewarded with extra points you can later convert to free bonus cash. Once you become a regular customer at the casino, you'll climb the VIP ladder and earn free cash in bonuses. There are a total of seven levels (New, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Premium, and Prestige), each one having its own perks.
There’s a lot to like when it comes to the rewards. You will get tons of free spins, upgraded bonuses, and plenty of other lucrative prizes that will make you feel like a VIP and make you play more and more. It’s a win-win situation for the casino and the player. Oh, yeah, we forgot to mention that once you reach the higher levels, you’ll be treated to 20, 30 or 50 free games on Sunday – so you can play for free and still earn great rewards.
Terms and conditions apply to all promotions and bonuses. You must be 18 years old and above to join the casino. Play responsibly.

## Spin an Impressive Collection of Slots

Take a look at the software providers at Goliath Casino, and you’ll get a general idea of what to expect in the game department. With Microgaming, Big Time Gaming, Thunderkick, iSoftBet, Bally, and Play’n GO among the extensive list of game providers, Goliath Casino can brag about a large collection of great hot-off-the-press titles.
Fancy some adventure? The great and popular Gonzo’s Quest slot is plenty of fun. Fans of 80s hairdos and the TV show Miami Vice will instantly be transported back in time with NetEnt’s impressive Hotline slot. NetEnt has another hit in the Jimi Hendrix slot which does the late, great guitar player justice, perfectly evoking the hippie revolution from the 60s and 70s.
The fun, of course, doesn’t stop there. At Goliath Casino, our reviewers played the latest slot titles plus an abundance of classics. It's clear that you'll never get bored here. The jackpot offer might be a bit underwhelming (a total of 6 titles), but the fact that it includes the record-breaking Mega Moolah and Divine Fortune slots makes things much better. Both can earn you millions if you’re really lucky, so we suggest giving them a spin.
Fans of other casino games will also have a great time at Goliath Casino. Click the table games tab, and you’ll be presented with numerous casino games that include video poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and solitaire. Bingo fans aren't that fortunate, though, but we think Goliath Casino’s offer should satisfy most players.
Finally, there’s a live casino powered by Evolution Gaming which offers quite a few roulette and blackjack variations in top-notch HD quality. Unfortunately, it’s not as extensive as we'd hoped, and we feel this area should be improved on since live dealer games are the future of online gambling.

## Play the Casino’s Games Anytime, Anywhere

Fire up the browser on your smartphone, visit Goliath Casino, and you can easily game on the go. This casino’s mobile platform works and looks great, cool loading animations included. The variety of games isn’t that big, but that’s to be expected from a mobile platform. The mobile version of the casino works great across a wide range of iOS and Android devices thanks to HTML5 technology, so you can easily play your fave games on your smartphone or tablet.
>> Claim Free Spins Bonus <<

If our review experts had to pick an area where Goliath Casino excels in customer support, it’s the live chat feature provided by Live Person. When you click on support, a new window will present you with 12 options regarding your query. By going step by step, you will get the answer you're looking for. Other than that, nothing stands out. You can contact the casino via e-mail or phone, but only between 06:00 and 23:00 (GMT).

## Use a Wide Range of Payment Options

Depositing and withdrawing money at Goliath Casino is very easy, thanks to the wide range of payment options the casino accepts. Deposits can be made with Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, ecoPayz, Entropay, and the EPS program among others. The deposits and withdrawals are available in a number of currencies including EUR.
You can withdraw your winnings using the deposit method you’ve chosen, and the limits are quite large as well (up to €100,000 for Visa). It depends on your method of choice, though – for Skrill users, the limit is much lower (€2,500). The withdrawal times are pretty slow too, ranging from 6 to 8 days for most of the methods. Another concern our reviewers have about Goliath Casino is that withdrawal requests over €2,300 are subject to further proof of identity, which complicates matters even more.

## Is Goliath Casino a Real Goliath in the Industry?

There are definitely things our review experts love about Goliath Casino. There’s a wide range of games (although the table games and Live Casino sections could be better), top-notch security provided by COMODO, a wide range of payment options, and a solid mobile platform.
However, there’s definitely a lot of space for improvement. First and foremost, the casino needs to add more promotions as the welcome offer isn’t likely to cut it for experienced players. We would have liked to see higher maximum withdrawal limits for some of the payment options and 24/7 customer support, too The casino has started off on the right foot, but it should definitely work overtime and fix its problems before we can give it our full recommendation.
>> Claim Free Spins Bonus <<

##### "A little revision to the Stugotz Personal Record Book that maybe some day I'll come around to writing..or Mike will..." I've been writing the Stugotz Personal Record Book since it began. 82 Total Entries so far.

[Time Stamps] Recently started to use them in late 2019. They may not be exact based on what podcast app or service you use. But they'll be close. In 2020 I've started to use Google Podcasts for the time stamps, and they'll be labeled if used.
When a new entry is added because Stugotz said something, I go back and edit it into this post. If you have any I missed - message me.
I DIDN'T ASK FOR ANY OF THIS:

# FOOTBALL

(1) UCF is the 2017-2018 national champion.
(2) If Kirk Cousins goes to the Jaguars and not the Jets, no championship he wins will count in the personal record book.
Note (2)(a): Still pending sort of since Kirk is with the Vikings now – possible in future he could go to Jags.
(3) Eli manning has 1 ring. He doesnt get one for throwing a ball into David Tyree's face / Tyree getting a football stuck in his helmet.
(4) Carson Wentz has a Super Bowl 52 ring.
Note (4)(a): Foles does not have a Super Bowl 52 ring.
(5) The Raiders defeated the Patriots in their divisional playoff matchup in 2002 (Tuck Rule game), and then would defeat the Rams in Super Bowl 36.
Note (5)(a): In this scenario also, Bill Belichick was also "fired and looking for a job" after the Tuck Rule game and has 0 rings.
(6) If the 2017 Patriots won Super Bowl 52, James Harrison would not have a ring (Patriots lost to Eagles).
(7) Peyton Manning has one ring (Broncos ring does not count).
(8) Peyton Manning must give such ring he lost (above) to Von Miller, who thus has 2 rings.
(9) Aaron Rodgers can have all the rings he wants for keeping all of central Wisconsin employed.
(10) Brian Billick has 0 rings (2000 Ravens Super Bowl) because that defense carried him.
(11) Tony Boselli is a Hall of Famer.
(12) Tarik Cohen is an honorary Jew.
(13) JuJu Smith-Schuster is also an honorary Jew. L'Chaim.
(14) Drew brees has three rings for winning the super bowl for the city of New Orleans.
Note (14)(a): There was discussion on this where the number started at three, went up to five, came down to two, but it ended up at three.
(15) Mike McCarthy has no Super Bowl rings.
Note(15)(a): Dan also has this in his record book, and it is the first entry into the Le Batard Personal Record Book.
Note 15(b): In fact, McCarthy has -3 (Negative three) rings.
(16) Any Super Bowl rings Antonio Brown gets with the Patriots will not count in the Stugotz personal record book (9/9 Weekend Observations National Hour 2).
(17) Ohio State's 76 to 5 victory over Miami (Ohio) on 9/21/19 does not count.

Kevin Durant
(1) If Westbrook wins a championship and beats Kevin Durant along the way in the playoffs, Westbrook will have won 2 championship rings.
(2) "STRAP IT ON BOYS, GONNA TAKE YA FOR A RIDE:"
Kevin Durant has 0 rings (Zero rings)
Kevin Durant has -1 rings (Negative 1 rings).
Kevin Durant has -4 rings (Negative 4) (As of 4/11/18)
Note (2)(a): This number is subject to change based on Stugotz altering rings to the "-4" current total. Specifically as seen recently when Stugotz adjusted the number from (i) 0 rings to (ii) -1 rings to (iii) -4 rings.
Note (2)(b): Here is a tweet transcript of the conversation where this was discovered.
(3) If Kevin Durant wins an NBA title for the NY Knicks, he will gain 11 rings.
Note (3)(a): As seen above in "(2)," Kevin Durant has -4 rings.
Note (3)(b): [Math] If Durant were to remain at -4 rings, and subsequently win an NBA title for the Knicks, he will have 7 rings total. This was specifically stated (-4 + 11 = 7), and a question about a non-specifically stated Personal Record Book entry is posed below in "Note (3)(c)(i)."
Note (3)(c): If the Golden State Warriors had won a championship playing 3 on 5 with Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant would have 1 ring.
Note (3)(c)(i): [Confusion] I am unsure if "Note(3)(c)" means he would gain +1 ring, and therefore be "up" to -3 rings total. Possibly, Stugotz means if the Golden State Warriors had won a championship 3 on 5 with Durant, Kevin Durant would be at +1 rings total (Positive 1 rings).
(4) Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3 did not count, because according to Stugotz, none of Durant's stats count. KD's official statline last night was 0/0/0 and the Cavs blew the Warriors out by 40.
(5) Anything Kevin Durant has done with the Warriors so far is not in Stugotz' personal record scroll.
Note (5)(a): Stugotz did not take his feathered pen and write anything in his scroll (King Roy approves).
(6) Westbrook has ALL of KD's rings.
(7) For every time KD says he doesn't give a BLEEP, Stugotz adds 2 "I do give a BLEEPS" in the personal record book.
(8) Per Dan, speaking on Stugotz' behalf, Kevin Durant has no Olympic Gold Medals (9/18/19 National Hour 1 @ 00:07:50).
Michael Jordan
(1) Jordan has 9 rings because:
(a) The Rockets have to give their 2 rings from 1994 and 1995 to Jordan (+2); and
(b) The Bulls would have won the 1999 Finals over the Spurs if Jordan didn't retire (+1; 9 total).
Note (1)(a-b)(i): Put LeBron's rings in a box and put Jordan's rings in a box. Jordan is +6 by the way over LeBron box-minus, despite box-minus sounding like a dumb stat.
(2) Michael Jordan was suspended for 2 years for gambling (Said 4/25/18 Hour 2, 14:30 in podcast).
Note 2(a): HOWEVER, MJ still has 9 rings as see above in (1)(a) and (1)(b).
(3) Any game Michael Jordan played wearing the uniform #45 does not count.
LeBron James
(1) If LeBron James goes to the Golden State Warriors, every Championship he wins will result in a deduction of 2 previously won championships.
(2) The Miami Heat LeBron teams were the GREATEST teams in the history of sports (5/7/18 Local Hour).
(3) The Miami Heat LeBron teams were also the MOST INTERESTING teams in the history of sports.
(4) If, after the 2018 NBA Playoffs:
(a) LeBron does not make it to the finals and the Celtics do; and
(b) The Houston Rockets do not make it to the finals and the Warriors do; and
(c) LeBron goes to the Houston Rockets for the next season, THEN
LeBron is allowed to win rings that count in Stu's personal record book.
Note (4)(a-c)(i): HOWEVER, Harden & Chris Paul - if they remain on the Rockets with LeBron on the team - are not allowed to have any of the rings won with LeBron count in Stu's personal record book.
Note 4(a-c)(ii): To quote the big man Stu (with Dan agreeing of course), "Do it on your own” (Dan agrees here).
(5) If LeBron wins an NBA Championship with the 2018 Lakers roster (as of 7/23/18), then that wins counts for 6 rings.
Note (5)(a): Thus LeBron would have 9 rings.
Kyrie Irving
(1) Kyrie Irving hit one of the biggest shots in NBA Finals History, but was only in that position because of LeBron James. Kyrie Irving, did hit one of the biggest shots in NBA Finals history that won everyone on that team a Ring, except for you (Kyrie). (3/9/20 Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 07:00).
Note (1)(a): Stugotz: "A little revision to the uhhh Stugotz Personal Record Book that I'll come around to writing...or Mike will." I'M WRITING IT YOU IDIOT MORON JACKAL
(1) The Houston Rockets have 0 (Zero) NBA Championship victories.
Note (1)(a): See "Michael Jordan (1)(a)" for reasoning.
Note (1)(a)(i): [Restated Reasoning] Michael Jordan is actually in possession of those 1994 and 1995 Rockets rings because Michael Jordan would have won those championships if he stayed in Chicago.
Note(1)(b): [CONFLICTING HOT TAKE] Stugotz has also said Jordan didn't get the Rockets' rings because he was actually suspended for gambling.
Note (1)(b)(i) NEEDS CLARIFICATION PLEASE. Stugotz keeps going back and forth. In "Michael Jordan Note 1(a)," the opposite of "Miscellaneous Basketball Note (1)(b) is stated because he has gone back and forth on this issue.
(2) Steve Kerr has no rings as a coach. In fact, he has never even coached a game.
(3) Mychal Thompson (Klay's dad) has no rings. (Said on Zach Harper podcast).
(4) Clyde Drexler no rings (Said on Zach Harper podcast).
(5) Giannis Antetekoumpo is pronounced Yani Adababoombo.
(6) As long as James Harden has his beard, he cannot win any championships.
Note (6)(a): If the Rockets win a ring, then the ring goes to the beard.
(7) Lamarcus Aldridge cost the Spurs game 2 of the 2017 Western Conference Semifinals, even though they won.
(8) If the Sixers happen to win a championship, Sam Hinkie gets a ring.
(9) Chris Paul has NOT made a Western Conference Final since he had to join the Rockets to do so.
(10) Michael Jordan winning the NBA Finals in 1999 also means that Tim Duncan only has 4 rings instead of 5 rings.
(11) The Warriors only have 1 ring
Note (11)(a): Durant still has -4.
(12) Boogie Cousins cannot win a NBA Championship and have it count if he does so with the Warriors.
(13) Billy Donovan was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2017 (12/13/17 @ 28:10 Hour 1).
Note (13)(a): The Thunder blowing the 3-1 lead to the Warriors that year had nothing to do with Donovan. It was Durant's fault.
(14) The OKC Thunder actually did win the WCF against the Warriors in 2017 when up 3-1.
Note (14)(a): This does not apply to Durant though.
Note (14)(b): The Thunder also beat whoever they would have played in the Finals. Durant still no ring.

# BASEBALL

Babe Ruth
(1) Babe Ruth is black.
(2) Babe Ruth never hit a baseball. Not once.
(3) Babe Ruth is the number two black baseball player of all time behind Barry Larkin.
(4) Babe Ruth is NOT a top 20 Baseball player of all time. He's a pitcher.
Note (4)(a): However This is somewhat confusing/interesting because:
(i) Stugotz has said "Babe Ruth is the number two black baseball player of all time behind Barry Larkin; and"
(ii) This MUST mean Stugotz can only have 1 black player in his top 20 Baseball players of all time Barry Larkin; because
(iii) The only way this can work logically is if in the list of greatest players #1 through #20, only Barry Larkin is on the latter top #1 through #20 list. I would like some clarification on if he wishes to change this take/record.
(5) Babe Ruth is also not a top 20 pitcher of all time.
Misc. Baseball
(1) Stugotz has declared that in his personal record book, Baseball no longer allows pitchers to hit (Stated on 05/03/2018 @ 12:38:52 P.M).
Note (1)(a): Excludes Bartolo Colon, and Shohei Ohtani.
Note (1)(b): You are either a pitcher or a hitter. Not both.
(2) If the Dodgers won the 2017 World Series Clayton Kershaw would not have had a ring.
(3) Wade Boggs DOES have a ring because he rode around on a horse with a beer afterward.
(4) Clayton Kershaw did not win an MVP award because the award for pitchers was already given, the CY Young award.
(5) Miami beat LSU in the 1996 College Baseball World Series.
(6) The 1986 NY Mets did not win the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
Note (6)(a): This "pains" Stugotz.
(7) The Red Sox retroactively winning the 1986 World Series may result in taking a ring away from the Mets.
Note (7)(a): Stugotz has to think about it though, he's not sure yet.
(8) Bryce Harper did not win the 2018 home run derby because he cheated.
(9) Kershaw's Earned Ring Average (ERA) is 0.00.
(10) Mike Minor (Rangers Pitcher) does not have 200 strikeouts in 2019. He's at 199 (National Hour 2, 10 mins 40 seconds in).
Note (10)(a): Chris agrees too. And who really cares (15% on poll do care).
(11) The 2020-2021 Mets, during the Coronavirus outbreak, are 0-3 and Jacob deGrom is somehow 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA and 1 complete game. The deGrominator. (Google Podcast 3/30 Hour #3 @ 19:20)

# HOCKEY

(1) Ray Bourque doesn't have a ring.
(2) Alex Ovechkin may or may not have won the Stanley Cup against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Note (2)(a): "I mean he beat an expansion team . . . bunch of players nobody wanted" (We get the sense that Dan agrees).

# TENNIS

(1) If anyone wins a major in Female Tennis without Serena Williams playing, it does not count and they have 0 rings.
(2) If Maria Sharapova wins a grand slam in which Serena isnt competing it doesnt count.

# GOLF

(1) If Jason Day wins the 2018 Masters, it counts as an American winning (as far as bets are concerned).
(2) Vijay Singh did not play in the 2018 Masters.

# SOCCER

(1) Lionel Messi is stripped of all his achievements for using HGH. He never played soccer. He is still 5'1". "Fraud."

# MISCELLANEOUS

(1) Aqua?
(2) Rings plus-minus is the only way to measure greatness.
(3) The HBO Andre the Giant film was good, not great, and Stugotz didn’t learn anything.
(4) Benoit Lecomte (guy they interviewed) can not and will not swim from San Francisco to Tokyo in the personal record book because he is most likely taking a dip for a few minutes then coming back on the boat and enjoying some filet mignon by the pool.
Note (4)(a): "Do it without a yacht. And how about ya do it without the little magnetic field around you that keeps sharks away. How bout that. Allows dolphins through though? Anyway.."
(5) Justify (the Horse) only has a double crown.
Note (5)(a): This is the first ever double crown.
(6) Tango and Cash is in the action movie Hall of Fame. and Cliffhanger has the greatest 5 minute intro of any movie of all time.
(7) Maximum Security (a Horse) won the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
(8) Fruit Stripes Gum is NOT a 1st Ballot Hall of Famer in Stu's "Gum Hall of Fame." (08/12/2019 | Hour 2 @ 15:25).
Note (8)(a): "It loses it's flavor so quickly"
Note (8)(b): Also, "[...] Bazooka...1st Ballot Hall of Famer." Also, "Big League Chew..1st Ballot."
(9) Chris Cote owns all intellectual property rights to the "Friends" (TV Show) Movie with a misleading preview that eventually has a climax leading to an intense murder mystery. (10/29/19 Hour #2 @ 03:15).
Note (9)(a): "If they make this without crediting Cote, they're stealing it."
(10) That guy killed the pigeon (12/10 Hour 3 @ 08:20).
(11) Billy owns the record for world's longest Plank (2/25, Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 30:55).
Note (11)(a): Possibly in just the Non-Marine edition.
(12) Zach Buchanan won a Pulitzer Prize for his story on the Madison Bumgarner / Mason Saunders rodeo fiasco (2/28/20 Hour #2; Google Podcasts @ 21:35).
(13) Findlay the Golden retriever holds the Stu Gotz Personal Record Book record for most tennis balls held in a mouth at one time by a dog at 6 (2/11/2020)
(14) Ace Davis (The kid who "proved" Tom Brady was cheating with science) and his fathefamily are heroes (4/1 Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 18:50).
(15) Dan did NOT do more push-ups than Domonique Foxworth (Dan did push-ups on a non-linear platform) (4/28/2020 Hour # 1).

# SPORTS MEDIA DREAM TEAM™

Sourced from Google Podcast; 05/06/2020, Hour 2 @ 09:00
(Head Coach) Ernie Johnson - "When you look over to the bench, what you need is someone to stand tall, someone who is confident, someone who is competent, someone who has all the credibility -soaked in credibility - when you have the Head Coach of the Sports Media Dream Team."
(1; Point Guard) Mike Greenberg - "Doesn't really want to answer the big questions, but has no problem distributing those questions to other people who are happy to answer them."
(2; Shooting Guard) Stephen A. Smith - "Never met a topic he doesn't like. Short memory, doesn't care, Greeny could throw him anything and Stephen A. is gonna run with it even if he knows nothing about the topic. That is how it works. Stephen A. is the greatest of all time."
(3; Small Forward) Chris Fowler - "A do it all guy. Studio show? Great. Play by Play? Even better. Can do everything."
(4; Small Forward Replacement) Maria Taylor) - "Need Play by Play, need Sideline, need Studio Host - she can do it all"
(5; Power Forward) Dianna Russini - "You need some crazy, some don't mess with us, someone to tear someone's head off in the event that they come after one of us."
(6; Power Forward Replacement) PFT Commenter - "He just comes in and acts crazy, throws his arms and hair around, and give ya 5 to 10 really crazy minutes."
(7; In honor of the Chicago Bulls, Stugotz needed a Wennington, a Purdue) Scott Van Pelt - Dan debated whether or not SVP should be on the Sports Media Dream Team™. That's what he's doing.
(8; Bench Player w/ No Position Specified) Doris Burke
(9) Teased.../I didn't finish listening to the show yet

## 1. Favorites vs. Underdogs

When the oddsmakers release a betting line on a game, the first thing they do is decide which team should be the favorite and which should be the underdog.
The favorite is the team that is expected to win the game and will get a minus sign next to its odds, while the underdog is expected to lose and gets a plus sign. If the game is a toss-up, books will open it as a “pick” or “pick’em.”

There are two different ways to bet on a favorite or an underdog. The first is the point spread, which is a bet on the margin of victory. A favorite “gives” points, while an underdog “gets” points.
For example, say the Patriots are 7-point favorites (-7) against the Jets.
If you bet on the Patriots, they need to win the game by 8 points or more for you to win your bet. If the Patriots win by 8 points or more, you “cover.” If the Patriots win by exactly 7 points, that is called a “push,” which means you get back the money you originally bet.
If the Patriots win by 6 points or fewer (or lose the game straight-up), you lose your bet.
On the flip side, if you bet on the Jets “plus the points” (+7), you need the Jets to either win the game lose by six points or fewer for you to win (or cover) your bet.
Spreads are available for all sports, but they are predominantly used when betting on football and basketball.

## 3. Moneylines

The second way to bet on a favorite or an underdog is on the moneyline. This is based solely on which team will win the game. Favorites are given a “minus” designation, such as -150, -200 or -500. If a favorite is -200, that means you have to risk \$200 to win \$100. If the favorite wins, you get \$100, but if the favorite loses, you’re out \$200. Because favorites are expected to win, you assume more risk when betting on them.
Underdogs are given a “plus” designation, such as +150, +200 or +500. If an underdog is +200, that means if you bet \$100 on them and they win the game, you get \$200. If they lose the game, you lose only the \$100 that you risked. Because underdogs are expected to lose, there is more of a reward when betting on them.
Moneylines are available for all sports, but they are predominantly used when betting on baseball, hockey and soccer.

## 4. OveUnders (Totals)

In addition to setting a line for the favorite and the underdog, oddsmakers will also set a total number of points scored in a game by both teams combined. This is called the “total” or the “oveunder.”
Bettors can then wager on whether or not the game will go Over or Under the total.
For example, an NBA game between the Celtics and Bulls might have a total of 215. You could either bet the Over 215 or the Under 215. If you bet the Over 215 and the total points scored end up being 216 or higher, you win your bet. If the total points scored are 214 or fewer, you lose.

## 5. What is the -110 number listed next to my bet?

The oddsmakers put a “tax” on every bet, which is typically called the “juice,” “takeout” or “vig” (short for “vigorish”). The juice is the commission you have to pay to the sportsbook for them to accept your wager.
Say the Duke Blue Devils are -5 (-110) … that means if you want to bet on Duke as a 5-point favorite, you need to risk \$110 to win \$100.
The juice can also be a positive number, such as Penn State -7 (+110). That means if you bet \$100 on Penn State as a 7-point favorite and it covers, you win \$110. If it loses, you lose only the \$100 that you risked.

## 6. How to Place a Bet

With legalized sports betting spreading across America, sports bettors have never had more options to take advantage of. To see if sports betting is legal where you live, check out our state-by-state tracker.
Some of the biggest states that have legalized mobile wagering include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia. The sportsbooks highlighted below are all trustworthy legal shops that take mobile bets.

## 7. Rotation Numbers

Rotation numbers are what’s listed to the left of a team on the board. They are also referred to as the NSS number or Vegas ID number. They are unique to the team, sport and league, and universal across most sportsbooks.
For example, you might see the number “312” listed next to the Bruins -120. If you’re at a casino and want to bet \$100 on the Bruins, walk up to the window with your money and say, “\$100 on 312, Bruins -120.”

## 8. Lines Move in Real Time

Much like stocks on Wall Street, the sports betting market is fluid. Throughout the day, bookmakers will adjust the odds depending on the action they’re taking and other news, such as injuries and weather. For example, if the Vikings open as 7-point favorites and the vast majority of bets are on the Vikings, you might see the Vikings’ line move from -7 to -7.5. The line could move even further to -8, or it could be “bought back” to -7.
You can monitor betting data for every game in real time on our live odds page or in our mobile app (download here).

## 9. Shop for the Best Line

Lines can vary based on the sportsbook, because different books have different clienteles. As a result, one book may post the Cavs -8 while another has -7.5. Having access to more than one sportsbook allows you to shop for the best line. Getting an extra half-point might not seem like a huge deal, but it adds up over the long haul and increases your chances of winning.
Our live odds pages will automatically surface the best line for every game.

##### [Bored During Quarantine?] Reposting the Stugotz Personal Record Book that I've been maintaining since the bit began - Media Dream Team™ included at the Bottom.

[Time Stamps] Recently started to use them in late 2019. They may not be exact based on what podcast app or service you use. But they'll be close. In 2020 I've started to use Google Podcasts for the time stamps, and they'll be labeled if used.
When a new entry is added because Stugotz said something, I go back and edit it into this post. If you have any I missed - message me.
I DIDN'T ASK FOR ANY OF THIS:

# FOOTBALL

(1) UCF is the 2017-2018 national champion.
(2) If Kirk Cousins goes to the Jaguars and not the Jets, no championship he wins will count in the personal record book.
Note (2)(a): Still pending sort of since Kirk is with the Vikings now – possible in future he could go to Jags.
(3) Eli manning has 1 ring. He doesnt get one for throwing a ball into David Tyree's face / Tyree getting a football stuck in his helmet.
(4) Carson Wentz has a Super Bowl 52 ring.
Note (4)(a): Foles does not have a Super Bowl 52 ring.
(5) The Raiders defeated the Patriots in their divisional playoff matchup in 2002 (Tuck Rule game), and then would defeat the Rams in Super Bowl 36.
Note (5)(a): In this scenario also, Bill Belichick was also "fired and looking for a job" after the Tuck Rule game and has 0 rings.
(6) If the 2017 Patriots won Super Bowl 52, James Harrison would not have a ring (Patriots lost to Eagles).
(7) Peyton Manning has one ring (Broncos ring does not count).
(8) Peyton Manning must give such ring he lost (above) to Von Miller, who thus has 2 rings.
(9) Aaron Rodgers can have all the rings he wants for keeping all of central Wisconsin employed.
(10) Brian Billick has 0 rings (2000 Ravens Super Bowl) because that defense carried him.
(11) Tony Boselli is a Hall of Famer.
(12) Tarik Cohen is an honorary Jew.
(13) JuJu Smith-Schuster is also an honorary Jew. L'Chaim.
(14) Drew brees has three rings for winning the super bowl for the city of New Orleans.
Note (14)(a): There was discussion on this where the number started at three, went up to five, came down to two, but it ended up at three.
(15) Mike McCarthy has no Super Bowl rings.
Note(15)(a): Dan also has this in his record book, and it is the first entry into the Le Batard Personal Record Book.
Note 15(b): In fact, McCarthy has -3 (Negative three) rings.
(16) Any Super Bowl rings Antonio Brown gets with the Patriots will not count in the Stugotz personal record book (9/9 Weekend Observations National Hour 2).
(17) Ohio State's 76 to 5 victory over Miami (Ohio) on 9/21/19 does not count.

Kevin Durant
(1) If Westbrook wins a championship and beats Kevin Durant along the way in the playoffs, Westbrook will have won 2 championship rings.
(2) "STRAP IT ON BOYS, GONNA TAKE YA FOR A RIDE:"
Kevin Durant has 0 rings (Zero rings)
Kevin Durant has -1 rings (Negative 1 rings).
Kevin Durant has -4 rings (Negative 4) (As of 4/11/18)
Note (2)(a): This number is subject to change based on Stugotz altering rings to the "-4" current total. Specifically as seen recently when Stugotz adjusted the number from (i) 0 rings to (ii) -1 rings to (iii) -4 rings.
Note (2)(b): Here is a tweet transcript of the conversation where this was discovered.
(3) If Kevin Durant wins an NBA title for the NY Knicks, he will gain 11 rings.
Note (3)(a): As seen above in "(2)," Kevin Durant has -4 rings.
Note (3)(b): [Math] If Durant were to remain at -4 rings, and subsequently win an NBA title for the Knicks, he will have 7 rings total. This was specifically stated (-4 + 11 = 7), and a question about a non-specifically stated Personal Record Book entry is posed below in "Note (3)(c)(i)."
Note (3)(c): If the Golden State Warriors had won a championship playing 3 on 5 with Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant would have 1 ring.
Note (3)(c)(i): [Confusion] I am unsure if "Note(3)(c)" means he would gain +1 ring, and therefore be "up" to -3 rings total. Possibly, Stugotz means if the Golden State Warriors had won a championship 3 on 5 with Durant, Kevin Durant would be at +1 rings total (Positive 1 rings).
(4) Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3 did not count, because according to Stugotz, none of Durant's stats count. KD's official statline last night was 0/0/0 and the Cavs blew the Warriors out by 40.
(5) Anything Kevin Durant has done with the Warriors so far is not in Stugotz' personal record scroll.
Note (5)(a): Stugotz did not take his feathered pen and write anything in his scroll (King Roy approves).
(6) Westbrook has ALL of KD's rings.
(7) For every time KD says he doesn't give a BLEEP, Stugotz adds 2 "I do give a BLEEPS" in the personal record book.
(8) Per Dan, speaking on Stugotz' behalf, Kevin Durant has no Olympic Gold Medals (9/18/19 National Hour 1 @ 00:07:50).
Michael Jordan
(1) Jordan has 9 rings because:
(a) The Rockets have to give their 2 rings from 1994 and 1995 to Jordan (+2); and
(b) The Bulls would have won the 1999 Finals over the Spurs if Jordan didn't retire (+1; 9 total).
Note (1)(a-b)(i): Put LeBron's rings in a box and put Jordan's rings in a box. Jordan is +6 by the way over LeBron box-minus, despite box-minus sounding like a dumb stat.
(2) Michael Jordan was suspended for 2 years for gambling (Said 4/25/18 Hour 2, 14:30 in podcast).
Note 2(a): HOWEVER, MJ still has 9 rings as see above in (1)(a) and (1)(b).
(3) Any game Michael Jordan played wearing the uniform #45 does not count.
LeBron James
(1) If LeBron James goes to the Golden State Warriors, every Championship he wins will result in a deduction of 2 previously won championships.
(2) The Miami Heat LeBron teams were the GREATEST teams in the history of sports (5/7/18 Local Hour).
(3) The Miami Heat LeBron teams were also the MOST INTERESTING teams in the history of sports.
(4) If, after the 2018 NBA Playoffs:
(a) LeBron does not make it to the finals and the Celtics do; and
(b) The Houston Rockets do not make it to the finals and the Warriors do; and
(c) LeBron goes to the Houston Rockets for the next season, THEN
LeBron is allowed to win rings that count in Stu's personal record book.
Note (4)(a-c)(i): HOWEVER, Harden & Chris Paul - if they remain on the Rockets with LeBron on the team - are not allowed to have any of the rings won with LeBron count in Stu's personal record book.
Note 4(a-c)(ii): To quote the big man Stu (with Dan agreeing of course), "Do it on your own” (Dan agrees here).
(5) If LeBron wins an NBA Championship with the 2018 Lakers roster (as of 7/23/18), then that wins counts for 6 rings.
Note (5)(a): Thus LeBron would have 9 rings.
Kyrie Irving
(1) Kyrie Irving hit one of the biggest shots in NBA Finals History, but was only in that position because of LeBron James. Kyrie Irving, did hit one of the biggest shots in NBA Finals history that won everyone on that team a Ring, except for you (Kyrie). (3/9/20 Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 07:00).
Note (1)(a): Stugotz: "A little revision to the uhhh Stugotz Personal Record Book that I'll come around to writing...or Mike will." I'M WRITING IT YOU IDIOT MORON JACKAL
(1) The Houston Rockets have 0 (Zero) NBA Championship victories.
Note (1)(a): See "Michael Jordan (1)(a)" for reasoning.
Note (1)(a)(i): [Restated Reasoning] Michael Jordan is actually in possession of those 1994 and 1995 Rockets rings because Michael Jordan would have won those championships if he stayed in Chicago.
Note(1)(b): [CONFLICTING HOT TAKE] Stugotz has also said Jordan didn't get the Rockets' rings because he was actually suspended for gambling.
Note (1)(b)(i) NEEDS CLARIFICATION PLEASE. Stugotz keeps going back and forth. In "Michael Jordan Note 1(a)," the opposite of "Miscellaneous Basketball Note (1)(b) is stated because he has gone back and forth on this issue.
(2) Steve Kerr has no rings as a coach. In fact, he has never even coached a game.
(3) Mychal Thompson (Klay's dad) has no rings. (Said on Zach Harper podcast).
(4) Clyde Drexler no rings (Said on Zach Harper podcast).
(5) Giannis Antetekoumpo is pronounced Yani Adababoombo.
(6) As long as James Harden has his beard, he cannot win any championships.
Note (6)(a): If the Rockets win a ring, then the ring goes to the beard.
(7) Lamarcus Aldridge cost the Spurs game 2 of the 2017 Western Conference Semifinals, even though they won.
(8) If the Sixers happen to win a championship, Sam Hinkie gets a ring.
(9) Chris Paul has NOT made a Western Conference Final since he had to join the Rockets to do so.
(10) Michael Jordan winning the NBA Finals in 1999 also means that Tim Duncan only has 4 rings instead of 5 rings.
(11) The Warriors only have 1 ring
Note (11)(a): Durant still has -4.
(12) Boogie Cousins cannot win a NBA Championship and have it count if he does so with the Warriors.
(13) Billy Donovan was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2017 (12/13/17 @ 28:10 Hour 1).
Note (13)(a): The Thunder blowing the 3-1 lead to the Warriors that year had nothing to do with Donovan. It was Durant's fault.
(14) The OKC Thunder actually did win the WCF against the Warriors in 2017 when up 3-1.
Note (14)(a): This does not apply to Durant though.
Note (14)(b): The Thunder also beat whoever they would have played in the Finals. Durant still no ring.
(15) Whoever wins the 2019-2020 NBA Season Championship (Coronavirus year), did not win a Championship (5/14/2020; Google Podcast, Hour #1 @ 03:15)

# BASEBALL

Babe Ruth
(1) Babe Ruth is black.
(2) Babe Ruth never hit a baseball. Not once.
(3) Babe Ruth is the number two black baseball player of all time behind Barry Larkin.
(4) Babe Ruth is NOT a top 20 Baseball player of all time. He's a pitcher.
Note (4)(a): However This is somewhat confusing/interesting because:
(i) Stugotz has said "Babe Ruth is the number two black baseball player of all time behind Barry Larkin; and"
(ii) This MUST mean Stugotz can only have 1 black player in his top 20 Baseball players of all time Barry Larkin; because
(iii) The only way this can work logically is if in the list of greatest players #1 through #20, only Barry Larkin is on the latter top #1 through #20 list. I would like some clarification on if he wishes to change this take/record.
(5) Babe Ruth is also not a top 20 pitcher of all time.
Misc. Baseball
(1) Stugotz has declared that in his personal record book, Baseball no longer allows pitchers to hit (Stated on 05/03/2018 @ 12:38:52 P.M).
Note (1)(a): Excludes Bartolo Colon, and Shohei Ohtani.
Note (1)(b): You are either a pitcher or a hitter. Not both.
(2) If the Dodgers won the 2017 World Series Clayton Kershaw would not have had a ring.
(3) Wade Boggs DOES have a ring because he rode around on a horse with a beer afterward.
(4) Clayton Kershaw did not win an MVP award because the award for pitchers was already given, the CY Young award.
(5) Miami beat LSU in the 1996 College Baseball World Series.
(6) The 1986 NY Mets did not win the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
Note (6)(a): This "pains" Stugotz.
(7) The Red Sox retroactively winning the 1986 World Series may result in taking a ring away from the Mets.
Note (7)(a): Stugotz has to think about it though, he's not sure yet.
(8) Bryce Harper did not win the 2018 home run derby because he cheated.
(9) Kershaw's Earned Ring Average (ERA) is 0.00.
(10) Mike Minor (Rangers Pitcher) does not have 200 strikeouts in 2019. He's at 199 (National Hour 2, 10 mins 40 seconds in).
Note (10)(a): Chris agrees too. And who really cares (15% on poll do care).
(11) The 2020-2021 Mets, during the Coronavirus outbreak, are 0-3 and Jacob deGrom is somehow 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA and 1 complete game. The deGrominator. (Google Podcast 3/30 Hour #3 @ 19:20)

# HOCKEY

(1) Ray Bourque doesn't have a ring.
(2) Alex Ovechkin may or may not have won the Stanley Cup against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Note (2)(a): "I mean he beat an expansion team . . . bunch of players nobody wanted" (We get the sense that Dan agrees).

# TENNIS

(1) If anyone wins a major in Female Tennis without Serena Williams playing, it does not count and they have 0 rings.
(2) If Maria Sharapova wins a grand slam in which Serena isnt competing it doesnt count.

# GOLF

(1) If Jason Day wins the 2018 Masters, it counts as an American winning (as far as bets are concerned).
(2) Vijay Singh did not play in the 2018 Masters.

# SOCCER

(1) Lionel Messi is stripped of all his achievements for using HGH. He never played soccer. He is still 5'1". "Fraud."

# MISCELLANEOUS

(1) Aqua?
(2) Rings plus-minus is the only way to measure greatness.
(3) The HBO Andre the Giant film was good, not great, and Stugotz didn’t learn anything.
(4) Benoit Lecomte (guy they interviewed) can not and will not swim from San Francisco to Tokyo in the personal record book because he is most likely taking a dip for a few minutes then coming back on the boat and enjoying some filet mignon by the pool.
Note (4)(a): "Do it without a yacht. And how about ya do it without the little magnetic field around you that keeps sharks away. How bout that. Allows dolphins through though? Anyway.."
(5) Justify (the Horse) only has a double crown.
Note (5)(a): This is the first ever double crown.
(6) Tango and Cash is in the action movie Hall of Fame. and Cliffhanger has the greatest 5 minute intro of any movie of all time.
(7) Maximum Security (a Horse) won the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
(8) Fruit Stripes Gum is NOT a 1st Ballot Hall of Famer in Stu's "Gum Hall of Fame." (08/12/2019 | Hour 2 @ 15:25).
Note (8)(a): "It loses it's flavor so quickly"
Note (8)(b): Also, "[...] Bazooka...1st Ballot Hall of Famer." Also, "Big League Chew..1st Ballot."
(9) Chris Cote owns all intellectual property rights to the "Friends" (TV Show) Movie with a misleading preview that eventually has a climax leading to an intense murder mystery. (10/29/19 Hour #2 @ 03:15).
Note (9)(a): "If they make this without crediting Cote, they're stealing it."
(10) That guy killed the pigeon (12/10 Hour 3 @ 08:20).
(11) Billy owns the record for world's longest Plank (2/25, Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 30:55).
Note (11)(a): Possibly in just the Non-Marine edition.
(12) Zach Buchanan won a Pulitzer Prize for his story on the Madison Bumgarner / Mason Saunders rodeo fiasco (2/28/20 Hour #2; Google Podcasts @ 21:35).
(13) Findlay the Golden retriever holds the Stu Gotz Personal Record Book record for most tennis balls held in a mouth at one time by a dog at 6 (2/11/2020)
(14) Ace Davis (The kid who "proved" Tom Brady was cheating with science) and his fathefamily are heroes (4/1 Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 18:50).
(15) Dan did NOT do more push-ups than Domonique Foxworth (Dan did push-ups on a non-linear platform) (4/28/2020 Hour # 1).

# SPORTS MEDIA DREAM TEAM™

Sourced from Google Podcast; 05/06/2020, Hour 2 @ 09:00
(Head Coach) Ernie Johnson - "When you look over to the bench, what you need is someone to stand tall, someone who is confident, someone who is competent, someone who has all the credibility -soaked in credibility - when you have the Head Coach of the Sports Media Dream Team."
(1; Point Guard) Mike Greenberg - "Doesn't really want to answer the big questions, but has no problem distributing those questions to other people who are happy to answer them."
(2; Shooting Guard) Stephen A. Smith - "Never met a topic he doesn't like. Short memory, doesn't care, Greeny could throw him anything and Stephen A. is gonna run with it even if he knows nothing about the topic. That is how it works. Stephen A. is the greatest of all time."
(3; Small Forward) Chris Fowler - "A do it all guy. Studio show? Great. Play by Play? Even better. Can do everything."
(4; Small Forward Replacement) Maria Taylor) - "Need Play by Play, need Sideline, need Studio Host - she can do it all"
(5; Power Forward) Dianna Russini - "You need some crazy, some don't mess with us, someone to tear someone's head off in the event that they come after one of us."
(6; Power Forward Replacement) PFT Commenter - "He just comes in and acts crazy, throws his arms and hair around, and give ya 5 to 10 really crazy minutes."
(7; In honor of the Chicago Bulls, Stugotz needed a Wennington, a Purdue) Scott Van Pelt - Dan debated whether or not SVP should be on the Sports Media Dream Team™. That's what he's doing.
(8; Bench Player w/ No Position Specified) Doris Burke
(9) Teased.../I didn't finish listening to the show yet

##### Curse of Strahd: A Call of Cthulhu Rewrite: The Village of Barovia

So the poor Wallchian investigators have began their journey down the Old Svalich Road, which has led them to the tragic village of Barovia, Castle Ravenloft looming overhead in the distance. Barovia's great, but it needs a little bit of fleshing out for it to work in the context of a CoC campaign. If you make a lacklustre beginning, the investigation will flounder and the campaign could honestly collapse right away, therefore it's important to get the opening questions of the campaign out quickly and clearly. So let's get started.
STAT CHANGES
Intro Post
The Cthulhu Way
Backstory
The Investigators
The New Valley
Campaign Structure
Strahd's New Stats
Arc 1/2 Travel Encounters
Tser Pool
Old Bonegrinder
Vallaki NPCs
Vallaki First Impressions
Vallaki Arabelle

# The Lay of the Land

• A Reluctant Welcome
• If you used my wolf based intro from my arc 1/2 road encounters suggestions, the investigators should already be aware that Barovia is a land of great dangers. And if they chose to fight back, they might also need some medical attention. Either way, it'll be in their best interests to learn about their situation.
• Unfortunately, they'll find the villagers either apathetic or outright fearful. They've seen this before and don't want to get involved in Strahd's games. They certainly won't dare to discuss the giant castle on the mountain. The most they'll do is to mention that Ismark the Lesser can help and that he can be found at the Blood of the Vine Tavern.
• Hold on the Murder
• I would also like to say in this general section that there should be no physical dangers to the investigators that they can just stumble across while in the village, like the zombies or rat swarms. Like I said before, monsters should be special, and even guys low on the food chain like zombies should be saved for a memorable occasion instead of just being Monster Number X.
• In the case of the rats, instead of being actual attacking creatures, have a few ominously stare at the investigators if seen, working for Strahd and soon to report back to him.

# The Blood of the Vine Tavern

• Some Notes on Ismark
• Now I know it's a common recommendation to have Ismark as a player character when playing CoS. But for the rewrite, I really can't give the same recommendation. I think giving the players this inside information on Barovia while discovering what is actually up with Barovia would be a misstep.
• Now that means we have this almost superfluous NPC around that is ostensibly important, but in reality doesn't do much except give out the starting mission. The guy needs a purpose.
• The best thing we have going for NPC Ismark is that he is a direct link to Ireena. He makes for an excellent target for Strahd or another villain to use to manipulate her. Kidnapping him, mind control, or even straight up murdering the poor guy can change Ireena's relationship with Strahd, the investigators or whoever was involved. Ismark's a putty NPC. You mould him into what he needs to be for the campaign. And sometimes that means he's better off being left behind.
• I would like to note that Ismark makes for a good replacement investigator if someone bites the bullet. By that point, the players should know have learned the Barovia basics, and hopefully the players are attached enough to Ireena by that point that playing as a character that explicitly needs to care about her isn't too jarring.
• A Grand Opening
• The tavern is likely to the first real roleplaying exercise the investigators get involved with, and as it stands, it's... ok. It fills it's narrative purpose of getting the players the early exposition, and is likely to put them on the quest to kill Strahd. However, it lacks a certain dynamic flair to it that a campaign intro should have. If you're gonna deliver exposition, deliver it in style!
• When the investigators enter the tavern, play everyone as normal, with Ismark asking the players to sit down and hear his request. But the moment the investigators ask something along the lines of "Who is Strahd", things are going to get livelier, with the help of our Romani owners, Alenka, Mirabel and Sorvia. In the rewrite, they don't work for Strahd, but they ever so enjoy telling scary stories about him.
• The Romani sisters (the book never calls them sisters but sure, let's go with it) are going to stand up and begin the long process of what I call "Strahd Hype" where we build Strahd up as this impossible all-mighty monster. They'll tell stories like how Strahd killed a hundred men with his bare hands, that he hunts fair maidens in the woods for sport, that nobody who enters his castle without an invite returns, and of course, that he feasts on the blood of the living. He is the ancient. He is the land. Keep escalating the stories to a giant crescendo, the sisters switching seamlessly between each other. If you're a Keeper who is good with voices, this can be a lot of fun to play.
• Notably, don't use the word "vampire" in the stories. Let that information come to your players as you build it up. If they don't know what campaign they're playing yet, that realisation of "we're fighting a vampire" could be really cool.
• Once they're done, Ismark is going to snap at yell at them to shut up, clearly frightened by even the ghost stories about Strahd. He'll ask the investigators to walk with him and will then explain his plight to them on the way back to his home.

# The Burgomaster's House

• Some Notes on Ireena
• Everything I said about Ismark not being an investigator applies to Ireena a hundredfold. The mystery of Ireena Kolyana is one of the driving questions of the campaign, and to give her to a player creates this extra degree of closeness to the character that can detract from the mystery, even if no extra information is given. Additionally, with the mystery of Ireena being so central to the plot, Ireena's player is too likely to become the main character. Also, it makes kidnapping Ireena much less feasible and fun to do. Don't go making your toolbox smaller.
• Ireena's personality is always going to be very different in each campaign because she's such a blank slate, and that makes her a great canvas for the GM to paint their own style on. Play your Ireena however you feel is best, because frankly, whatever the GM feels is the right thing to do normally is because they're passionate about it. However, I'll give some thoughts of my own for an Ireena that are conducive to a CoC style campaign.
• My Ireena is what I would call curious and inquisitive. She asks questions. She doesn't always know how to find the answer, and sometimes she might even bite off more than she can chew, but if you want to emphasise a mystery the players have missed, use Ireena to light the spark. For example, she might pose the question of why Strahd targeted her when there are plenty of girls in the valley.
• Also, I think it's important to make Ireena funny. Not a comic relief character, but someone with a sense of humour. I've found that giving NPCs a few jokier traits can make them very endearing. Have her flip the bird at baddies as the gang runs away from them, or crack a joke when the players attempt to be formal and inevitably screw it up.
• I also like Ireena to have a slightly feisty side to her as well, which could endear her to the players more. Any situation in the early game where Ireena gets the chance to slap Strahd in the face should be considered at the very least.
• In the rewrite, Kolyan knew there was something up with Ireena before Strahd came to her, having visited the ruins of Berez in his youth and saw Marina's statue. Because of this, when Ireena grew up and started to resemble Marina, Kolyan became very fearful and tried to shelter her from the outside as much as possible. As a non-willing shut-in, Ireena became quite well read and often managed the administrative side of the town, hence her high Accounting skill.
• You'll notice in my stat block for Ireena that I gave her two slightly unusual skills: Bow (I had specifically crossbows in mind) and Art/Craft(Fiddle). Neither of these are skills Ireena knows of, but rather traits that Tatyana possessed that have unknowingly carried on through her reincarnations. Get Ireena to these skills at appropriate times only surprise the investigators and herself with her aptitude for them.
• I'll also note that Ireena has no blood relation to Izek now. She's Kolyan's daughter, born and raised. We'll get to Izek and his doll obsession eventually, but know that it has nothing to do with blood relations.
• The Lady of the Hour
• Ok, this one bugs me. For such an important character to the plot, Ireena's intro as written is terrible. She lacks what TV Tropes calls an Establishing Character Moment. How do the players meet what is almost unarguably the second most important character in the campaign for the first time? She... opens a door. Maybe without even talking to them at all if Ismark is there.
• Instead, Ireena's introduction needs to define her character to show that this woman is interesting. Maybe she's holding a crossbow behind the door, or made a Home Alone style booby trap, or hell, maybe she's skinning one of Strahd's wolves if she's some Ireena: Warrior Princess type character. Just make it interesting, so the players are interested in her.
• For my Ireena specifically, she isn't going to answer the door at all. Terrified, Ismark is going to break down the door and start shouting for her. After a bit of searching around the house, they'll find her furiously studying her father's books for information on vampire weaknesses. She's not going to let Strahd take her again without a fight. Ismark will try to admonish her, but she'll sass back in kind.
• A Mansion of Nothing?
• It astounds me that the Burgomaster's mansion in Barovia RAW doesn't actually contain anything of value other than Ireena herself. Especially when the use of an overprotective father who's too dead to explain anything can leave some great breadcrumbs.
• I would suggest that Kolyan's study contains the enough research on vampires that a successful Library Use roll can learn all the classical weaknesses of a vampire. Kolyan acquired these when he feared Strahd would come for Ireena. Ismark and Ireena can note that this information is so comprehensive that it's actually very suspicious.
• Additionally, I would allow for either an Accounting or Spot Hidden roll to find the following letter that Kolyan intended to send to Davain Martikov. Koyan obviously never got the chance to send it, but it hints at some dark truths.
• Ismark and Ireena can tell the investigators that the talk of wine probably makes "Davian" to be Davian Martikov, owner of the valley's winery, the Wizard of Wines. They can also say that Berez was a ruined village that was destroyed in a flood centuries ago. Of course, Ireena will be noticeably freaked out at the way that her father spoke of her in the letter.
Davian, my friend
You know of the ruins of Berez, yes? I must confess that in my youth, I uncovered secrets of how the village came to such devastation. Secrets I fully intended to take to my grave. But no! I fear that my own daughter had some role to play in its destruction. And yet I hear you ask "How can this be, when Ireena was born centuries after the end of Berez?" To this, I do not know, but I fear that my daughter is cursed. Cursed to some horrid fate. Or perhaps she is the curse herself? Oh, the fear! How it overwhelms me! And now the Devil himself comes for my daughter, for reasons I am oblivious to! I understand that Father Lucian of St Andral's Church in Vallaki has some knowledge of dark forces. Perhaps, the next time you send wine the way of our village, you could take us with you so that we may visit Vallaki with good company?

# The Church

• Meeting Donavich and the Funeral
• You can run these parts of the module almost completely as written, but there are a few things I would include to make it a little more interesting, as well as leading into the encounter with Doru a bit better.
• It should be immediately apparent that there's something off about Donavich. His voice is hoarse, he always looks like he's on the brink of tears, and he clearly hasn't slept well for a very long time. He'll be friendly, but there's just something not right.
• When it comes to the funeral, I would have it rain on every character outside except Ireena. Strahd's being as kind as he knows how to be, but the investigators (and the NPCs there as well) don't know why this is happening. It's weird enough to call for a Sanity roll (0/1).
• Donavich will attempt to say some kind words about the good life Kolyan Indirovich lived, and the legacy he left behind with his wonderful children. But the moment he gets to the word "children" he'll break down weeping. It is at this point that the first of Doru's screams should be heard.
• Doru and Consequences
• Before the investigators even go downstairs, have Ismark recommend against it, saying that some secrets in Barovia are better off left alone. He has suspicions about what's down there but doesn't want to pry. If the investigators insist, the unaware Ireena will back them up, looking for some adventure after so long being sheltered. Ismark will reluctantly agree.
• Try and have a conversation with Doru while he's still in the shadows. He should obviously be very temperamental, switching moods rapidly. He doesn't really want to hurt anyone, but he's too far gone to resist an easy target. If the investigators show signs of recent wounds, all bets are off, and he's coming for them.
• Doru's a wild dangerous animal, but even a wild animal knows to flee when outmatched. If he takes half his HP in damage, or if just clearly outnumbered without an easy target, he's gonna go for the exit. I actually prefer this approach. Doru can get out of the church and head into the village, starting a feeding frenzy that can target some of the NPCs the players have already met. It can become a fun cat and mouse monster hunt, where you're never really sure who's the cat and who's the mouse.
• If you're feeling really mean, do what you can do get Ismark killed by Doru. It lends a nice little bit or moral ambiguity on some guilt for the players and Ireena. It was partially Strahd's fault for turning Doru into a vampire, partially the investigators' fault for insisting on going down there, and partially Ireena's fault for backing their play. It also leaves Ireena with nobody left to really turn to except the players, who again, helped get her brother killed.
• If Doru is undisturbed, it's your prerogative on whether he escapes or not at some point. If you ever want an exciting reason to return to Barovia Village, an escaped vampire hiding in the midst of the village could be a fun sidetrack from the main plot. In this case though, don't punish the investigators for leaving down there. Just punish them if they say no after Ismark requests help and gets killed without proper assistance!

# Other Changes

You'll see over the course of the rewrite that I really don't like outright removing features of the campaign. It's a lazy way of adapting the campaign to a different system for stuff that doesn't work. I will have to sometimes significantly alter certain things to fit the campaign flow better. And sadly, there will have to be a few times where stuff just has to go. But for now, I've managed to keep the important parts of Barovia Village mostly intact.
• Where's Death House?
• So it should be clear by now that I'm not including Death House in the village of Barovia. It's a classic of the campaign, yes, but it has some major issues when considering it for a tighter story. Mainly the fact that it's only tangentially related to the actual goings on in the campaign. I also really dislike that the literal first thing done in the campaign doesn't set up the main plot in any tangible way. It's not a prologue, it's just another thing in Barovia.
• Don't worry though! Death House is too ingrained in what CoS is for me to just take it out (and if I'm honest I'm really looking forward to giving it the CoC treatment). Instead, I've moved it to Vallaki, where it has a tie to Fiona and Stella Wachter, the Tome of Strahd, and Nyarlathotep himself. It's coming, just later.
• The March of the Dead
• The March is a classic part of the old Ravenloft module, and quite frankly, really cool set dressing. However, this overt supernatural display doesn't really fit Call of Cthulhu. Ghosts aren't as special as the system wants them to be if we just have 100 of the things walking every night.
• Instead, reserve the March of the Dead specifically for insane investigators. They are the only one to see it. And if they succeed on their Reality check, they'll realise that what they are seeing is in fact very real, losing (0/1d10) Sanity Points.
• As a side note, this means that when Donavich brings it up to the players, it'll seem like he's completely off his rocker until someone else sees the dead later on.
• Ok, so Mad Mary is an interesting case to me. Her role made sense in the original Ravenloft module when the players went straight to the castle from the village. But now, it could be much later in the campaign until players go to the castle and rescue Gertruda, producing cries of "Who?" since it's been long since she's been relevant to the campaign.
• Instead, I've de-aged Gertruda to being about 9, and instead of Strahd, the Hags of Old Bonegrinder took her. They offered Mary a pie, and while she was spaced out, they snatched the delicious looking Gertruda. When Mary came to, she could barely remember what happened and will burst out of her door in hysterics, pleading for help to find her "vanished" daughter.
• The investigators might be able to get some information out of Mary with some good social skill rolls, but any real evidence can only be found by going into her home and succeeding in a Spot Hidden roll, which identifies a small bone in the pastry dish on Mary's table.

# Conclusion

• Rewards
• Plus 1d6 Sanity and Status for killing Doru
• Minus 1 Sanity and Status for every NPC Doru kills (up to 5)
And there we go, the village of Barovia, Cthulhufied! It's good to finally get to real areas of the campaign. Next time, I'll be tackling Tser Pool, the Fortunes of Ravenloft, and one of my favourite characters in the rewrite Madame Eva/Nyarlathotep. See ya next time!

##### 2/24/20 - NBA Power Rankings

ESPN - 14
Rookie of the Year front-runner Ja Morant and the Grizzlies stumbled out of the gate after the All-Star break, dropping both ends of a road back-to-back against the Kings and Lakers to fall to .500. Morant had more turnovers than assists in both losses, something he had done only three times all season. He also had a negative plus-minus in consecutive games for the first time since late January, and his minus-25 against the Kings matched Morant's worst plus-minus since his NBA debut. -- MacMahon
CBS Sports - 15
The Grizzlies lost to the Kings and Lakers this week, and things go worse when they learned Jaren Jackson Jr. will be out at least two weeks with a left knee sprain. Memphis has the toughest remaining schedule in the NBA based on opponents' winning percentage, so hanging onto that No. 8 seed out West might be a difficult task.
Yahoo Sports - 14
Memphis has a three-game lead over the rest of the pack for the eighth seed in the Western Conference; however, they will have to fight to hold onto that final playoff spot. According to NBA.com, the Grizz have the NBA's toughest post-ASB schedule, both regarding opponent strength (cumulative opponent winning percentage of .554) and amount of road games (16 of their final 28 games are on the road). In addition, Jaren Jackson Jr. will be sidelined for at least two weeks due to a sprained knee.
Sports Illustrated - 14
Get well Jaren Jackson Jr., and let’s hope the emerging forward can be back for a first-round series against Anthony Davis and the Lakers. JJJ has been fantastic in his second season, banging home 40% of threes while averaging 16.9 points per game. Jackson projects to be an ideal modern five alongside Ja Morant. The Grizzlies have a real shot at becoming a Western Conference power after hitting the jackpot in back-to-back lotteries.
Bleacher Report - 14
Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and the Grizzlies currently sit in eighth place in the West, but FiveThirtyEight gives them just a 7 percent chance to hang onto that spot. Given their youth and the fact that they have the league's most difficult remaining schedule, it's not hard to understand the math's skepticism.
But this group has already made a habit of exceeding expectations. Memphis' preseason oveunder was set at 25.5, a mark the Grizzlies have already beaten.
Hoops Habit - 19
The Memphis Grizzlies quickly slid back to .500 after the All-Star break, losing both ends of a road back-to-back at Sacramento and in Los Angeles to the Lakers. The Grizzlies remain 3½ games clear of both the Trail Blazers and Spurs for eighth place in the Western Conference and have two more games on their four-game road sojourn before returning home to host the Kings and Lakers.
Adding injury to insult, second-year big man Jaren Jackson Jr. left Friday’s loss to the Lakers before halftime with a sore left knee and did not return. He is Memphis’ second-leading scorer this season at 16.9 points per game.
Backup point guard Tyus Jones scored 24 points with 11 assists and four rebounds in 36 minutes over the two games, hitting 9-of-16 from the floor and 2-of-3 from long range. Jones, in his first season with the Grizzlies, is averaging a career-high 7.1 points with 4.5 assists in 18.8 minutes per game, shooting 47.4 percent overall and 39.6 percent on 1.6 3-point tries a night.

Don't know this Hoops Habit site, but added it since it popped up in my search and they have us so much lower than every other publication.

##### [February 2020 Edition] Stugotz Personal Record Book.

Time Stamps may not be exact based on what podcast app or service you use. But they'll be close.

# Football

(1) UCF is the 2017-2018 national champion.
(2) If Kirk Cousins goes to the Jaguars and not the Jets, no championship he wins will count in the personal record book (Still pending sort of since Kirk is with the Vikings now – possible in future he could go to Jags).
(3) Eli manning has 1 ring. He doesnt get one for throwing a ball into David Tyree's face / Tyree getting a football stuck in his helmet.
(4) Carson Wentz has a SB 52 ring. Foles doesnt.
(5) The Raiders defeated the Patriots in their divisional playoff matchup in 2002 (Tuck Rule game), then would defeat the Rams in Super Bowl 36. In this scenario also, Bill Belichick was also "fired and looking for a job" after the Tuck Rule game and has 0 rings.
(6) If the 2017 Patriots won Super Bowl 52, James Harrison would not have a ring (Patriots lost to Eagles).
(7) Peyton Manning has one ring (Broncos ring does not count).
(8) Peyton Manning must give such ring he lost (above) to Von Miller, who thus has 2 rings.
(9) Aaron Rodgers can have all the rings he wants for keeping all of central Wisconsin employed.
(10) Brian Billick has 0 rings (2000 Ravens SB) because that defense carried him.
(11) Tony Boselli is a Hall of Famer.
(12) Tarik Cohen is an honorary Jew.
(13) JuJu Smith-Schuster is also an honorary Jew. L'Chaim.
(14) Drew brees has three rings for winning the super bowl for the city if new orleans (there was discussion on this where the number started at three, went up to five, came down to two, but iirc it ended up at three)
(15) Mike McCarthy has no Super Bowl rings. Dan also has this in his record book. In fact, McCarthy has -3 (negative three) rings.
(16) Any Super Bowl rings Antonio Brown gets with the Patriots will not count in the Stugotz personal record book. 9/9 Weekend Observations National Hour 2.
(17) Ohio States 76 to 5 victory over Miami (OH) on 9/21/19 does not count.

Kevin Durant
(1) If Westbrook wins a championship and beats Kevin Durant along the way in the playoffs, Westbrook will have won 2 championship rings.
(2) Kevin Durant has -1 rings (negative 1 rings). As of 4/11/18 Durant has -4 Rings. Here is a tweet transcript of the conversation where this was discovered. https://twitter.com/AndFinallyDLB/status/984180896927543297
(3) If Kevin Durant wins an NBA title for the NY Knicks, he will gain 11 rings. However, as seen above, Durant has -4 rings and if he were to remain at -4, then win for the Knicks, he will have 7 rings total. This number is subject to change based on Stugotz altering the "-4" current total as seen recently when Stugotz adjusted the number from 0 rings to -1 rings to -4 rings. Another interesting note is that Stugotz has also said, If the Warriors won a championship playing 3 on 5 Kevin Durant would have 1 ring. I am unsure if this means he would gain +1 ring, and therefore be down to -3 rings total, or whether it means if they win a championship 3 on 5, he would be at (positive)+1 rings total.
(4) Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3 did not count, because according to Stugotz none of Durant's stats count. KD's official statline last night was 0/0/0 and the Cavs blew the Warriors out by 40.
(5) Anything Kevin Durant has done with the Warriors is not n Stugotz' personal record scroll. (Stugotz did not take his feathered pen and write anything in his scroll (King Roy approves)).
(6) Westbrook had ALL of KD's rings.
(7) For every time KD says he doesn't give a BLEEP, Stugotz adds 2 "I do give a BLEEPS" in the personal record book.
(8) Per Dan, speaking on Stugotz' behalf, KD has no Olympic Gold Medals (9/18/19 National Hour 1 @ 00:07:50).
Michael Jordan
(1) Jordan has 9 rings since (a) the Rockets have to give their 2 rings from 1994 and 1995 to Jordan, and (b) the Bulls would have won the 1999 Finals over the Spurs if Jordan didn't retire.
(2) Michael Jordan was suspended for 2 years for gambling (Said 4/25/18 Hour 2, 14:30 in podcast). But MJ still has 9 rings as see above.
(3) Any game Michael Jordan played wearing the uniform #45 does not count.
LeBron James
(1) If LeBron James goes to the GSW, every championship he wins will result in a deduction of 2 previously won championships.
(2) The Miami Heat LeBron teams were the GREATEST teams in the history of sports (5/7/18 Local Hour).
(3) The Miami Heat LeBron teams were also the MOST INTERESTING teams in the history of sports.
(4) If, after the 2018 NBA Playoffs, (1) LeBron does not make it to the finals and the Celtics do, & (2) The Houston Rockets do not make it to the finals and the Warriors do, & (3) then LeBron goes to the Houston Rockets for the next season, LeBron is allowed to win rings that count in Stu's personal record book. HOWEVER Harden & Chris Paul, if they remain on the Rockets with LeBron on the team, are not allowed to have any of the rings won with LeBron count in Stu's personal record book. To quote the big man Stu (with Dan agreeing of course), "Do it on your own” (Dan agrees here).
(5) If LeBron wins an NBA Championship with the 2018 Lakers roster (as of 7/23/18) then that wins counts for 6 rings. Thus LeBron has 9 rings.
Kyrie Irving
(1) Kyrie Irving hit one of the biggest shots in NBA Finals History, but was only in that position because of LeBron James. Kyrie Irving, did hit one of the biggest shots in NBA Finals history that won everyone on that team a Ring, except for you (Kyrie). (3/9/20 Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 07:00). Note: "A little revision to the uhhh Stugotz Personal Record Book that I'll come around to writing...or Mike will." I'M WRITING IT YOU IDIOT MORON JACKAL!!!
(1) The Houston Rockets have 0 (none) NBA Championship victories. See a previous bullet, because Michael Jordan actually is in possession of those rings since Jordan would have won those championships if he stayed (1994 and 1995 did not count for Houston). BUT WAIT - CONFLICTING HOT TAKES AHEAD Stugotz has also said Jordan didn't get the Rockets' rings because he was actually suspended for gambling. NEEDS CLARIFICATION PLEASE.
(2) Steve Kerr has no rings as a coach. In fact, he has never even coached a game.
(3) Mychal Thompson (Klay's dad) has no rings. (Said on Zach Harper podcast).
(4) Clyde Drexler no rings (Said on Zach Harper podcast).
(5) Giannis Antetekoumpo is pronounced Yani Adababoombo.
(6) As long as James Harden has his beard, he cannot win any championships. If the Rockets win a ring, then the ring goes to the beard.
(7) Lamarcus Aldridge cost the Spurs game 2 of the 2017 Western Conference Semifinals, even though they won.
(8) If the Sixers happen to win a championship, Sam Hinkie gets a ring.
(9) Chris Paul has NOT made Western Conference Final since he had to join the Rockets to do so.
(10) Michael Jordan winning the NBA Finals in 1999 also means that Tim Duncan only has four rings instead of 5 rings.
(11) The Warriors only have 1 ring (Durant still has none/negative)
(12) Boogie Cousins cannot win a NBA Championship and have it count if he does so with the Warriors.
(13) Billy Donovan was the NBA Coach of the Year in 2017 (12/13/17 @ 28:10 Hour 1). The Thunder Blowing the 3-1 lead to the Warriors that year had nothing to do with Donovan. It was Durant's fault.
(14) The OKC Thunder actually did win the WCF against the Warriors in 2017 when up 3-1. This does not apply to Durant though. The Thunder also beat whoever they would have played in the Finals. Durant still no ring.

# Baseball

Babe Ruth
(1) Babe Ruth is black.
(2) Babe Ruth never hit a baseball. Not once.
(3) Babe Ruth is the number two black baseball player of all time behind Barry Larkin.
(4) Babe Ruth is NOT a top 20 Baseball player of all time. He's a pitcher. However This is somewhat confusing/interesting Because: Stugotz has said "Babe Ruth is the number two black baseball player of all time behind Barry Larkin." This MUST mean Stugotz can only have 1 black player in his top 20 Baseball players of all time Barry Larkin. The only way it can work logically is if in the list of greatest players #1 through #20, only Barry Larkin is on the latter 1 through 20 list. I would like some clarification on if he wishes to change this take/record.
(5) Babe Ruth is also not a top 20 pitcher of all time.
Misc. Baseball
(1) (Stated on 05/03/2018 @ 12:38:52 P.M) Stugotz has declared that in his personal record book, Baseball no longer allows pitchers to hit (Excluding Bartolo Colon, and Shohei Ohtani). You are either a pitcher or a hitter. Not both.
(2) If the Dodgers won the 2017 World Series Clayton Kershaw would not have had a ring.
(3) Wade Boggs DOES have a ring because he rode around on a horse with beer afterward.
(4) Clayton Kershaw did not win an MVP award because the award for pitchers was already given, the CY Young award.
(5) Miami beat LSU in the 1996 College Baseball World Series .
(6) The 1986 NY Mets did not win the World Series against the Boston Redsocks (this pains Stugotz).
(7) The Red Sox may have won the 1986 World Series, taking a ring away from the Mets. Stugotz has to think about it though, he's not sure yet.
(8) Bryce Harper did not win the 2018 home run derby because he cheated.
(9) Kershaw's Earned Ring Average (ERA) is 0.00
(10) Mike Minor (Rangers Pitcher) does not have 200 strikeouts in 2019. He's at 199 (National Hour 2, 10 mins 40 seconds in). Chris agrees too. And who really cares (15% on poll do care).

# Hockey

(1) Ray Bourque doesn't have a ring.
(2) Alex Ovechkin may or may not have won the Stanley Cup against the Vegas Golden Knights. "I mean he beat an expansion team . . . bunch of players nobody wanted" (We get the sense that Dan agrees).

# Tennis

(1) If anyone wins a major in Female Tennis without Serena Williams playing, it does not count and they have 0 rings.
(2) If Maria Sharapova wins a grand slam in which Serena isnt competing it doesnt count.

# Golf

(1) If Jason Day wins the 2018 Masters, it counts as an American winning (as far as bets are concerned).
(2) Vijay Singh did not play in the 2018 Masters.

# Soccer

(1)Lionel Messi is stripped of all his achievements for using HGH. He never played soccer. He is still 5'1". "Fraud."

# Miscellaneous

(1) Aqua?
(2) Rings plus-minus is the only way to measure greatness.
(3) The HBO Andre the Giant film was good, not great and Stugotz didn’t learn anything.
(4) Benoit Lecomte (guy they interviewed) can not and will not swim from San Francisco to Tokyo in the personal record book because he is most likely taking a dip for a few minutes then coming back on the boat and enjoying some filet mignon by the pool. "Do it without a yacht. And how about ya do it without the little magnetic field around you that keeps sharks away. How bout that. Allows dolphins through though? Anyway.."
(5) Justify (the horse) only has a double crown. This is the first ever double crown.
(6) Tango and Cash is in the action movie hall of fame and Cliffhanger is the greatest 5 minute intro of any movie of all time.
(7) Maximum Security (a horse) won the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
(8) Fruit Stripes Gum is NOT a 1st Ballot Hall of Famer in Stu's 'Gum Hall of Fame' because "it loses it's flavor so quickly" (08/12/2019 | Hour 2 @ 15:25). Also, "[...] Bazooka...1st Ballot Hall of Famer." Also, "Big League Chew..1st Ballot."
(9) Chris Cote owns all intellectual property rights to the "Friends" (TV Show) Movie with a misleading preview that eventually has a climax leading to an intense murder mystery. (10/29/19 Hour #2 @ 03:15). If they make this without crediting Cote, they're stealing it.
(10) That guy killed the pigeon (12/10 Hour 3 @ 08:20).
(11) Billy owns the record for world's longest Plank (2/25, Hour #3; Google Podcast @ 30:55) (Possibly in just the Non-Marine edition).
(12) Zach Buchanan won a Pulitzer Prize for his story on the Madison Bumgarner / Mason Saunders rodeo story (2/28/20 Hour #2; Google Podcasts @ 21:35).

##### WORK In prog

On our MTV Challenge Accepted podcast (link in bold) we have a segment where we discuss this question. Whose stock went up? Whose stock went down? Here were our winners and losers this week.
###### STOCK UP
[OC] Which awards are locked in? Which are still up for debate? a glance through the odds and campaigns in each category
It feels like it's been 5 years since we've seen actual NBA basketball, which may make awards debates and campaigns more difficult. Wait, who was playing well again...? Dennis Schroder? Seriously? Huh. Okay then.
As we soldier back into the bubble, there's a risk that awards voters will forget about that early part of the season (aka the vast majority) and fall victim to recency bias. Given that, we wanted to glance through the major races and determine which -- if any -- awards may still be in debate.
For this exercise, I'm using the current odds as listed by an online betting site (bovada). Note: the percentages do NOT add up to 100% because online betting sites like your money.
MVP
Giannis Antetokounmpo: - 3500 (97%)
LeBron James: +600 (14%)
is the race over?
This betting site heavily favors Giannis Antetokounmpo, although some other metrics have it closer than that. Basketball-reference's MVP tracker lists Giannis at 50.7% and LeBron at 17.3%.
I'm more inclined to believe the latter and that LeBron James would be closer to 15-20% odds. No doubt, Giannis is a worthy MVP. He's been a dominant force (again) for the top statistical team in the league (again.) He's racking up 30-14-6 in only 30.9 minutes per game. In most circumstances, he'd win this award in a walk.
That said, you can never discount "narrative," and LeBron James has a few of those going for him. The Lakers have vaulted up to the # 1 seed in the West, outperforming preseason expectations. James has played exceptionally well, and even led the league in assists. Partly because of that, James' camp has successfully gotten the media to buy into the storyline that he made a sudden transition to point guard (ya know, because he had always deferred to his point guards like Mo Williams and Mario Chalmers in the past...)
More than that, James may benefit from this strange corona-bubble. He's been a leading advocate for continuing on, and as always, players tend to follow his lead. I can see more than a few media members giving James an MVP vote for "saving the season." All in all, I expect this vote to be closer than it should be (and I expect poor James Harden to finish well behind where he should as well.)
So James will get some votes, but can he actually win the award? I wouldn't rule it out. The Lakers are currently 3 games behind the Bucks for the # 1 overall seed. It's hard to imagine Milwaukee losing enough to slip, but it's not Wallace Shawn inconceivable either. If the Lakers somehow manage to catch them, then I actually think LeBron will win MVP. Of course, it's more likely the Bucks will hang onto the # 1 seed, and Giannis will hang onto MVP. But again, I don't think it's a stone cold lock -- yet.
Rookie of the Year
Ja Morant: - 3500 (97%)
Zion Williamson: +850 (11%)
is the race over?
It should be. Zion Williamson is freakin' amazing, but he's played 19 games so far. That's 40 less than Ja Morant, who has played stellar ball for a rookie from a small school, and somehow led the Memphis Grizzlies to the 8th seed.
Still, we can't rule out the risk of recency bias and a wild overreaction from the media. Williamson has a chance to lead the Pelicans up to the 9th spot, at which point they'd play Morant's Grizzlies. If Williamson can lead New Orleans to two victories over Memphis in a row -- and thus leapfrog them in the standings -- then it's very feasible the media would throw their vote his way. The media (and the league as a whole) tends to like this Zion fella, if you haven't noticed.
Sixth Man
Dennis Schroder: - 220 (69%)
Montrezl Harrell: +190 (34%)
Lou Williams: +450 (18%)
Derrick Rose: +3000 (3%)
is the race over?
Simply put: no. It's still a three-man race in my book. The Clippers' Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell finished 1-2 last season, and are right back in the thick of things this year. Among the two, it's harder to justify Williams' winning for the third season in a row. He hasn't played as well as last year, and hasn't been as big of a focal point for the Clippers' game plan. He hasn't looked as engaged this season, and even debated missing the bubble.
With Sweet Lou taking a slight step back, it's opened the door for Dennis Schroder. He's having a career season in terms of efficiency. In fact, it's hard to understate his jump this year. In his six previous season, his career high TS% was only 53.3%. This season? He's vaulted up to 57.3%. The question is: have enough voters noticed? OKC has been a feel-good story this year, but Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tend to get the most credit for that.
Overall, I wouldn't be surprised if voters get lazy and just fall back on the highest scorer among the three. And even by those standards, the race is wide open. Schroder is at 19.0 PPG, Williams is at 18.7 PPG, and Harrell is at 18.6 PPG. A strong (or bad) week or two in the bubble may tilt this race in any direction.
Defensive Player of the Year
Giannis Antetokounmpo: -500 (83%)
Anthony Davis: +200 (33%)
Rudy Gobert: +2800 (3%)
is the race over?
Even among savvy and analytically-inclined media members, "defense" is still something of a mystery to quantify. We see a lot of herd mentality emerge for DPOY voting, with candidates needing to stake their claim early on and campaign all season long.
In terms of storylines and narratives, it felt like Anthony Davis had the early momentum. He's a wrecking ball (1.5 steals, 2.4 blocks) who helped improve the Lakers' defense from # 12 to # 3 this season. Still, Giannis Antetokounmpo has steadily built his case for a double MVP + DPOY, and currently ranks as the betting favorite on this site.
Personally, I believe it's a closer race than these numbers suggest. At the same time, I'm not sure what their play in the bubble is going to do about it. More likely, it'll be an influential media piece (like Zach Lowe pushing for Marc Gasol) that may get voters ushering on one side or another.
Most Improved
Brandon Ingram: +250 (29%)
Luke Doncic: +500 (17%)
Jayson Tatum: +900 (10%)
Devonte Graham: +1000 (9%)
is the race over?
Again, this race feels "too close to call" to me. John King and David Chalian may be tallying up the counties all night long.
Earlier this season, I looked back at previous Most Improved winners and tried to find some common threads. On average, the winner improved from 11.7 PPG to 19.6 PPG (roughly +8 points.)
Historically speaking, Brandon Ingram and Jayson Tatum fit close to those templates. Ingram has swelled from 18.3 PPG to 24.3 PPG in his first season in New Orleans (+6). Tatum has made an even bigger leap, going from 15.7 PPG to 23.6 PPG (essentially our exact +8). Of the two, I may lean more to Ingram myself. Tatum's taking more shots and more threes, but he was already considered a proven star prior to this. Ingram had been more of a question mark before, but has now established himself as a potential max player. The key for him has been an improved FT%. In his first three seasons, he shot 62%, 68%, and 68% from the line. This year, he's up to 86%. That's major progress, and represents a massive difference in his efficiency "floor." Still, you wonder if Ingram's momentum peaked too early. Ever since Zion Williamson came back, it feels like Ingram has been an afterthought in the media.
Conversely, Bam Adebayo's reputation within the media is still surging. He's been a major reason for the Miami Heat's success this year, nearly doubling from 8.9 PPG to 16.2 PPG (+7.3 overall.) He's also doubled his assists (from 2.2 to 5.1). If you wanted to nitpick Adebayo's candidacy, you may suggest he was pretty darn good already. A lot of the statistical upswing comes from an increase in minutes, from 23.3 to 34.4 this year.
Overall, I'd say Abebayo is the favorite, but I wouldn't lock it in yet. A player like Brandon Ingram could get hot and have a few 40 point games, at which point the momentum may swing back in his favor.
When anthropology professors
99 cent store free agents: Point Guards
The NBA offseason is always filled with exciting storylines like star free agents and blockbuster trades.
But rather than dwell on the obvious, this series intends to do the opposite: focus on the lower-profile free agents who may have some value to teams. No NBA player is actually "99 Cents," of course, but these are all players who may be bargains based on their perceived market.
This "99 Cent Store" series has been open for business for the last two offseasons. In the past, we've highlighted names like Fred VanVleet (pre breakout), Christian Wood, and Davis Bertans. Not all of the items turn out to be gems (is Nerlens Noel still not a DPOY candidate yet?), but the returns have been largely positive so far. Let's see if we can keep that momentum going this season.
###### 99 cent store
Langston Galloway, Detroit Pistons, UFA, 28 years old
In last year's 99 Cent Store, we hyped up Seth Curry (Steph's brother) as a possible value free agent. Seth didn't have the size and skill set of a traditional point guard, but the NBA isn't always craving traditional point guards these days. A lot of star SGs, SFs, PFs, and even Cs have the ball in their hands, so teams need to fill the court with a supporting cast that can complement them and provide spacing. Effectively an undersized SG, Seth's excellent shooting appeared to be a perfect complement to a ball-dominant superstar. Seth ended up going to Dallas on a moderate contract, and had a strong season for them in that role.
For those same reasons, we'd recommend Langston Galloway as a potential bargain add. We're not going to suggest that Galloway is as good as Seth Curry as a player or as a shooter, but his skill set is related. He's not Steph Curry -- he's not Seth Curry -- he's on the opposite side of the family tree. He's like the random third cousin who shows up at the barbecue and hogs all the mac n' cheese. Still, if he got the address, then he must have some relation to the family we know and love.
Galloway would share some DNA in the sense that he's also a "point guard" who's more of an undersized shooting guard by nature. He doesn't have the ball skills or playmaking to run an offense. At all. However, he can be effective if operating as a 3+D guard. Players like Patrick Beverly and George Hill are the premium prototypes of that skill set, and Galloway is the 99 Cent store generic brand. He's an above-average as a shooter (36.7% from three for his career), and above-average as a defender, where his 6'8" wingspan helps his cause. And while it feels like Galloway has been around forever, he's still only 28 years old. He probably has 2-3 years left of usefulness in his role. There may be 1 or 2 teams that would start Langston Galloway (in a limited role), but almost every team could use him as part of the rotation.
possible fits
HOU. Russell Westbrook and James Harden are ball dominant and salary-cap dominant players, making depth a constant struggle for the team. Backup PG Austin Rivers can probably get more money than he's due on his player option (\$2.4M) even in a COVID-market, possibly creating another hole. Galloway would make sense as a replacement here, seeing as how he'd be able to play in a lineup with either Westbrook or Harden.
LAL. Avery Bradley may be skipping the playoffs, but there's still a chance the Lakers can win the title with some combination of Alex Caruso and Rajon Rondo at PG anyway. But what happens if it doesn't work out? What happens if Bradley and Rondo (both of whom have player options) get shuffled out? In that case, Galloway and Caruso could tag-team and provide a decent and low-cost 3+D guard spot for next year.
MIN. The Timberwolves tried the "no PG offense" for a majority of the season, and it didn't work out so hot. Now, they'll be handing the reins over to D'Angelo Russell full time. Galloway could be a nice backup for Russell; the two would have enough size to play some minutes alongside each other as well. You have to figure Gersson Rosas will prioritize shooters like Galloway as well. The team wants to play MoreyBall (top 3 in 3PA), but doesn't have the personnel yet to pull it off (bottom 3 in 3P%).
Yogi Ferrell, Sacramento Kings, UFA, 27 years old
He may be fairly anonymous now, but there was a time when the name "Yogi Ferrell" was a big deal in college basketball. The bluechip recruit immediately stepped into the starting lineup for Tom Crean's Indiana Hoosiers, helping to lead the team to a # 1 seed that first year on campus. But then a funny thing happened: the college star actually stayed in college. Ferrell would go on to play all 4 years (starting 137 of 137 games) for Indiana.
Through it, Ferrell developed the negative narrative that he was a "college player." Only 6'0" with average length and athleticism, he didn't have the look of a future pro. The NBA dismissed him, leading him to get undrafted. He's hung around since then, but his buzz has dwindled and dwindled. He played this past season as Sacramento's 3rd PG, only logging 11 minutes per game. Maybe they were right -- maybe he was never cut out for the NBA.
Then again... are we sure about that? Ferrell may not be the prototype, but he still has some virtues. Among those strengths: "basketball." He's a savvy, steady field general who has an above-average shot. He's hit 36.5% from three and 83.8% from the line over the course of his NBA career. He's not going to carry the load (14-4-4 per 36 minutes), but he's not going to rock the boat either. In fact, he only averages 1.5 turnovers per 36.
The concern with a player like Ferrell would be his limited size and athleticism, a combo that tends to translate into awful defense. But again, we haven't seen much evidence of that. Effort and basketball IQ can help overcome athletic weaknesses, and that appears to be the case with Ferrell. Limitations and all, Ferrell has registered only a -0.2 defensive box plus/minus.
Overall, this profile doesn't suggest any huge upside or any hidden "star" potential. But at the end of the day, this store isn't about star potential -- it's about value. Ferrell is a high-end third PG who can potentially be a true # 2. He'd make sense on a team like Orlando as a potential replacement for their own steady eddie backup D.J. Augustin (also a free agent.)
###### clearance rack
Gary Payton II, Washington Wizards, UFA, 27 years old
On paper, you may wonder why Gary Payton II wasn't a bigger deal entering the NBA Draft. After all, we're talking about the son of an NBA superstar who had been productive in college. In his last season at Oregon State, he averaged 16.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 2.5 steals (!) How the heck did someone with that pedigree go undrafted?
Unfortunately for Payton, two factors worked against him. For one, he was a poor shooter. Second, he was "over-aged." After spending some time in community college with Jeff Winger and Dean Pelton, Payton would be a 24-year-old rookie, a major knock against him and his perceived upside. That criticism may have proven apt; Payton has not improved as much as a young pup may have. His three-point shooting has sagged around 25-30%, a major problem in today's NBA. In general, he's a below-average offensive player, averaging just 10-6-4 per 36 minutes.
That said, Payton does have some virtues on the other end. He's not quite "The Glove" (basketball-reference even dubs his official nickname "The Mitten"), but he's definitely a good defender. He's 6'3" with a 6'8" wingspan, and has proven to have sticky hands himself. After averaging 2.8 steals over two years at OSU, he's at 2.2 per 36 in the NBA. He makes some sense when paired together with a ball-dominant SG like a James Harden or Devin Booker or Bradley Beal. No, we're not talking about as a starter, or even as a lead backup, but as a 3rd PG who can add a different skill set to a bench. In that context, he's worth a roster spot. Is a 13th man not worth reading about to you? Well then, get the F out of our store, ya snob! This is what the 99 Cent Store is all about.
###### featured item
E'Twaun Moore, New Orleans Pelicans, UFA, 31 years old
Collectively, NBA fans scratched their heads in confusion when the New Orleans Pelicans doled out \$8.5M a year for anonymous E'Twaun Moore. After all, this was an unheralded a player, a R2 draft pick, a player who hadn't cracked 10 PPG in any of his first six seasons in the league. For all we knew, he was an NBA2k generated player.
Three years later, the contract doesn't look much better. Moore got buried this past season in a crowded Pelicans lineup, averaging only 18.8 minutes per game. He doesn't appear to be a part of the franchise's future plans at all. Moore will be tossed out into the darkness, left with no home, and perhaps no chance of matching that \$8M salary ever again.
However, we have to be mindful as NBA fans not to lump in an "overpaid" player as a synonym for a "bad" player. Someone like Tobias Harris may not be worth his salary, but he's still a good starter. On a lower level, E'Twaun Moore may be the same way. Perhaps he's not worth \$8-10M a year, but he's actually a solid addition to a rotation (even if the Pelicans squeezed him out.)
Moore's primary virtue is as a 3+D wing. At first glance he's not big enough for that role at 6'4", but he's aided by a pelican-like wingspan that stretches to near 6'10". He's not a great defender (now at age 31), but he's passable at both the SG and SF spots. Offensively, he'll help you as a spacer. He's hit on 39.0% of his threes for his career, and had actually gotten up to 42% and 43% the prior two seasons before he lost some rhythm this season.
That combination of skills makes Moore a good rotation player, and perhaps even a low-end starter on the right team. I wouldn't expect him to get "overpaid" again, but that's precisely what earns him a place in our store. He's a potential bargain buy right now.
possible fits
BKN. SG Joe Harris is an excellent shooter, but he's also a free agent. Will the Nets pony up to keep him around? Or will he be jettisoned like others from the pre KD-Kyrie era? If he is, then E'Twaun Moore makes sense as a cheap replacement.
MIL. The shooting guard spot is the biggest question mark for the Bucks, and this offseason may add to the murkiness if Wes Matthews (player option) or Pat Connaughton (UFA) leave town. E'Twaun Moore would be a sensible filler, and platoon with Donte DiVincenzo.
SA. Do Gregg Popovich and the Spurs want to contend for the playoffs in 2020-21? Do they want to blow it up? TBD. But if their intention is to go for that 8th seed again, Moore may be an upgrade on smaller Bryn Forbes, who struggles on the defensive end.
###### 99 cent store
Shaquille Harrison, Chicago Bulls, UFA, 26 years old
Coaches and front offices love to tout that "defense is half the game!" That is, until it's time to actually pay a defensive player. Or draft a defensive player. Or even invite a defensive player onto the roster for a fully guaranteed contract.
Shaq Harrison has been dealing with that struggle for his entire professional career. Coming out of Tulsa, Harrison always had the chops defensively. He's long and agile enough to guard 1s and 2s and even some 3s. The trouble is: shooting was never his strong suit. Even as a senior, he only hit 19.5% from deep in the NCAA. Yikes. That's a surefire recipe to go "undrafted," which is exactly what Harrison did.
Since then, Harrison has been trying to improve his shot, the key for him to stick on an NBA roster. This past season, we've started to see some glimmers of progress there. He shot a career-high 38.1% from three, and a career-high 78.0% from the line. Now to be fair, those were both extremely small sample sizes (16-42 from three, 39-50 from the line), but it's still encouraging nonetheless. Because if Harrison can become a passable shooter, then his defensive abilities give him inherent value. He's legitimately one of the better perimeter defenders in the league. ESPN's real plus/minus listed his impact as a +2.5 on defense, which ranked as the 9th best player in the entire NBA (out of 503 qualifiers.) If a coaching staff feels confident in their player development and their shooting coaches, then Harrison would be an intriguing investment to make.
###### clearance rack
John Konchar, Memphis Grizzlies, 24 years old
Last year, I included Philadelphia PG-SG Shake Milton in this column, causing Sixers fans to riot and demand that I mention the team had the right to extend his two-way contract if they wanted. The team did, and Milton will prove to be a bargain for them over the next few years. Similarly, the Memphis Grizzlies will have that opportunity to keep two-way player John Konchar on the team should they want. But if they don't, I'd be eyeing Konchar as a possible roster addition.
No doubt, there are reasons to doubt John Konchar's NBA prospects. He comes from a school that's so small that they didn't even know what to name it (shifting a few times before settling on "Purdue Fort Wayne"). And at the risk of being politically incorrect, we should also mention that he's white. NBA GMs don't exactly sit up and salivate when they see an undersized (6'5") white wing player walk into the gym.
All that said, Konchar has been productive time and time again. As you'd expect, he can hit the three pointer. But what's most intriguing about Konchar is his playing strength. He may be only 6'5" (6'7" wingspan) but he plays much bigger than that. As a college senior, he grabbed 8.5 rebounds a game and blocked 0.9 shots to boot. He also converted 62.9% of his field goals in two-point range. It may have been low level competition, but he flat-out bullied his opponents.
Naturally you'd presume: there's no way he can do that in the pros! But so far, so good. Konchar put up similar numbers in the G-League this season, hitting 56.5% from the field and grabbing 8.3 rebounds per game (in 30 minutes a night.) From there, you'd presume: there's no way he can do that in the actual NBA! Well, in his 160 minutes of NBA action, Konchar shot 65.7% from the field and averaged 9.9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Clearly, it's too early to take this as gospel. But eventually, we're going to have to presume something else: maybe this dude is actually good. If I ran an NBA team, I'd want to run that experiment with Konchar in our uniform and not someone else's.
###### 99 cent store
Josh Jackson, Memphis Grizzlies, UFA, 23 years old
Like most of us on this sub, I have moments when I watch the NBA, watch the roster moves, watch the draft, and think: I could do that. Not play, of course, but perhaps build a team and winning roster. I've had a long and successful career in fantasy sports, so naturally a GM job would be the logical next step.
The 2017 NBA Draft was one of those moments for me. Prior to the draft, I wrote a few posts on here, explaining why consensus top prospect Markelle Fultz wouldn't have been my personal # 1 pick. Clearly, I am a genius operating on a higher plane than the Bryan Colangelos of the world. Unfortunately, the alternative prospect that I advocated for wasn't Jayson Tatum. Or De'Aaron Fox. Or even Lonzo Ball. Instead, I thought the # 1 prospect in the class was... Josh Jackson. Whoops. Turns out, Jackson became an even bigger bust than Fultz (for his original team), causing the Phoenix Suns to dump him and wash their hands clean. Turns out: I have no clue what I'm talking about after all.
But while I may have given up on my hidden genius, I'm still not ready to give up on Josh Jackson as a player. After all, no one expected Jackson to be a finished product. Back at Kansas, his shot looked funky and in need of an overhaul. Still, he had athleticism, defensive tenacity, and flashed some ball skills and passing ability. All in all, I thought he may develop into a player in the mold of a Jimmy Butler in time.
Unfortunately, his NBA career stumbled out of the gates. If you're going to be the next Jimmy Butler, you need to work at it. Jimmy Butler may be a polarizing media presence, but he's undoubtedly a hard worker. In contrast, Josh Jackson had some issues off the court that made you doubt his dedication. His shooting hadn't improved much either. Even now, he hit on only 31.9% of his threes (29.8% career.)
Still, if you're a stubborn Jackson optimist like I am, then you can see some flashes of progress here. After being humbled by a trip to the G-League and a trade to Memphis, Jackson has started to be effective again. This past season for the Grizzlies, he averaged 19.0 PPG, 5.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.8 steals, and 0.9 blocks per 36 minutes. He's never going to be Kawhi Leonard as a shooter, but there are ways he can be effective offensively. He converted 77.5% of his field goals inside (0-3 feet), which was up from 55% in the past, showing how improved strength and bulk may aid his game. He also shot 34.8% on corner threes -- still below-average, but better than before.
So where do we go from here? What can Josh Jackson become? If he continues to work on his craft without any problems behind the scenes, he looks like a good prospect again. After all, this is a kid who's still 23 (younger than rookie teammate Brandon Clarke.) Maybe it's too optimistic to think he can be the next Jimmy Butler, but maybe he can be a solid starter in the mold of a young Wilson Chandler. There's still some risk involved here, but it's worth an investment and gamble in the right circumstance (and for the right price.)
possible fits
MEM. Jackson staying in Memphis is the most likely scenario. While the Grizzlies are in the 8th seed right now, they're still a young team. Ja Morant is 20. Jaren Jackson in 20. Jackson can fit into their timeline. The only question here is whether they already have a similar (and better) player in house in Justise Winslow.
CLE. The Memphis Grizzlies are a good young team. The Cavs are a bad young team. They need to add some more talent, especially at the wing. In theory, Jackson would be a nice complement to their undersized bomber guards like Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.
CHA. The Hornets need to find a star, somehow, some way. It's unlikely Josh Jackson becomes that star, but it's worth a shot. He's comparable to current forward Miles Bridges in terms of his worth/upside.
Daulton Hommes, San Antonio Spurs, 23 years old
Marial Shayok, Philadelphia 76ers, 24 years old
NBA general managers have a lot in common with Chris D'Elia: they like 'em young! They tend to dismiss college veterans as "over-aged" and salivate over teenagers instead. And to be fair, there's some logic there. A 22 or 23-year-old rookie likely doesn't have as much upside as a 19 or 20 year old. At the same time, not every NBA players needs to ooze with Giannis Antetokounmpo upside. Sometimes, you set the bar lower; you're just looking for a serviceable role player.
To my eye, Philadelphia's Marial Shayok is trending in that direction. He spent 5 years at college (gross!) -- the first 3 at Virginia, before transferring and playing for Iowa State in 2018-19. That last season, Shayok looked solid -- averaging 18.7 PPG with great shooting splits (50-39-88). The 6'6" wing also sported a 7'0" wingspan, which naturally makes you consider him as a potential 3+D prospect.
Still, the "age" issue prevented Shayok from going high -- landing at pick # 54 last season and earning only a two-way deal. That leverage puts the Sixers in the catbird seat here; they can bring Shayok back on a team-friendly deal, and likely will do just that after he played very well in the G-League. In fact, he averaged 27-7-5 per 36 minutes, hitting 36% from three and 89% from the line. Teams don't just let players like that go, especially when their depth is an issue already. However, if the Sixers decide to cast him aside, then Shayok should wash ashore on another team in a hurry.
Marvin Williams, Milwaukee Bucks, UFA, 34 years old
Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors, RFA, 27 years old
Frank Kaminsky, Phoenix Suns, 27 years old
Bonzie Colson, 24 years old
Back in college at Notre Dame, Bonzie Colson felt like an anomaly. Here was a stocky 6'5" player who largely played as a smallball 5. He utilized his strength and wingspan (7'0") to bully opponents, averaging 19.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks as a senior.
Still... a 6'5" PF/C? You didn't play like that in the NBA.
Or do you...? The Houston Rockets are changing the paradigm with heavy minutes for P.J. Tucker (also 6'5") at center. Zion Williamson (6'6") will likely play a good amount of center as well for New Orleans. It may not ever be the norm, but it's not a ridiculous concept anymore. If you're an NBA team, it makes sense to at least have a lineup like that in your back pocket to break out in case of emergency.
Colson can capably fill that role (on the back-end of a roster) due to his natural savvy and his passable shooting (34% from 3 in the G-League.) Better still, he'd be dirt-cheap after some G-League and overseas stints. In fact, he may not cost much guaranteed money at all. If he shows up at camp in good shape, then there's a chance he sticks around. And let's be honest, the NBA -- and all of our lives -- are better off when there's at least one Bonzi/e around.
Nerlens Noel, Oklahoma City Thunder, 26 years old
Jakob Poelte, Mason Plumlee
Ekpe Udoh, 33 years old
Ivan Rabb, 23 years old
Langston Galloway, Detroit Pistons, UFA, 28 years old