Two-Way Street: NBA Rookies, Poker, and Battle Royales

Two-Way+Street%3A+NBA+Rookies%2C+Poker%2C+and+Battle+Royales

C. Gonzales

Tennyson May & Trevor Rechnitz, Sports Editor & Online EIC

“half the editor…twice the facial hair.”

Battle Royale (Zlatan Ibrahimović vs. Diego Forlan)

Tennyson: When we decided the sport for this issue’s brawl Trevor and I both came to the same conclusion on who would be the clear winner. That obvious choice was Zlatan Ibrahimović. Anyone who watches soccer or plays FIFA has some amount of respect for Ibrahimović. Standing at 6’3’’ and weighing in at 185 lbs., the Swedish striker is a monster compared to the other midgets that play soccer. Not only a monster in size, Ibrahimović is an absolute beast on the pitch and is regarded as one of the top strikers in the world. Over his 13-year professional career he has netted 215 goals; imagine that goal-scoring leg kicking you repeatedly in the head. If being able to physically dominate any other soccer player isn’t enough for you, Ibrahimović received a black belt in Taekwondo at age 17. If a fight occurred, Ibrahimović would instantly go Bruce Lee on his unlucky opponent. In my mind, there is literally no way that Ibrahimović would lose in a fight to any other soccer player.

Trevor: A key man for his club and country, Uruguayan Futbol superstar Diego Forlan is a true animal. His rise to prominence included scoring the winning goal to take the Europa League for Atletico Madrid and leading Uruguay to the World Cup Semi Finals. The born model, who decided to also be amazing in soccer, led La Liga in scoring in 2004-05 and netted 32 goals in 2008-09.  Forlan is a lethal finisher with either foot and is both a ruthless predator and team player. Although he is known to have mental lapses in concentration that have cost him goals, these lapses would help him win brawls against any soccer player. Forlan’s free kicks have been clocked at 105 mph. Imagine taking one of those to the dome. If his golden foot isn’t enough to convince you, just take a quick look at his picture. If you’re not jealous then you’re not human.

The winner of last issue’s brawl was Prince Fielder! Make sure you vote for who you think would win on mhsmirador.com!

NBA Rookie of the Year

Tennyson: Before the season started, I believed that Ricky Rubio had potential to be a great NBA player. Originally drafted 5th overall back in 2009, Rubio has finally arrived in the NBA. He had proven himself while playing professionally in Spain and playing for the Spanish national team, but experts had always questioned his ability to play at the NBA level. However, Rubio has lived up to my expectations and won over his doubters. Playing back-up point guard to Luke Ridnour, Rubio has earned a good number of minutes and is believed to be close to cracking the Minnesota starting line up anytime soon. Despite not starting, Rubio has managed to average 10 points and eight assists per game. With more minutes, I believe that Rubio will continue to thrive. The dynamic rookie duo of Rubio and Derrick Williams has sparked hope for the Timberwolves franchise. If they are able to support All-Star forward Kevin Love, the T-Wolves could become a legitimate playoff team again. Rubio has the talent to be Rookie of the Year and turn around the Minnesota franchise.

Trevor: The star of UCONN’s unlikely run to last year’s national championship now finds himself trying to convert his skills and dominance to the quicker style of the NBA. Although Walker is playing behind Charlotte Bobcat’s starting PG D.J. Augustin, he still averages 9.9 ppg and 3.2 assists. In the short time that Kemba’s on the court, he is a clear difference maker for the Bobcat squad. With big men Boris Diaw and Tyrus Thomas, Walker has the opportunity to bring “lob-city” to Charlotte. As a team that is unlikely to make the post-season, the Bobcats should start Walker and show more concern for the future of their squad. With a starting role, I’m sure that Walker would double his points and assists per game stats, which would no doubt lead to a Rookie of the Year Award.

Poker

Tennyson: When I think of professional poker players, I think of that guy that I see on late night online poker commercials. I learned that that man’s name is Daniel Negreanu, and I believe that he is the best poker player in the world, mainly because he is the only poker player that I know. However, after research I’ve found that Negreanu, AKA Kid Poker, is actually a very talented poker player. Over his career he has raked in a total $14,924,143 in winnings. He has brought in four World Series of Poker bracelets, the most highly coveted award in the WSOP, and has won two World Poker Tour titles. Negreanu attributes his poker success to his ability to read his opponents and his competitive drive. He constantly seeks new challenges and sets high standards for himself. Sounds like a real champion to me.

Trevor: Phil Ivey, American professional poker player, is the best poker player in the world. Ivey boasts eight World Series of Poker bracelets, one World Poker Tour title and appearances at nine World Poker Tour Finals. In the late 1990s, Ivey first began to develop his poker skills by playing against co-wokers at a New Jersey telemarketing firm. Ivey is nicknamed “no home Jerome” for the ID card he used to gamble illegally in Atlantic City to make ends meet for his family. Ivey made more than ends meet, much more. As of 2011, Ivey’s total winnings exceed $14,000,000. In 2010, Ivey received the most votes for the Tournament of Champions and has won the Player of the Year award six times. With eight WSOP bracelets, Ivey is tied for the fifth most of all-time, but all the players above him are at least 10 years older. Ivey is a Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Buffalo Bills fan and can be seen donning the jerseys of his beloved teams. To cement his place on the top of my list, Ivey donates 1/3 of all his winnings to non-profit organizations. Ivey has donated to Empowered 2 Excel, a Las Vegas charity for underprivileged children and created the Budding Ivey Foundation, to fund child literacy in the US.