Connect with us

Sports

Colorado State Softball Team Organizes Sit-In to Protest Facilities, Gender Inequalities

The Colorado State softball team organized a sit-in on Friday during the CSU spring football practice to protest gender inequalities at the university.

Players complained about limited resources available to them, including no practice space in inclement weather. Senior outfielder Hayleigh Evans cited the lack of infrastructure in softball to CSU's decision to scrap its baseball team in the early 90s, which provided the university with little incentive to update the women's team's facilities.

"This isn't about the football team," Evans told the Rocky Mountain Collegian. "This is about equality for women's athletics. We don't have a place to practice when we need it. … One thing we've noticed is that when a women's sport gets better equality, it's because it's attached to a men's sport. … The men got it, so that's why they have to reciprocate it."

Here's a cut of the interview I had today with @CSUSoftball about their sit in/ practice in the CSU football team's indoor practice facility as a protest for equality in women's athletics
The three players speaking are @kayl_pierce @hayevs and Jordan Acosta @MWCsoftball pic.twitter.com/lUuTiSAYla

— Mack Beaulieu (@Macknz_James) April 6, 2018

“Our coach came in with three executive athletic administrators,” Evans said. “They just let us talk to them and we basically told them every reason why we were doing it. For equality, not just for softball but for women in general. For future generations, we want to see a change and what’s going on is not okay.”

The team says it has been forced to move practices in their indoor facility, even for activities such as intramural sports, which players believed was a disregard for their needs.

In 1992, the CSU softball team fought for the reinstatement of their team after the university decided to cut both the baseball and softball teams.

Continue Reading

Sports

Is Draymond Green Really a Top 10 Player?

Draymond Green has played an important part in the Warriors dynasty, helping push Golden State to 70 wins almost every season. That hasn't stopped quibbling over his place in NBA ranks, though. While he has been considered a top 10 player in recent years, Green's play may have dipped a bit this season. Does that leave the door open for another player? Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver discuss in the Open Floor Podcast.

Check out the full episode here and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. (The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity).

Andrew Sharp: You're the master of the rankings, the keeper of the Top 100. So I'll let you handle this at the start.

Ben Golliver: See, look, this is the real secret to how you get your question read at Open Floor. You just send in a question you know I will flip out about and Sharp will just serve it up on a platter. It;s just the most obvious formula of all-time. Andrew, are you telling me we're supposed to judge Draymond Green's entire stature in the NBA off one game in which half of his teammates are not playing against the Sacramento Kings in March? Does that sound like a good strategy for judging Draymond Green?

That sounds like an insult to Draymond Green, that's what it sounds like.

Sharp: Excuse me, that's not what I'm telling you. And honestly, I didn't even watch the Kings game, but this is something I have thought about over the course of this season. I think Draymond may be a little bit overrated, and granted, he hasn't been quite the same guy this season so maybe that's part of it too. I just think there are nine of 10 players who by themselves can make a team good, and I don't think that Draymond is in that conversation. I think that he is awesome and he is also the type of guy who unlocks all sorts of possibilities for a good team, and that's why he should be ranked in the top 20. But I think this may have been a case where group think on basketball Twitter has collectively inflated his value beyond what's actually reasonable.

Golliver: Or it may have been a case that he played an integral role in them winning basketball 70 games for three straight seasons, and you have to give credit when guys do that. It could have been a case of that too, right? How many of your guys in this so-called top eight or nine are elite defensive players, Andrew?

Sharp: I'm looking at it because I actually put together a list of my top 15 right now, and so I would say Anthony Davis, Giannis and Kawhi Leonard are three of my top eight that are elite defensive players. And you could include KD in that conversation if you wanted to.

Golliver: OK, but none of them are defense-first players. So let me guess, Rudy Gobert is not in your top 15?

Sharp: No, Rudy Gobert is and actually I think he's the most interesting debate with Draymond. It's whether you would rather Rudy Gobert or Draymond, and I think you still go Draymond just because of the small-ball stuff that he opens up. But Draymond's shooting has been really rough this year, and that's mostly on wide open looks, too. I think he still opens up all the small-ball stuff, but he's less effective in that role than he has been.

NBA With Splash Brothers Injured, Warriors Should Enter Shutdown Mode

Golliver: Remember, Draymond's a passer before he's a scorer. I think some people still kind of mistake that. I'm not saying you are, but other people when they're judging Draymond they miss that his major positive benefit on offense is his ability to move everywhere on the court and then to open things up as a playmaker to set your pace in transition, grab a defensive rebound and go.

I think first of all, is he slightly overrated by the intelligent basketball fan? That's definitely possible. I would say he hasn't played consistently as a top 10 player during this regular season. Do I expect after the playoffs for him to be back in that conversation? I do. I think he can crank it up just like the Warriors in general can crank it up. Do I think he's still vastly underrated by people who like to throw around mocking hashtag winning player as the emailer did? Yes, I think he's still vastly underrate by those people. Do I think he's hated on more than almost every superstar in the NBA because of his obnoxious personality at times? Yes, I do. I think he cultivates that, he cultivates that hate. I think that plays a bigger factor in how people view Draymond than the stat nerds or the real plus-minus guys like myself, who are saying, 'Hey, this guys deserves to be in the conversation.'

NBA 2018 NBA Draft Big Board 5.0: Top 80 Rankings as NCAA Tournament Marches On

You touched on it with the Rudy Gobert comparison. It's the versatility both positionally and stylistically that help Draymond, right? So you can play him at the four or the five, you can play up or down, you can play slow if you want. If you're taking Rudy Gobert as your franchise guy, the Jazz fans and their media people have recently been all over this hype train saying he needs to be a top 10 guy. It's a fascinating test case because he is that defense-first girl and his value is so obvious there. But you're committing to a specific style of play with him, right? You have to play one way and you have to find guys who can fit with him. With Draymond, I think it's a little bit more flexible and it's easier to build around him. So when I'm drafting in a vacuum test, I would still take Draymond over Gobert, but not by a ton.

The point you made before about Draymond's value, we should keep a really close eye on it, because if anyone from that big four is going to fall off because of age, it's going to be Draymond. I think he's going to be the first to go and when he goes it'll be interesting to see how graceful that is. Is he still able to kind of fit into a more narrow role on offense, sort of like Iguodala has? Scale back your offense, concert your energy and ramp up on the defensive end. Or does it get to be a situation where athletically, because he was never the prime, peak athlete, does he find himself in a situation where his impact just drastically crashes. And I'm not suggesting it's going to happen even next year, but some time here in the next couple seasons it's going to happen.

Sharp: And it's not even completely his game falling off. I think a lot of it is just wear and tear, and people sometimes don't realize how taxing Draymond's role is. And there's a reason that most other players can't pull it off, let alone pull it off for an entire season or four-year stretch like Draymond has. So it's just something to watch.

Continue Reading

Sports

Cyclist dies after crash in Paris-Roubaix race

Email Cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies after crash while racing in Paris-Roubaix

Posted April 09, 2018 11:18:19

Video: Belgian cyclist dies after Paris-Roubaix crash (ABC News) Related Story: Iranian cyclist dies in Paralympic race crash Map: France

Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts has died of cardiac arrest after crashing while competing in the Paris-Roubaix race.

Goolaerts' team said the 23-year-old died in a Lille hospital where he had been taken by helicopter from the one-day classic on Sunday.

"It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts," his team, Veranda's Willems-Crelan, said in a statement.

Image of a dirt-covered cyclist adjusting his helmet Photo: Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts, 23, was riding in support of cyclo-cross world champion Wout van Aert when he crashed. (Twitter: Veranda's Willems – Crelan Pro Cycling Team)

The team said Goolaerts died "in the presence of his family members and loved ones, who we keep in our thoughts". It added that he "died of cardiac arrest, all medical assistance was to no avail".

External Link: Veranda's Willems-Crelan cycling team statement

David Lappartient, president of cycling's peak body UCI, offered his condolences to the rider's family.

"On behalf of the Union Cycliste Internationale and the cycling family as a whole, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family, team and friends of Michael Goolaerts, who left us too early today. We share their immense sadness," Mr Lappartient wrote on Twitter.

Goolaerts had been airlifted to hospital after collapsing about 150 kilometres from the finish.

No images of the incident itself were available but TV footage of the race showed Goolaerts lying unresponsive on the side of the road as the peloton passed him. He was then attended by a medical team and appeared to receive CPR.

Goolaerts rode in support of cyclo-cross world champion Wout van Aert of Belgium. His most significant result this season was 20th at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Peter Sagan won the race ahead of Silvan Dillier of Switzerland.

But the champion Slovak's thoughts post-race turned to Goolaerts.

"All the thoughts and prayers of the @BORAhansgrohe team and myself are with Michael Goolaerts. Such a sad news …," Sagan wrote on Twitter.

External Link: David Lappartient tweet: "On behalf of the Union Cycliste Internationale and the cycling family as a whole, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family, team and friends of Michael Goolaerts, who left us too early today. We share their immense sadness."

The Paris-Roubaix race has been nicknamed the 'Hell of the North' due to the toughness of the race which features 29 sections of cobblestones.

Cyclist deaths during races

There have been numerous deaths among professional cyclists while competing in recent years, including others by cardiac arrest.

Goolaerts' death came two years after Belgian cyclist Daan Myngheer died following a heart attack during the Criterium International race in Corsica.

Another Belgian cyclist, Antoine Demoitie, died the same year following a crash in the Gent-Wevelgem race.

Also in recent years, Iranian Paralympian Bahman Golbarnezhad also died of cardiac arrest on the way to hospital after crashing during the S4 race at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

American Chad Young and France's Mathieu Riebel died from head injuries in crashes on descents during the Tour of Gila and Tour de Nouvelle Caledonie in 2017 respectively.

Belgian Wouter Weylandt, a stage winner at the Vuelta a Espana and Giro d'Italia, died instantly when he hit a guard rail in the third stage at the 2011 Giro.

AP/ABC

Topics: cycling, sport, france

Continue Reading

Sports

The deal seemed preposterous, but the Swans are getting value for money from Buddy Franklin

Email The deal seemed preposterous, but the Swans are getting value for money from Buddy Franklin By Offsiders columnist Richard Hinds

Posted April 09, 2018 04:44:36

Photo: Franklin's thumping 65-metre goal against the Giants was show-stopping. (AAP: David Moir) Related Story: Sydney can't just surf the Buddy wave to victory Related Story: Power charge past Swans as Eagles thump Dogs on Easter Sunday Map: Sydney 2000

With little more than five minutes to play at the SCG on Saturday night, the Sydney Swans cling to a 10-point lead over the Greater Western Sydney Giants in a tense, fiercely contested game.

It is the type of taut encounter needed to add credibility to the so-called Battle of the Bridge. A meeting that was, in its initial versions, a rivalry only in the PowerPoint presentations of the AFL's enthusiastic marketing executives.

From a scrimmage in the middle of the ground, Lance Franklin gets on the end of a handball. Instinctively, he dismisses a hapless Giants' opponent with his big right paw and wields onto his left foot.

External Link: Tweet: Buddy Franklin

The turning circle is so familiar it has a nickname — Buddy's Arc. As Franklin gathers momentum and swallows up the ground there is no chance anyone will impede his stampede. The result seems preordained, a thumping 65m kick that lands precisely between the goal posts.

The Swans have the game won. The one-sided crowd is ecstatic. Later coach John Longmire will be at pains to share the praise and deflect attention from Franklin's starring role. But as they head for the exits, the fans will talk about just one thing. That goal!

It is tempting to describe Franklin's latest show-stopping feat as a moment that money can't buy. But, of course, even the greatest sporting romantic must acknowledge the transactional element in his performances.

The covert $10.2 million operation that brought Franklin to (eastern) Sydney from Hawthorn will always be part of his epic tale.

Yet by matching his undoubted brilliance with unexpected longevity, he is providing an ending those of us who were sceptical about the nine-year deal never imagined.

External Link: AFL tweet: Enjoy all of Lance Franklin's eight goals from Sydney's strong win over the Eagles

Andrew Ireland, the Swans' savvy chief executive, will retire this season. When Ireland signed Franklin in late 2013 after months of secret negotiations, the length of the deal seemed even more preposterous than the eight-figure price tag.

Franklin was 27 when he arrived in Sydney. He will be 36 when he collects the last of his vast annual pay cheques.

Plagued by thumb and shoulder injuries when he arrived in Sydney, it seemed certain Ireland had paid for a Rolls Royce but would leave his successor with a V8 Commodore with 200,000 kilometres on the clock. A limping salary cap liability that would compromise the club's future.

Yet here we are nearing the halfway mark of Franklin's contract and he is playing better than at any stage of his Swans career.

In the opening round against West Coast in Perth he kicked eight goals and, most encouragingly, took several pack marks, the one element that had been missing from his game.

Lance Franklin gestures to the crowd after kicking a goal for Sydney Photo: In the opening round against West Coast, Franklin kicked eight goals and took several pack marks. (AAP: Travis Anderson)

Is Franklin actually underrated?

Such is Franklin's durability that The Age's chief football writer, Jake Niall, recently pondered whether a man who is a seven time All-Australian and four time Coleman Medallist is actually underrated by the football pundits.

As midfielders who have more possession but far less impact on contests line up to collect Brownlow Medals and the various media awards while Franklin is overlooked, it is hard to disagree with Niall's thesis.

There is no question Ireland got value for money. A contract that guaranteed Franklin $700,000 in his first two seasons, $1.2 million in his next three and then $1.3 million, $1.4 million, $1.5 million and $1 million could never be described as a bargain.

External Link: AFL tweet: BUDDY! Can he inspire the Swans? #AFLSwansPower

But, at the very least, the Franklin deal can now be compared to a seemingly outrageous price paid for a house that has continued to increase in value. If $10.2 million was jaw-dropping in 2013, it is merely market price now.

And this is without considering the enormous value Franklin has provided at the turnstile and the merchandise stalls from the moment he walked through the club's front door. If the Swans are the House That Plugger Built, then Buddy has added another wing.

There have been a couple of times when the Franklin deal seemed on a knife-edge. The injuries and depression that forced him out of the Swans team during the 2015 finals had many wondering if things had come unstuck. Although, pertinently, not coach Longmire, whose handling of his team's star forward as a person, not merely a prime asset, has been exemplary.

Inevitably, however, Franklin's publicity-shy off-field persona — he is Lance off the ground, while his alter-ego Buddy pulls on the boots — has only added another layer of intrigue to his performances.

So now there is just one thing missing before the Franklin deal can be hailed as an unqualified success. Buddy's Flag.

The inability to win a premiership with the game's best forward has not been for want of opportunity. In the 2016 grand final against the Western Bulldogs, Franklin was injured in the opening minutes and the Swans did not have the rub of the green (or they were robbed by the men in green if the dark mutterings of some officials and fans were to be believed.)

Sydney needs more than Buddy


Lance Franklin is a freak of sporting nature but he will need help to get Sydney Swans over the line in 2018, writes Andrew McGarry.

Losing their first six games last season meant the Swans needed a tremendous effort to reach the finals. The exertion required to make up lost ground left them as sitting ducks in September.

This time? If Franklin's brilliance inflames expectations, it is the club's excellent youngsters such as Callum Mills, Will Hayward and Oliver Florent who are the fuel on the fire.

Yet again, the Swans have regenerated while still peeking through the premiership window.

It would be poignant if the Swans were to meet the Giants in this year's grand final — the most exciting player in the game against the new franchise that was infuriated when Franklin went to their cross-town rivals behind their backs.

Not a grand final the scalpers would want, but one for contemporary connoisseurs.

Lance Franklin tackles Joel Hamling in the AFL grand final Photo: The one thing Franklin still has to give the Swans is a grand final win, after being injured out of the 2016 game against the Western Bulldogs. (AAP: Julian Smith)

Topics: sport, australian-football-league, sydney-2000, nsw, australia

More stories from New South Wales

Continue Reading

Sports

Colorado State Softball Team Organizes Sit-In to Protest Facilities, Gender Inequalities

The Colorado State softball team organized a sit-in on Friday during the CSU spring football practice to protest gender inequalities at the university.

Players complained about limited resources available to them, including no practice space in inclement weather. Senior outfielder Hayleigh Evans cited the lack of infrastructure in softball to CSU's decision to scrap its baseball team in the early 90s, which provided the university with little incentive to update the women's team's facilities.

"This isn't about the football team," Evans told the Rocky Mountain Collegian. "This is about equality for women's athletics. We don't have a place to practice when we need it. … One thing we've noticed is that when a women's sport gets better equality, it's because it's attached to a men's sport. … The men got it, so that's why they have to reciprocate it."

Here's a cut of the interview I had today with @CSUSoftball about their sit in/ practice in the CSU football team's indoor practice facility as a protest for equality in women's athletics
The three players speaking are @kayl_pierce @hayevs and Jordan Acosta @MWCsoftball pic.twitter.com/lUuTiSAYla

— Mack Beaulieu (@Macknz_James) April 6, 2018

“Our coach came in with three executive athletic administrators,” Evans said. “They just let us talk to them and we basically told them every reason why we were doing it. For equality, not just for softball but for women in general. For future generations, we want to see a change and what’s going on is not okay.”

The team says it has been forced to move practices in their indoor facility, even for activities such as intramural sports, which players believed was a disregard for their needs.

In 1992, the CSU softball team fought for the reinstatement of their team after the university decided to cut both the baseball and softball teams.

Continue Reading

Sports

Hornets Hire Ex-Lakers Executive Mitch Kupchak as Next General Manager

Former Lakers executive Mitch Kupchak will be the next General Manager for the Charlotte Hornets, the team announced Sunday. Along with GM, Kupchak will take over as President of Basketball Operations.

“In every role and in every stop during his tenure in the NBA, Mitch Kupchak has brought the highest levels of success to his teams. He’s a proven winner,” principal owner Michael Jordan said. “Having won championships as both a player and an executive, we have confidence that Mitch is the right person to lead our basketball operations, build a winning culture and bring sustained success to our organization, for our fans and for the city of Charlotte.”

Kupchak is set to replace Rich Cho, who was fired in February after a 24–33 start to the season. The Hornets are out of the playoff picture and will miss the postseason for the third time in the five seasons under coach Steve Clifford.

“I’m excited to join the Hornets organization and I want to thank Michael for this opportunity,” said Kupchak. “I am well aware of the passion for basketball in Charlotte and throughout the entire state of North Carolina‎, and I am confident that we can build the Hornets into a successful team that our great fans can be proud of."

Kupchak was let go from the Lakers when the team decided to name Hall of Famer Magic Johnson as Los Angeles' president of basketball operations and removing Jim Buss as the executive vice president of basketball operations.

Kupchak spent 17 years as the Lakers' general manager and won four NBA championships. However, Kupchak was at the front of ill-advised signings of Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov and contributed to a frantic environment in Los Angeles towards the end of his tenure. He was a former star at the University of North Carolina, which he shares in common with owner Michael Jordan.

Waiting for Kupchak in Charlotte is a roster without much flexibility, as the Hornets have $117.3 million committed to their 2018-19 roster, well above the cap.

Continue Reading

Trending

Sports

Colorado State Softball Team Organizes Sit-In to Protest Facilities, Gender Inequalities

The Colorado State softball team organized a sit-in on Friday during the CSU spring football practice to protest gender inequalities at the university.

Players complained about limited resources available to them, including no practice space in inclement weather. Senior outfielder Hayleigh Evans cited the lack of infrastructure in softball to CSU's decision to scrap its baseball team in the early 90s, which provided the university with little incentive to update the women's team's facilities.

"This isn't about the football team," Evans told the Rocky Mountain Collegian. "This is about equality for women's athletics. We don't have a place to practice when we need it. … One thing we've noticed is that when a women's sport gets better equality, it's because it's attached to a men's sport. … The men got it, so that's why they have to reciprocate it."

Here's a cut of the interview I had today with @CSUSoftball about their sit in/ practice in the CSU football team's indoor practice facility as a protest for equality in women's athletics
The three players speaking are @kayl_pierce @hayevs and Jordan Acosta @MWCsoftball pic.twitter.com/lUuTiSAYla

— Mack Beaulieu (@Macknz_James) April 6, 2018

“Our coach came in with three executive athletic administrators,” Evans said. “They just let us talk to them and we basically told them every reason why we were doing it. For equality, not just for softball but for women in general. For future generations, we want to see a change and what’s going on is not okay.”

The team says it has been forced to move practices in their indoor facility, even for activities such as intramural sports, which players believed was a disregard for their needs.

In 1992, the CSU softball team fought for the reinstatement of their team after the university decided to cut both the baseball and softball teams.

Continue Reading

Sports

Is Draymond Green Really a Top 10 Player?

Draymond Green has played an important part in the Warriors dynasty, helping push Golden State to 70 wins almost every season. That hasn't stopped quibbling over his place in NBA ranks, though. While he has been considered a top 10 player in recent years, Green's play may have dipped a bit this season. Does that leave the door open for another player? Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver discuss in the Open Floor Podcast.

Check out the full episode here and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. (The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity).

Andrew Sharp: You're the master of the rankings, the keeper of the Top 100. So I'll let you handle this at the start.

Ben Golliver: See, look, this is the real secret to how you get your question read at Open Floor. You just send in a question you know I will flip out about and Sharp will just serve it up on a platter. It;s just the most obvious formula of all-time. Andrew, are you telling me we're supposed to judge Draymond Green's entire stature in the NBA off one game in which half of his teammates are not playing against the Sacramento Kings in March? Does that sound like a good strategy for judging Draymond Green?

That sounds like an insult to Draymond Green, that's what it sounds like.

Sharp: Excuse me, that's not what I'm telling you. And honestly, I didn't even watch the Kings game, but this is something I have thought about over the course of this season. I think Draymond may be a little bit overrated, and granted, he hasn't been quite the same guy this season so maybe that's part of it too. I just think there are nine of 10 players who by themselves can make a team good, and I don't think that Draymond is in that conversation. I think that he is awesome and he is also the type of guy who unlocks all sorts of possibilities for a good team, and that's why he should be ranked in the top 20. But I think this may have been a case where group think on basketball Twitter has collectively inflated his value beyond what's actually reasonable.

Golliver: Or it may have been a case that he played an integral role in them winning basketball 70 games for three straight seasons, and you have to give credit when guys do that. It could have been a case of that too, right? How many of your guys in this so-called top eight or nine are elite defensive players, Andrew?

Sharp: I'm looking at it because I actually put together a list of my top 15 right now, and so I would say Anthony Davis, Giannis and Kawhi Leonard are three of my top eight that are elite defensive players. And you could include KD in that conversation if you wanted to.

Golliver: OK, but none of them are defense-first players. So let me guess, Rudy Gobert is not in your top 15?

Sharp: No, Rudy Gobert is and actually I think he's the most interesting debate with Draymond. It's whether you would rather Rudy Gobert or Draymond, and I think you still go Draymond just because of the small-ball stuff that he opens up. But Draymond's shooting has been really rough this year, and that's mostly on wide open looks, too. I think he still opens up all the small-ball stuff, but he's less effective in that role than he has been.

NBA With Splash Brothers Injured, Warriors Should Enter Shutdown Mode

Golliver: Remember, Draymond's a passer before he's a scorer. I think some people still kind of mistake that. I'm not saying you are, but other people when they're judging Draymond they miss that his major positive benefit on offense is his ability to move everywhere on the court and then to open things up as a playmaker to set your pace in transition, grab a defensive rebound and go.

I think first of all, is he slightly overrated by the intelligent basketball fan? That's definitely possible. I would say he hasn't played consistently as a top 10 player during this regular season. Do I expect after the playoffs for him to be back in that conversation? I do. I think he can crank it up just like the Warriors in general can crank it up. Do I think he's still vastly underrated by people who like to throw around mocking hashtag winning player as the emailer did? Yes, I think he's still vastly underrate by those people. Do I think he's hated on more than almost every superstar in the NBA because of his obnoxious personality at times? Yes, I do. I think he cultivates that, he cultivates that hate. I think that plays a bigger factor in how people view Draymond than the stat nerds or the real plus-minus guys like myself, who are saying, 'Hey, this guys deserves to be in the conversation.'

NBA 2018 NBA Draft Big Board 5.0: Top 80 Rankings as NCAA Tournament Marches On

You touched on it with the Rudy Gobert comparison. It's the versatility both positionally and stylistically that help Draymond, right? So you can play him at the four or the five, you can play up or down, you can play slow if you want. If you're taking Rudy Gobert as your franchise guy, the Jazz fans and their media people have recently been all over this hype train saying he needs to be a top 10 guy. It's a fascinating test case because he is that defense-first girl and his value is so obvious there. But you're committing to a specific style of play with him, right? You have to play one way and you have to find guys who can fit with him. With Draymond, I think it's a little bit more flexible and it's easier to build around him. So when I'm drafting in a vacuum test, I would still take Draymond over Gobert, but not by a ton.

The point you made before about Draymond's value, we should keep a really close eye on it, because if anyone from that big four is going to fall off because of age, it's going to be Draymond. I think he's going to be the first to go and when he goes it'll be interesting to see how graceful that is. Is he still able to kind of fit into a more narrow role on offense, sort of like Iguodala has? Scale back your offense, concert your energy and ramp up on the defensive end. Or does it get to be a situation where athletically, because he was never the prime, peak athlete, does he find himself in a situation where his impact just drastically crashes. And I'm not suggesting it's going to happen even next year, but some time here in the next couple seasons it's going to happen.

Sharp: And it's not even completely his game falling off. I think a lot of it is just wear and tear, and people sometimes don't realize how taxing Draymond's role is. And there's a reason that most other players can't pull it off, let alone pull it off for an entire season or four-year stretch like Draymond has. So it's just something to watch.

Continue Reading

Sports

Cyclist dies after crash in Paris-Roubaix race

Email Cyclist Michael Goolaerts dies after crash while racing in Paris-Roubaix

Posted April 09, 2018 11:18:19

Video: Belgian cyclist dies after Paris-Roubaix crash (ABC News) Related Story: Iranian cyclist dies in Paralympic race crash Map: France

Belgian rider Michael Goolaerts has died of cardiac arrest after crashing while competing in the Paris-Roubaix race.

Goolaerts' team said the 23-year-old died in a Lille hospital where he had been taken by helicopter from the one-day classic on Sunday.

"It is with unimaginable sadness that we have to communicate the passing of our rider and friend Michael Goolaerts," his team, Veranda's Willems-Crelan, said in a statement.

Image of a dirt-covered cyclist adjusting his helmet Photo: Belgian cyclist Michael Goolaerts, 23, was riding in support of cyclo-cross world champion Wout van Aert when he crashed. (Twitter: Veranda's Willems – Crelan Pro Cycling Team)

The team said Goolaerts died "in the presence of his family members and loved ones, who we keep in our thoughts". It added that he "died of cardiac arrest, all medical assistance was to no avail".

External Link: Veranda's Willems-Crelan cycling team statement

David Lappartient, president of cycling's peak body UCI, offered his condolences to the rider's family.

"On behalf of the Union Cycliste Internationale and the cycling family as a whole, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family, team and friends of Michael Goolaerts, who left us too early today. We share their immense sadness," Mr Lappartient wrote on Twitter.

Goolaerts had been airlifted to hospital after collapsing about 150 kilometres from the finish.

No images of the incident itself were available but TV footage of the race showed Goolaerts lying unresponsive on the side of the road as the peloton passed him. He was then attended by a medical team and appeared to receive CPR.

Goolaerts rode in support of cyclo-cross world champion Wout van Aert of Belgium. His most significant result this season was 20th at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

Peter Sagan won the race ahead of Silvan Dillier of Switzerland.

But the champion Slovak's thoughts post-race turned to Goolaerts.

"All the thoughts and prayers of the @BORAhansgrohe team and myself are with Michael Goolaerts. Such a sad news …," Sagan wrote on Twitter.

External Link: David Lappartient tweet: "On behalf of the Union Cycliste Internationale and the cycling family as a whole, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family, team and friends of Michael Goolaerts, who left us too early today. We share their immense sadness."

The Paris-Roubaix race has been nicknamed the 'Hell of the North' due to the toughness of the race which features 29 sections of cobblestones.

Cyclist deaths during races

There have been numerous deaths among professional cyclists while competing in recent years, including others by cardiac arrest.

Goolaerts' death came two years after Belgian cyclist Daan Myngheer died following a heart attack during the Criterium International race in Corsica.

Another Belgian cyclist, Antoine Demoitie, died the same year following a crash in the Gent-Wevelgem race.

Also in recent years, Iranian Paralympian Bahman Golbarnezhad also died of cardiac arrest on the way to hospital after crashing during the S4 race at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

American Chad Young and France's Mathieu Riebel died from head injuries in crashes on descents during the Tour of Gila and Tour de Nouvelle Caledonie in 2017 respectively.

Belgian Wouter Weylandt, a stage winner at the Vuelta a Espana and Giro d'Italia, died instantly when he hit a guard rail in the third stage at the 2011 Giro.

AP/ABC

Topics: cycling, sport, france

Continue Reading

Sports

The deal seemed preposterous, but the Swans are getting value for money from Buddy Franklin

Email The deal seemed preposterous, but the Swans are getting value for money from Buddy Franklin By Offsiders columnist Richard Hinds

Posted April 09, 2018 04:44:36

Photo: Franklin's thumping 65-metre goal against the Giants was show-stopping. (AAP: David Moir) Related Story: Sydney can't just surf the Buddy wave to victory Related Story: Power charge past Swans as Eagles thump Dogs on Easter Sunday Map: Sydney 2000

With little more than five minutes to play at the SCG on Saturday night, the Sydney Swans cling to a 10-point lead over the Greater Western Sydney Giants in a tense, fiercely contested game.

It is the type of taut encounter needed to add credibility to the so-called Battle of the Bridge. A meeting that was, in its initial versions, a rivalry only in the PowerPoint presentations of the AFL's enthusiastic marketing executives.

From a scrimmage in the middle of the ground, Lance Franklin gets on the end of a handball. Instinctively, he dismisses a hapless Giants' opponent with his big right paw and wields onto his left foot.

External Link: Tweet: Buddy Franklin

The turning circle is so familiar it has a nickname — Buddy's Arc. As Franklin gathers momentum and swallows up the ground there is no chance anyone will impede his stampede. The result seems preordained, a thumping 65m kick that lands precisely between the goal posts.

The Swans have the game won. The one-sided crowd is ecstatic. Later coach John Longmire will be at pains to share the praise and deflect attention from Franklin's starring role. But as they head for the exits, the fans will talk about just one thing. That goal!

It is tempting to describe Franklin's latest show-stopping feat as a moment that money can't buy. But, of course, even the greatest sporting romantic must acknowledge the transactional element in his performances.

The covert $10.2 million operation that brought Franklin to (eastern) Sydney from Hawthorn will always be part of his epic tale.

Yet by matching his undoubted brilliance with unexpected longevity, he is providing an ending those of us who were sceptical about the nine-year deal never imagined.

External Link: AFL tweet: Enjoy all of Lance Franklin's eight goals from Sydney's strong win over the Eagles

Andrew Ireland, the Swans' savvy chief executive, will retire this season. When Ireland signed Franklin in late 2013 after months of secret negotiations, the length of the deal seemed even more preposterous than the eight-figure price tag.

Franklin was 27 when he arrived in Sydney. He will be 36 when he collects the last of his vast annual pay cheques.

Plagued by thumb and shoulder injuries when he arrived in Sydney, it seemed certain Ireland had paid for a Rolls Royce but would leave his successor with a V8 Commodore with 200,000 kilometres on the clock. A limping salary cap liability that would compromise the club's future.

Yet here we are nearing the halfway mark of Franklin's contract and he is playing better than at any stage of his Swans career.

In the opening round against West Coast in Perth he kicked eight goals and, most encouragingly, took several pack marks, the one element that had been missing from his game.

Lance Franklin gestures to the crowd after kicking a goal for Sydney Photo: In the opening round against West Coast, Franklin kicked eight goals and took several pack marks. (AAP: Travis Anderson)

Is Franklin actually underrated?

Such is Franklin's durability that The Age's chief football writer, Jake Niall, recently pondered whether a man who is a seven time All-Australian and four time Coleman Medallist is actually underrated by the football pundits.

As midfielders who have more possession but far less impact on contests line up to collect Brownlow Medals and the various media awards while Franklin is overlooked, it is hard to disagree with Niall's thesis.

There is no question Ireland got value for money. A contract that guaranteed Franklin $700,000 in his first two seasons, $1.2 million in his next three and then $1.3 million, $1.4 million, $1.5 million and $1 million could never be described as a bargain.

External Link: AFL tweet: BUDDY! Can he inspire the Swans? #AFLSwansPower

But, at the very least, the Franklin deal can now be compared to a seemingly outrageous price paid for a house that has continued to increase in value. If $10.2 million was jaw-dropping in 2013, it is merely market price now.

And this is without considering the enormous value Franklin has provided at the turnstile and the merchandise stalls from the moment he walked through the club's front door. If the Swans are the House That Plugger Built, then Buddy has added another wing.

There have been a couple of times when the Franklin deal seemed on a knife-edge. The injuries and depression that forced him out of the Swans team during the 2015 finals had many wondering if things had come unstuck. Although, pertinently, not coach Longmire, whose handling of his team's star forward as a person, not merely a prime asset, has been exemplary.

Inevitably, however, Franklin's publicity-shy off-field persona — he is Lance off the ground, while his alter-ego Buddy pulls on the boots — has only added another layer of intrigue to his performances.

So now there is just one thing missing before the Franklin deal can be hailed as an unqualified success. Buddy's Flag.

The inability to win a premiership with the game's best forward has not been for want of opportunity. In the 2016 grand final against the Western Bulldogs, Franklin was injured in the opening minutes and the Swans did not have the rub of the green (or they were robbed by the men in green if the dark mutterings of some officials and fans were to be believed.)

Sydney needs more than Buddy


Lance Franklin is a freak of sporting nature but he will need help to get Sydney Swans over the line in 2018, writes Andrew McGarry.

Losing their first six games last season meant the Swans needed a tremendous effort to reach the finals. The exertion required to make up lost ground left them as sitting ducks in September.

This time? If Franklin's brilliance inflames expectations, it is the club's excellent youngsters such as Callum Mills, Will Hayward and Oliver Florent who are the fuel on the fire.

Yet again, the Swans have regenerated while still peeking through the premiership window.

It would be poignant if the Swans were to meet the Giants in this year's grand final — the most exciting player in the game against the new franchise that was infuriated when Franklin went to their cross-town rivals behind their backs.

Not a grand final the scalpers would want, but one for contemporary connoisseurs.

Lance Franklin tackles Joel Hamling in the AFL grand final Photo: The one thing Franklin still has to give the Swans is a grand final win, after being injured out of the 2016 game against the Western Bulldogs. (AAP: Julian Smith)

Topics: sport, australian-football-league, sydney-2000, nsw, australia

More stories from New South Wales

Continue Reading

Sports

Colorado State Softball Team Organizes Sit-In to Protest Facilities, Gender Inequalities

The Colorado State softball team organized a sit-in on Friday during the CSU spring football practice to protest gender inequalities at the university.

Players complained about limited resources available to them, including no practice space in inclement weather. Senior outfielder Hayleigh Evans cited the lack of infrastructure in softball to CSU's decision to scrap its baseball team in the early 90s, which provided the university with little incentive to update the women's team's facilities.

"This isn't about the football team," Evans told the Rocky Mountain Collegian. "This is about equality for women's athletics. We don't have a place to practice when we need it. … One thing we've noticed is that when a women's sport gets better equality, it's because it's attached to a men's sport. … The men got it, so that's why they have to reciprocate it."

Here's a cut of the interview I had today with @CSUSoftball about their sit in/ practice in the CSU football team's indoor practice facility as a protest for equality in women's athletics
The three players speaking are @kayl_pierce @hayevs and Jordan Acosta @MWCsoftball pic.twitter.com/lUuTiSAYla

— Mack Beaulieu (@Macknz_James) April 6, 2018

“Our coach came in with three executive athletic administrators,” Evans said. “They just let us talk to them and we basically told them every reason why we were doing it. For equality, not just for softball but for women in general. For future generations, we want to see a change and what’s going on is not okay.”

The team says it has been forced to move practices in their indoor facility, even for activities such as intramural sports, which players believed was a disregard for their needs.

In 1992, the CSU softball team fought for the reinstatement of their team after the university decided to cut both the baseball and softball teams.

Continue Reading

Sports

Hornets Hire Ex-Lakers Executive Mitch Kupchak as Next General Manager

Former Lakers executive Mitch Kupchak will be the next General Manager for the Charlotte Hornets, the team announced Sunday. Along with GM, Kupchak will take over as President of Basketball Operations.

“In every role and in every stop during his tenure in the NBA, Mitch Kupchak has brought the highest levels of success to his teams. He’s a proven winner,” principal owner Michael Jordan said. “Having won championships as both a player and an executive, we have confidence that Mitch is the right person to lead our basketball operations, build a winning culture and bring sustained success to our organization, for our fans and for the city of Charlotte.”

Kupchak is set to replace Rich Cho, who was fired in February after a 24–33 start to the season. The Hornets are out of the playoff picture and will miss the postseason for the third time in the five seasons under coach Steve Clifford.

“I’m excited to join the Hornets organization and I want to thank Michael for this opportunity,” said Kupchak. “I am well aware of the passion for basketball in Charlotte and throughout the entire state of North Carolina‎, and I am confident that we can build the Hornets into a successful team that our great fans can be proud of."

Kupchak was let go from the Lakers when the team decided to name Hall of Famer Magic Johnson as Los Angeles' president of basketball operations and removing Jim Buss as the executive vice president of basketball operations.

Kupchak spent 17 years as the Lakers' general manager and won four NBA championships. However, Kupchak was at the front of ill-advised signings of Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov and contributed to a frantic environment in Los Angeles towards the end of his tenure. He was a former star at the University of North Carolina, which he shares in common with owner Michael Jordan.

Waiting for Kupchak in Charlotte is a roster without much flexibility, as the Hornets have $117.3 million committed to their 2018-19 roster, well above the cap.

Continue Reading

Trending