Two Way Street

by Drew Anderson and Joey Goodreault

Who is going to win the National Championship?
Drew: Famous Jameis and the ‘Noles will prevail! Florida State is a good football team, and even though they would have gotten rolled by the Alabama teams of the last few years, they will win this year’s National Championship. One can’t forget the unlikely path Auburn took to the title game. It took two improbable last second wins vs Georgia and Alabama. Any time you beat Alabama it’s a big win, no doubt and you can’t take that away from them, Georgia, though, is a very mediocre team, and it took Auburn a prayer hail mary to win the game. At any rate going 12-1 in the SEC is deserving of a National Championship berth, however, Auburn just doesn’t have the speed or fire power to keep up with Florida State. If Winston can keep his composure on the big stage, I think Florida State will end up pulling away with the title. Florida State has not been tested much at all this year, while Auburn has been through the ringer in the SEC. If Florida State plays like they are capable of they will be National Champs.

Joey: Auburn is going to win the BCS National Championship this year. They have wins over Alabama, Missouri, Georgia and Texas A&M. No one in the country can match those credentials, and that’s why they are going to beat Florida State. Who has Florida State beaten? The only credible team that they beat on their schedule is Clemson. Yes I know they’ve killed almost every opponent they’ve played this season, but it also should be noted that they play in one of the weakest conferences in the NCAA. Also their slaughter streak could hurt them as they have no experience in how to win in a close games. That’s where Auburn has an advantage. They’ve played a loaded schedule and beat high-quality teams in the final minutes. Experience always prevails, and so will Auburn.

If you had the number one NBA draft pick, who would choose?
Drew: I would take Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State. At 6’4”, 225, Smart has plenty of size to play a combo guard type role at the next level. Smart’s all around game would allow him to help any team right away as a rookie. What I really like about Smart is that he plays good defense, can pass and can take the ball to the rim and finish with pressure, all things that usually translate well into the league. Smart also has a good two-year resume, which, in this rare case I think will actually elevate his draft stock. He will no doubt be a bit more polished than other top prospects. With so many players going one and done these days many guys don’t pan out. However, even early this season Smart looks very impressive; many experts calling him the best player in the country. Smart may not have the most potential in the draft class, but he is a very safe pick, and I think his skill set will carry over nicely into the NBA.

Joey: Jabari Parker is clearly the best NBA prospect for the upcoming draft. Parker is player who puts together all the elements of basketball. He is 6’-8”, 235 pounds, with superior athleticism, but what sets him apart is his skill level. He can shoot, pass, dribble and defend at an elite level, and is such a gifted playmaker that it would be blasphemous for an NBA Executive to pass up on him. Parker combines every ingredient that an NBA squad would want from a small forward, whether it’s attacking the rim off the dribble or long range shooting. Parker is a franchise savior and should be one of or if not the top player of this generation.

Is Kobe worth his new deal?
Drew: No way! Kobe is being paid like he is the best player in the league, something he hasn’t been in five years. I realize Kobe sells tickets and jerseys, and that’s great, but by paying Kobe that much money, the Lakers are basically putting themselves out of contention until he retires. With so much of their cap space allocated to him, they don’t have enough space to bring in the type of players they need to put around him to create a winning team. Maybe when Kobe was in his prime they could afford to pay him this much, but Kobe is clearly over the hill. He is 35 years old, coming back from a serious meniscus injury, and can’t win games by himself like he used to be able to.  Also, Kobe never really played much defense, but at this point in his career he is just a liability on that side of the floor. I know he has gotten many defensive accolades, but those are just titles. Watch him play defense, and you will realize he is really not a great defender. People will just praise him because his name is Kobe Bryant. There is no way he is worth 48 million dollars. That is absolutely blasphemous.

Joey: Kobe Bryant, ONE OF THE BEST TO EVER PLAY BASKETBALL, is definitely worth the money. There is no player that has impacted the NBA as much as Bryant has done this past decade. Whether it is winning championships, MVPs, scoring titles, Bryant has done it all. The Lakers organization is in debt to Bryant, as he has been the savior of the organization. What he brings is incomparable to any other player in the NBA with the exception of Lebron James. The Lakers are a global brand ,and that is due to their success and their star power. Bryant has been the driving force to both those factors. He has brought in massive ticket sales at home and on the road, a lucrative TV deal, a radio contract, countless sponsorships, etc… Yes, Bryant isn’t the only factor in those benefits but he plays a huge role in it. Not only as he brought economic success to the Lakers organization, but he has brought rings also. Bryant has led the Lakers to five NBA finals championships and for that, the least the Lakers could do is give Bryant a large contract. In essence, Bryant has put the Lakers on his back this past decade, and therefore he is well worth the money.