Kobe Bryant (1978-2020)


There likely won’t be any information in this blog that hasn’t already been said, but as a passionate NBA fan who started watching basketball in the prime of Kobe’s career, I felt it necessary to weigh in. I began really following the NBA in 2007, which coincidentally was the year the Kobe won his first NBA MVP award. I wasn’t watching the NBA during the Kobe-Shaq years, during which the Lakers won three consecutive titles, but was very much watching during the Kobe-Pau Gasol years, when the Lakers made three consecutive Finals and faced off against the Boston Celtics in two of them. What always impressed me the most about Kobe was his killer instinct. He was, and in my opinion still is, the closest thing to Michael Jordan since Jordan retired. Kobe was the best player in the NBA when the social media era began. He became an international icon and the last great player before the super team era. Kobe won titles in an era where the Spurs, Celtics, Heat, and Warriors all won titles by putting together a Big 3. Kobe, much like Jordan, would never have considered teaming up with anyone else. He wanted to be THE guy, and wanted to single handedly destroy teams on his own. He was one of the more clutch players in the NBA and knew how to win, bringing the Lakers 5 titles in his 20 seasons in Los Angeles.


What happened on January 26th was certainly the most shocking tragedy of my lifetime, and perhaps the biggest tragedy in the history of professional sports. Kobe transcended more than just the NBA. He had much more to give in his post retirement career and was excited for the possibilities ahead. He had already won an Oscar for “Dear Basketball”, and that was just the beginning. He was an international icon, but the case could be made that no one player ever meant more to a city than Kobe Bryant. He is the greatest Laker of all time, and the Lakers are one of the most iconic franchises of all time. The reaction to the tragedy speaks for itself – Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Donald Trump, Barack Obama are just a few among many that mourned the news of his death. Making matters even worse was the death of his daughter Gianna, who likely would have gone on to be a superstar at UConn. Kobe’s life was not without controversy. In 2003 he settled a civil lawsuit pertaining to a sexual assault case in Colorado. While this incident needs to be a part of the telling of Kobe’s life story, I don’t think it should be the first thing mentioned when talking about his death. Kobe did far more good for the world than the majority of people on this planet, and he will be remembered forever for his impact.

The public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant will be held at Staples Center on February 24th (2/24), representing Kobe’s (24) and Gianna’s (2) jersey numbers.

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Super Bowl LIV Preview and Prediction

super bowl LIV


Sunday, February 2nd at 6:30 PM: NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers vs AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5)


All eyes are on Miami for Super Bowl LIV as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs face off against Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers. Mahomes had another outstanding season after winning MVP last year, and is making his first Super Bowl start at just 24 years old. Garoppolo has won two Super Bowls as the backup behind Tom Brady when he was on the Patriots, but will be making his first start in the big game on Sunday. Veteran Kansas City coach Andy Reid will be coaching in his second Super Bowl, and first with Kansas City, after coaching the Eagles in a loss against the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX. San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is coaching in his first Super Bowl as a head coach, and is hoping to erase memories of the collapse his team endured in Atlanta in Super Bowl LI. All things considered, this should be a great game between two pretty well-rounded teams and may come down to the very end.


kelce kittle

The quarterbacks are always the key focus, but there are weapons on both offenses that could play a major factor in the outcome of the game. George Kittle and Travis Kelce are two of the best tight ends in the league and game changers for their respective teams. George Kittle in particular will be a major factor in determining the success of the 49ers offensive game plan in this game. Garoppolo will be relying on him early and often, and this connection has a chance to do damage against a mediocre Chiefs defense. Rookie Deebo Samuel and veteran Emmanuel Sanders are the other options through the air for Garroppolo. The 49ers real strength on offense comes on the ground. Raheem Mostert has been a breakout star this year and has been dominant in the playoffs. The Chiefs will need to make slowing him down a #1 priority. In addition to Kelce, Kansas City’s other big play weapon is Tyreek Hill. Mahomes and Hill have big play capability every time they are on the field. The running game for Kansas City is not quite as strong, so the 49ers defense will have to be prepared for Mahomes to air it out at times and create big plays.



I think this has the potential to be one of the more exciting Super Bowls in recent memory. I think the Chiefs have the advantage on offense with Mahomes, Hill, and Kittle, but the 49ers have the advantage on defense and have been one of the best defensive teams all year. I am not fully sold on the Chiefs defense, so overall I think San Francisco has a slight edge in this game. Garoppolo has been to the Super Bowl before, even though it was as a backup, and coach Shanahan was in the Super Bowl just three years ago. It may be a year early for Mahomes and the Chiefs this time around. I think San Francisco wins 27-25.

MVP: George Kittle

Let me know your thoughts and predictions in the comments down below.


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2019 NFL Divisional Round Preview and Predictions


Eight teams remain in the NFL playoffs and will battle it out in the divisional round this weekend. A pair of 6 seeds will take on the top teams from the conference, while Houston will look for its first ever conference championship appearance and the Seahawks will take on the Packers in Lambeau.


Saturday, January 11th 4:35 PM: #6 Minnesota Vikings @ #1 San Francisco 49ers (-7)


Jimmy Garropolo will be making his first ever playoff start against Kirk Cousins and Vikings. Minnesota pulled off a huge upset against Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans last weekend and will try to knock off another 13 win team this weekend. Dalvin Cook played a huge part in the Vikings win and Kirk Cousins was solid while proving the haters wrong who said he could not win in prime time. Both Stephon Diggs and Adam Thielen are expected to be active for this game which gives the Vikings big play ability. However, the 49ers have a great defense and a balanced offense and have played great all year with the exception of a loss to the Falcons. Their other two losses came against Baltimore and Seattle and were very close. George Kittle has been a game changer this year and the best tight end in the league. I think the 49ers are a very well rounded team and it will be tough to slow them down. Minnesota already pulled off one upset in the playoffs but I don’t see them pulling off another won. San Francisco is simply the superior team. The 49ers win 27-16.


Saturday, January 11th 8:15 PM: #6 Tennessee Titans @ #1 Baltimore Ravens (-9.5)

titans ravens

Lamar Jackson got his first playoff start in last year’s playoffs, and will now be looking for his first playoff win as a starter as the Ravens take on the Titans. Tennessee is coming off an upset win against the Patriots, and hope to keep the moment rolling in Baltimore. Ryan Tannehill was not very effective but a solid defense and a monster game by running back Derrick Henry helped the Titans to victory. They will once again need the defense and running game to step up against the Ravens. Baltimore’s offense has been tough to stop this year with the dual threat of Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram. However, I think Titans coach Mike Vrabel will put together a great game plan on defense to slow down Lamar Jackson. The Ravens haven’t played a meaningful game in a long time and could be vulnerable to rust. I think the Titans keep the momentum rolling and pull off a big upset in Baltimore. Tennessee wins 21-20.


Sunday, January 12th 3:05 PM: #4 Houston Texans @ #2 Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5)


This game will be a battle of two young and exciting quarterbacks as Deshaun Watson and the Texans take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans went into Kansas City and beat the Chiefs earlier this year, so they will not be afraid in the rematch. Deshaun Watson was the hero last week to get the Texans to this point after pulling off a big comeback against the Bills in the wild card round. Houston also has J.J. Watt back on defense after missing most of the season and being limited in last week’s game. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes is no stranger to the spotlight after coming within an overtime period of the Super Bowl last year. The Chiefs have great weapons on offense with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, and the defense has been playing better as well. I don’t see the Texans beating the Chiefs in Kansas City twice this season since the Chiefs are the more talented team. I think Kansas City has the clear coaching advantage as well. Chiefs win 31-19.


Sunday, January 12th 6:40 PM: #5 Seattle Seahawks @ #2 Green Bay Packers (-4)


Unlike the first game of this day, the Seahawks and Packers have veteran quarterbacks who have each won a Super Bowl and have lots of playoff experience. The last time these teams matched up the playoffs was the 2014 NFC Championship, with the Seahawks pulling off a stunning victory in overtime. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have been up and down at times this year, but running back Aaron Jones had a great season and Rodgers has still been good enough to keep Green Bay competitive. The defense has improved from previous years as well. Seattle took down the Eagles in Philly last week to get to this point and Russell Wilson has been one of the better QBs this season. Seattle has lost both of its running backs to injury but brought back Marshawn Lynch to rekindle some of the old magic. I think this will be a close game since both of these teams are evenly matched, but Green Bay will win 26-23.


Let me know your thoughts and predictions in the comments down below.


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2019 NFL Wild Card Weekend Preview and Predictions

2020 wild card weekend

The NFL playoffs kick off this weekend and feature five new teams from the year before. The New England Patriots will start their title defense against Tennessee, the Bills look for their first playoff win in decades, Kirk Cousins will try to engineer a massive upset, and the battle of the birds will go down in Philly.


Saturday, January 4th 4:35 PM: #5 Buffalo Bills @ #4 Houston Texans (-2.5)

texans bills

The Texans have made the playoffs four out of the last five years but have never advanced past the divisional round. After missing last year’s playoffs, the Bills are making their second appearance in three years. Both of these teams have young quarterbacks with a lot of potential and something to prove on the big stage. Josh Allen has taken a step up for the Bills from his rookie season, and Deshaun Watson is no stranger to big moments having played in the CFP national championship. Both QBs will be looking for their first playoff win. I think the Bills will have the edge in this game due to their defense. Despite being on the road, the old adage that “defense travels” will help the Bills contain Watson and star receiver Deandre Hopkins. I think Buffalo has been a more consistent team this year and played closer games against better teams than the Texans. Buffalo wins 19-16.


Saturday, January 4th 8:15 PM: #6 Tennessee Titans @ #3 New England Patriots (-5)

pats titans

People have been trying to predict the end of the Patriots dynasty for a decade straight. The fact that they are playing on wild card weekend for the first time since 2009 and 42 year old Tom Brady will be a free agent at the end of the season makes these predictions a little more interesting this year. The defending Super Bowl champions will go up against the resurgent Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans for a spot in the divisional round. The Patriots beat the Titans in the divisional round during the 2017 playoffs, but lost in Nashville to the Titans last season. Former Patriots legend Mike Vrabel will go up against his former coach for the first time on the playoff stage. The key battle in this game will be the Patriots defense against rushing leader Derrick Henry. The Pats defense has been great all season, but more so in the passing game and less so in the running game. They will have to shut down the run early and force Tannehill to challenge the Patriots star cornerbacks of Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson. While the Patriots have looked really bad on offense during the second half of the season, I think the Tom Brady playoff magic will return and the Patriots will win 27-17.


Sunday, January 5th 1:05 PM: #6 Minnesota Vikings @ #3 New Orleans Saints (-8)

vikings saints

Despite winning 13 games, New Orleans will have to begin their playoff run on wild card weekend. These teams matched up in the divisional round during the 2017 playoffs, a game which ended on a miracle touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs in the final seconds. The Saints will certainly use this opportunity to avenge that game. Drew Brees had another outstanding year despite missing games due to injury, and wide receiver Michael Thomas had a record setting year by catching the most passes in a regular season in NFL history. Meanwhile, the Vikings have a talented team with a solid defense and talent on offense. However, Kirk Cousins on the road against teams with winning records has been terrible over the years, and this Saints team will be among the best he has faced. Minnesota will need to utilize Dalvin Cook to have a chance in this game. Cook has faced injuries but Minnesota won’t be able to depend on Cousins alone. I think the Saints are just too good to lose this game. New Orleans wins 31-13.


Sunday, January 5th 4:40 PM: #5 Seattle Seahawks @ #4 Philadelphia Eagles (+1.5)

eagles seahawks

The NFC West was the best division in football this year and the NFC East was the worst division in football, which is why Russell Wilson and Seattle will have to travel to the east coast to take on Carson Wentz and Philadelphia for their wild card matchup. Carson Wentz has been playing very well for the Eagles, but Philly has endured a historic amount of injuries to their starters on offense which is why they barely squeaked into the playoffs. After losing a tough week 17 matchup to the 49ers, the Seahawks dropped down to the 5 seed. Seattle has been much better on the road this year than they have at home, which is unusual for the Seahawks but may work to their advantage in this matchup. While they lost both of their starting running backs, Russell Wilson has still proven he can be a top tier QB and I think the Seahawks are a much better team than the Eagles. Seattle wins 27-23.


Let me know your thoughts and predictions in the comments below.


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2019 Year in Review + 1 Second Everyday Compilation

2019 was another great year for me and a great way to cap off the decade. This year included another Patriot’s Super Bowl parade, significant progress towards my FSA, vacations in Florida and New York, the beginning of my relationship with my current girlfriend, and much more.

The decade of the 2010s was also a great one. This decade I graduated both high school and college, went on several awesome vacations in Las Vegas, Dallas, San Francisco, Nashville and more, began my full time job at Blue Cross and nearly completed my FSA, moved into Boston, celebrated 6 Boston championships including 3 super bowls, made some great friends, and overall grew as a person from a young 18 year old kid into a 27 year old adult. I hope the next decade is even better!


2019 Year in Review


One Second Everyday Compilation

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2019 NBA Free Agency/Offseason Recap and Reaction

nba free agency

With the balance of power having shifted from the teams to the players in recent years, NBA free agency has become one of the most important parts of the NBA calendar year. Many superstars are teaming up and signing shorter details to keep their options open, and more and more big name players are hitting free agency each year. The 2019 NBA free agency and offseason period may have been one of the craziest of all of them. Below is my summary and reaction to the biggest moves this offseason.


Los Angeles Lakers trade for Anthony Davis in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, the draft rights to De’Andre Hunter, two first round picks, a first-round pick swap right and cash. 


At the time, the Lakers acquisition of Anthony Davis was the most that any team has given up for a star players and simultaneously made LA the title favorites for 2020. It was no secret that both Lebron and AD wanted Davis to be LA, and after a botched attempt prior to the trade deadline it finally happened in June. AD will have a chance to establish himself as a superstar in a big market, and Lebron will be able to take a step back and rest at times during the season to be healthy for the playoffs. I expect the Lakers to be a Top 4 team in the West this year, but they will have to make other moves on the roster besides their two superstars to be a serious contender.


Free agent Kyrie Irving signs 4 year $141 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets


Halfway through the 2018-2019 season it was pretty clear that Kyrie Irving was not a good fit for the Boston Celtics. The only question is whether he would sign with the Knicks or the Nets, ultimately Kyrie returned home to join the team he grew up rooting for. This is a great move for the Nets, although they did sacrifice up and coming point guard D’Angelo Russell to make it work. However, the Nets now have one of the best point guards in the game who is still in his prime, and more importantly set the stage for Brooklyn’s next free agency move….


Free Agent Kevin Durant signs 4 year $164 million deal with Brooklyn Nets


The Nets weren’t done making moves after acquiring Kyrie Irving. Kevin Durant left the Golden State Warriors to join Brooklyn and create a formidable force in the East….when healthy. Durant will miss all of next year with an injury, and now that he’s in his thirties there is some question about his long term health. However, if Durant is healthy when he returns, Brooklyn instantly becomes a title contender. All year everyone was saying that Durant would go to the Knicks, but I never thought that would happen. KD is smart enough to know that it’s never good to be part of a franchise with a horrendous owner. He made the smart move by joining his good friend Kyrie while still remaining in a big New York market.


Free agent Kemba Walker signs a 4 year $141 million deal with the Boston Celtics


Kemba Walker spent his entire career on an irrelevant Charlotte Hornets team. The Boston Celtics had just lost Kyrie Irving. Therefore, it was perfect match for the Celtics to fill their roster needs and for Kemba to join a team that can compete in the East. I think Kemba Walker will be a much better fit for the Celtics offense under Brad Stevens, and will allow players like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to be more involved in the offense. Furthermore, Kemba will not be a distraction off the court and will make the Celtics fun to watch again this season. Boston may not be a top contender in the East, but with Kemba Walker on board they are one move away from being a contender again.


Free agent Klay Thompson signs 5 year $190 million max deal to remain with Golden State Warriors

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors - Game Six

Although there were rumblings that he might end up on the Lakers, most people expected Klay Thompson to sign the max and remain with Golden State. After losing Durant, this was an important move for the Warriors to lock up Klay and still remain competitive in the West this year. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are still the best backcourt in the league and both are capable of stepping up and replacing the void that Durant left on the team. However, Klay will likely miss all of next season with an ACL injury as well. Curry will have to carry the team and has the potential for another monster shooting season given the volume of shots he will have to take this year.


D’Angelo Russell receives four year $117 million deal in sign and trade with Warriors

dangelo russell

Although some are questioning the move long term, it’s pretty clear that the Warriors acquired D’Angelo Russell to replace Klay Thompson for this season. It remains to be seen how Russell will be used when Thompson returns, since it may not work with three shooters and ball handlers on the floor at the same time. However, I still like this move for the Warriors to acquire a young up and coming point guard and I think Steve Kerr will figure out how to best utilize his personnel once all his guards are healthy.


Jimmy Butler signs a 4 year $142 million with the Miami Heat


After a brief stint with Philly, Jimmy Butler decided to take his talents to South Beach and play for Pat Riley and the Miami Heat. Butler reportedly turned down the max offer from the 76ers and very much wanted to go to Miami. Now he will have an opportunity to be the best player on his own team and lead Miami back to the playoffs. However, Butler has now clashed with teammates in Chicago, Minnesota, and Philly, and if he can’t recruit other stars to join him in Miami than the ceiling for the Heat will be a second round exit at best. It is a nice move for the Heat to make them relevant again after the Dwayne Wade era, but they are not going to be a serious threat in the East.


Free agent Al Horford signs a four year $109 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers


The 76ers got a huge pickup when they acquired Al Horford after he opted out of the final year of his contract with the Celtics. Not only can Horford and Embiid be a dominant force under the rim for Philadelphia, but Horford was the key to the Celtics success against the 76ers throughout Embiid’s whole career. This is a significant loss for the Celtics and a great pickup for the Sixers after losing Jimmy Butler. The 76ers can now have one of Horford or Embiid on the court at all times and can become one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this year if both stay healthy.


Free agent Malcolm Brogdon signs a 4 year $85 million deal with the Indiana Pacers


Malcolm Butler may be one of the most underrated players in today’s game. He put up a 50/40/90 season last year for the Bucks and was a key role player to the success of that team. This will certainly be a key loss for Milwaukee and a good pickup for the Pacers. Brogdon will join a core of Oladipo, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis, a team that grabbed the 5 seed last year despite losing Oladipo to injury. I don’t think this moves makes the Pacers a contender by any means, but they could be one of those sneaky young teams that gives a contender trouble.


Khris Middelton signs a five year $178 million deal to stay with the Milwaukee Bucks

Toronto Raptors v Milwaukee Bucks

It was expected that Middleton would stay with the Bucks but it was important enough nonetheless. Milwaukee had the best record in the NBA last year and now ensures that it’s two stars will stay together for the long term. I expect the Bucks to be dominant again this season as both Giannis and Middleton continue to improve.


Tobias Harris signs a five year $180 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers

tobias harris

After trading for him in the middle of the season, the 76ers made sure to keep Tobias Harris around. Harris has emerged as a solid perimeter option to complement Simmons and Embiid, and may be able to take on a bigger role now that Jimmy Butler is gone. The 76ers will certainly be among the top three teams in the East year, although bench depth is still a concern.


Kawhi Leonard signs 4 year $142 million deal with Clippers, Thunder trade Paul George to Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and five first round picks


Perhaps the most stunning and impactful move of the entire offseason was the Los Angeles Clippers managing to land both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Kawhi had been linked to the Clippers as a possible destination, but it wasn’t until he convinced Paul George to ask for a trade that the final decision was made. The Clippers have now overtaken the Lakers as title favorites, and will be one of the best defensive teams in recent memory. Kawhi and Paul George are arguably the two best two-way players in the game today, and pose a deadly threat to opposing offenses. L.A. certainly gave up a lot in the trade, but it was worth the risk to go all out especially given that the Lakers had already made their big splash with Anthony Davis. I do think the Clippers should be the favorites right now and I expect them to reach at least the Western Conference Finals where there may very well be an all-LA showdown.


The Oklahoma City Thunder trade Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul and multiple first round picks.


After Paul George was traded, it was inevitable that Russell Westbrook would follow suit as the Thunder execute a full rebuild. Although Westbrook’s contract is certainly not ideal, Houston was unable to unload Chris Paul and add a former MVP that is still in his prime. The Rockets should be just as competitive as ever now with Westbrook and Harden reunited. The two LA teams have gotten most of the attention but with Golden State no longer a threat it wouldn’t surprise me if the Rockets made it out of the West this year.


Let me know your thoughts on free agency and the NBA offseason in the comments down below.


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TV Review: Chernobyl (2019)

HBO’s Chernobyl is a gripping five part miniseries based on the events that occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on the night of April 26, 1986. The series begins on the night of the explosion, and details the aftermath of the events that took place following the explosion. Jared Harris stars as Valery Legasov, a prominent Soviet chemist who played a critical role as chief of the commission investigating the Chernobyl disaster.


HBO did an absolutely phenomenal job in all aspects of Chernobyl. The series really made you feel the intensity and fear of a situation that was completely unprecedented. They did a great job of showing both the physical disaster that the radiation was causing, as well as the emotional burden of those who lost loved ones due to radiation poisoning. Some of the scenes showing those who experienced severe radiation poisoning were absolutely terrifying. It was almost hard to believe this was something that really happened, since the disaster seemed like straight out of a movie. I thought Jared Harris turned in an incredible acting performance portraying Professor Legasov, who was the main hero of the story.

The first three episodes kept you on the edge of your seat the entire time while hundreds of men fought to prevent a global nuclear disaster. The last two episodes did a great job explaining both the scientific events and human decisions that actually caused the disaster. It was really fascinating listening to the detailed version of what happened hour by hour and second by second once the Chernobyl commission was able to figure out everything that happened. The series did a great job of answering every single question that pops into your head throughout the series. They spend the end of the last episode giving you all of the facts on the aftermath of Chernobyl and where things stand today.

Overall, this is one of the best TV series I’ve seen probably since Breaking Bad. Chernobyl is an all around terrifying but gripping masterpiece of the events that occurred on the night of April 26, 1986.

IMDB: 9.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
My Rating: 9.8/10

Let me know what you think in the comments down below.


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