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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

Stories by Derrick Holdridge:

Darko Milicic Will Never Be an All-Star, Sorry David Kahn

Minnesota Timberwolves center Darko Milicic was infamously picked second overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, ahead of superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Detroit GM Joe Dumars pulled the trigger on Darko ahead of even Chris Kaman, David West and Mo Williams — all solid contributors who have made All-Star teams. Milicic has career averages of 5.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, or the elusive career triple-single. During Monday’s Timberwolves-Celtics game, Minnesota President of Basketball Operations David Kahn had this to say about Milicic’s future:

There’s no way. While Milicic is having a “career” year, that’s not saying a lot. This season he’s averaging career highs in points, blocks and assists per game with 9.3, 2.3 and 1.9 respectively. He’s only 25, but in his eighth year in the league it seems like he is what he is — a bust. He’s not the first high draft pick not to pan-out and won’t be the last, but he’s never shown anything to the contrary.

This also isn’t the first time Kahn has made ridiculous statements about Milicic. Kahn and former NBA superstar Chris Webber had an interesting conversation about Milicic last summer, and Kahn was not very happy about it.

Thanks to YouTube user blazersedgeben for the video.

Eric Mangini Out in Cleveland, Browns’ Problems Extend Beyond Head Coach

The Cleveland Browns have fired head coach Eric Mangini after two-straight 5-11 seasons. Mangini was hired by the Browns in 2009 after being fired by the New York Jets. Mangini was 23-25 during his time in New York. He may not be a great coach, but when are the people in Cleveland going to realize there might be a bigger problem than the coach. Mangini has had his issues in Cleveland and certainly was not the most likelable guy, but he’s not the first coach to struggle there.

Since they were re-established in Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had five coaches, including interim coaches. They’ve had more than four times as many seasons of at least 10 losses (9) than they have had winning seasons (2). In that time they’ve made the playoffs once. In that same span, only seven teams have employed more coaches than the Browns; the Falcons (6), Bills (6), Lions (7), Dolphins (6), Raiders (6), Rams (6) and Redskins (7). Every team on that list, aside from maybe the Falcons, has been generally horrible since ’99.

Those two winning seasons ties the Browns with the Cardinals, Bills and Bengals, and puts them just ahead of the Lions (1). That one playoff appearance ties them with the Bills and Lions for the least in that span. Are you noticing the common names on these lists? He’s another one. Cleveland’s nine seasons with at least 10 losses is matched only by the Lions.


Derrick Rose is an MVP Candidate, Just Ask Him

According to, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose believes he should be in the discussion for NBA MVP this season. Rose’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but they’re very good. He ‘s averaging 23.9 points, 8.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. His numbers are certainly solid enough to put him in the conversation during a season in which no one has established themselves as a clear-cut front-runner.

Two-time reigning MVP LeBron James’ numbers are down slightly from the last two seasons, though still impressive. He’s currently averaging 24.4 points, 7.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds per game, but it would be hard to argue that James means as much to the Heat as Rose does to the Bulls, which for many is the number one criteria for the award. The same goes for James’ teammate, Dwyane Wade. His numbers are MVP caliber, but Wade is surrounded with top talent which makes it tougher for him to stick out.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant leads the league in scoring with 28.3 points per game. His 6.3 rebounds per game are solid, but he’s averaging just 3.1 assists. Durant is a definite candidate mainly because of his scoring, but like Rose he has the advantage of being the driving force behind a team’s success.


Rams-Seahawks Flexed to Primetime, Features Little Intrigue

They did it to us. We said they might, but hoped they wouldn’t — they did. For anyone intrested in watching two terrible teams this Sunday night, the NFC West-leading St. Louis Rams (7-8) will take on the second place Seattle Seahawks (6-9) for the division title and the four seed in the NFC playoffs.

The NFL had 16 games to choose from for the primetime slot, and while this game is the only one that will decide a division, it’s not the only one with playoff implications. The difference is the other obvious options — the Giants at the Redskins and the Bears at the Packers — each involve at least one team better than either of the teams playing Sunday night. Honestly, the only game on Sunday that doesn’t fit that criteria is the other NFC West game between Arizona and San Francisco.

Presumably, the NFL wanted to keep both the Packers and Giants at 4:15 EST in order to sustain some drama. If they moved the Packers to Sunday night, and the Giants and Buccaneers lost earlier in the day, the night game would feature two teams that had nothing to play for. This way, the Giants and Packers will be playing simultaneously, with the last Wild-Card spot on-the-line.


Passer Ratings of 100.0 Skyrocketing in NFL

There are currently four NFL quarterbacks with a passer rating of over 100.0 —  Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Michael Vick. Passer rating is calculated using pass attempts, completions, passing yards, touchdowns and interceptions. Since the inception of the NFL, a quarterback has finished a season with rating of at least 100 just 51 times, a feat accomplished by only 35 different quarterbacks including the four listed above from this season.

In the NFL’s first 80 seasons, the mark was reached 26 times. Hall of Fame signal callers Otto Graham and Sid Luckman each had a passer rating of 100.0 or better once in the 1940s. No quarterback hit the mark in the ’50s. In the ’60s, four quarterbacks did it, including Bart Starr and Len Dawson — both during the 1966 season. Roger Staubach and Ken Stabler were two of the three to do it in the ’70s. The 100 mark was reached four times in the ’80s — once by Dan Marino and three times by some guy named Joe Montana. The heir to Montana’s throne in San Francisco, Steve Young, accounted for half of the ’90s total with six, the record for most such seasons by one quarterback.

Then came the new millennium. From 2000-2009, 17 different quarterbacks finished a season with a passer rating of 100.0 or greater 21 times. Five did it last year, including Brett Favre for the first and only time in his career. That’s 25 times since Y2K including this season, or one less than the total from the previous 80 years of professional football combined.


Sergio Kindle’s Second DUI Proves He Just Doesn’t Get It

As you have probably heard, Baltimore Ravens rookie linebacker Sergio Kindle was arrested for drunk driving on Sunday and had a blood-alcohol concentration of more than twice the legal limit of .08. This is Kindle’s second DUI since 2007, and he also crashed his car into a building in 2009 — an accident he attributed to texting while driving.

Kindle was the 43rd overall pick in this year’s draft out of the University of Texas. He suffered a fractured skull in July when he reportedly fell down two flights of stairs. The Ravens signed Kindle, despite the fact that he was unlikely to play at all this season (and he isn’t going to) to a one-year contract worth about $300,000. Now, it’s unclear if Kindle will ever play for the team that drafted him — or any other team — given his history of character and health concerns. Doctors recently told Kindle that he may not be ready to play next season, anyway.

The DUI also comes less than a week after Ravens receiver Donte’ Stallworth received an award for courage following his own drunk driving incident in 2009. It seems like Kindle should have learned something from the “courageous” Stallworth, but obviously he didn’t. It’s clear he didn’t learn anything from his previous DUI and obvious he’s an irresponsible person. There are plenty of typically responsible people who make a mistake and learn from it but two DUIs indicates a larger issue.

Kindle’s physical gifts are undeniable, but his judgment is lacking. He’s strong, fast, and agile on the field, but he can’t figure out how to turn the corner when it comes to his decision-making off it. If he’s lucky, the Ravens will consider keeping him around for one more year only because they spent such a high draft pick on him.  It seems more likely that his shot will come from somewhere outside of Baltimore, if he’s fortunate enough to be given another one.

LeGarrette Blount: Athleticism Over Size

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount, all 6′, 247 pounds of him, showed us again on Sunday how athletic a big man can be. In the third quarter of the Bucs’ 38-15 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, Blount did this to Seahawks safety Lawyer Milloy:

If it’s any consolation to Milloy, he’s not the first to get hurdled by Blount — LeGarrette did it earlier this season against the Cardinals and several times throughout his college career at Oregon — so it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it does every time. Blount has gained 941 yards rushing over 12 games in his rookie season after going undrafted because of character concerns. The Chinese hurdlers could learn a thing or two from Blount.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

Giants Show Zero Guts in Loss to Packers

The New York Giants’ 45-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday proved that they are not a team that should be feared. There aren’t many teams that would be afraid to match up against them in the playoffs, assuming they even get in. The Giants need to win next week against the Redskins and need the Packers to lose to the Bears in order to punch their ticket.

The reasons teams should not be afraid of the G-Men were on full display against Green Bay: a lack of heart, as illustrated by the 515 yards surrendered by their defense, and a propensity for turning the ball over. The Giants committed six turnovers on four interceptions and two fumbles. Several of those turnovers — most notably the fumbles — came as the Giants were putting together promising drives. Sorry, Tom Coughlin. There’s no blaming Matt Dodge for this loss.

We thought the Giants would use last week’s collapse against the Eagles as a source of motivation that would carry them against the Packers. Obviously, we were wrong. We also thought there was no way Giants head coach Tom Coughlin’s job would end up in jeopardy — wrong again. If New York misses the playoffs it will be this game, not the Miracle in the New Meadowlands, that costs Coughlin his job.