JJ Lanier

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False Start

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

We all love to make predictions and nowhere is that more than in sports.

Not only do we love to predict which teams will win and what players will receive end of the year honors, but each sport’s draft is predicated entirely on how a team predicts a particular player will perform.

For the most part I try to stay away from making predictions as much as I can; I’m not very smart and there are so many outside factors it can be a pretty risky business.

However, when it comes to the length of Urban Meyer’s tenure in Jacksonville, I’m willing to make an exception.

If I had to guess as to how much time will elapse before Meyer has another medical condition forcing him to retire, I’d put the over/under at 3 years. And just to clarify, I’m not mocking anyone with a medical condition, just those who seem to have them at the most opportune times.

There are a myriad of reasons why I don’t think this relationship between Meyer and the Jaguars will work out, but they all come back to one single fact most others have already touched on- Meyer isn’t in college football anymore.

There’s a reason why Pete Carroll’s transition from college to the NFL is the exception and not the rule- it’s damn hard.

Meyer was an excellent college coach and the one person I believe would’ve given Nick Saban a run for his money had he stuck around in either Gainesville or Columbus.

But, besides not being sure his systems will work in the NFL, I’m not convinced his approach to coaching will work.

The fiasco that was the Chris Doyle hire, followed by the even more ridiculous press conference, is a perfect example.

In college you may lose a player or two after bringing in someone with the history of a Doyle, but for the most part it’s a storm that passes without much fallout.

(The student athlete has become much more vocal recently, so in all fairness, the storm may be louder now than a few years ago.)

As Meyer found out really quickly, those types of hires don’t fly in the NFL. Players aren’t relying on a head coach to get them to the next level, they’re already there.

And specifically speaking to a strength coordinator, most of the work NFL players do is on their own with their own trainer. Making a decision like that is almost all risk with absolutely no reward, not that the possible reward is an excuse to sell that hire anyway.

Meyer’s history of making these types of bonehead decisions and choices to double down on them because he could in college, is an indication he isn’t really prepared for what he’s about to embark on.

Winning cures a lot of ailments, but it doesn’t cure them all. If he’s going to be successful, he’s going to have to change more than just X’s and O’s.

Who knows, maybe Meyer has been able to figure out how to manage the day-to-day stresses of being a head coach and put those issues behind him.

Maybe he’ll wind up having a very successful stint as Jacksonville’s head coach, lasting into the next decade. Those are all things that could very well happen, I’m just not willing to predict it.

The QB Sweepstakes

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

As the recent exchange of quarterbacks between the Rams and Lions becomes finalized, it looks like the NFL’s offseason has started a week early.

With other quarterbacks (Deshaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers) either requesting to be traded or hinting they may look elsewhere; this offseason is shaping up to be a memorable one.

So, with that in mind, which of those two quarterbacks should each NFC South team go after, hypothetically speaking.

Atlanta Falcons: On the surface, Rodgers seems like the obvious choice.

He is currently the better of the two quarterbacks and comes with a price tag that will probably be a little less hefty than the two 1’s, two 2’s, and two young defensive players the Texans are reportedly asking for.

Of course, having said all that the correct choice is Watson.

The Falcons will need to draft a quarterback within the next year or two with one of those draft picks anyways, and I’m sure they would happily give up two 1’s if you were guaranteed a player the level of Watson; giving up two 2’s would hurt, but it’s not the end of the world.

There’s just enough talent on their roster to be able to absorb the loss of two defensive players and not completely set them back. It’s not going to happen, but I don’t think the idea is too far-fetched.

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers going after Rodgers would be as much of a waste of time as Eminem recording an avant-garde jazz album- not that it wouldn’t be interesting to see the end result.

I know Carolina is interested in Watson, it’s just whether or not they’re willing to pay the ransom Houston is asking for.

Similar to Atlanta, they’ll be drafting a quarterback this year or next, but unlike Atlanta they aren’t in the position to lose young talent. (The Panthers did have interest in Stafford, but as a friend of mine texted me “I’m overjoyed the Panthers “lost” the Matthew Stafford sweepstakes”. I couldn’t have agreed more.)

New Orleans Saints: I wanted to go with Watson here too, but I actually like Rodgers in this situation.

As strange as it to say, Rodgers would be an upgrade from Brees and the Saints are already Super Bowl contenders.

Neither Jameis Winston nor Taysom Hill are the long-term answers so I wouldn’t blame New Orleans if they made a run at Watson.

However, adding Rodgers would have a very 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers feeling to it, only with a better starting off point.

I don’t believe Atlanta is going to be a player for either quarterback and Carolina will throw their name in for Watson, but probably come up short.

I wouldn’t be surprised though to see the Saints name come up with at least one, if not both guys. Besides all the financial and roster considerations, they are probably the most attractive team in the division.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Trevor Lawrence, some quarterback that hasn’t even been born yet; it doesn’t matter who would be the better fit because Tom Brady is never going to retire and we all just need to deal with it.

With the way this season has gone everything yet nothing surprises me anymore.

The only thing I’m hanging my hope on is if Aaron Rodgers somehow ends up in Charlotte there will be an Eminem/Herbie Hancock album soon to follow.


Changing Winds

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

When it was announced the Atlanta Falcons had hired Arthur Smith as their new head coach I immediately thought “‘the guy who wrote Dueling Banjos is still alive…and he’s going to coach the Falcons?”

Ok, so maybe the latter part is a bit of an embellishment, but that is the first Arthur Smith that came to mind.

Even with my knowledge of Smith’s football career limited to his last two years as Tennessee’s Offensive Coordinator, the hire shouldn’t really be that much of a surprise.

Atlanta has a history, particular in recent years, of hiring first time head coaches. While some organizations seemed determined to only hire former head coaches, Smith’s hire will be the fourth consecutive time the Falcons have handed the reigns of their team over to someone with no NFL head coaching experience.

Even when they have gone the “recycled” route, the last two coaches to fall under that category were Jim Mora and Dan Reeves- neither of which were considered bad hires at the time.

Whether that is the best is way for them to proceed or not is completely subjective, but I do give them credit for not falling in to the relationship trap of “oh, I know who they were beforehand, but they’ll be different with me.”

What intrigues me more about the hire is what it might say about the direction the franchise is heading and what exactly the expectations are for Smith.

Typically, when you see a young head coach join a team that has several high-profile players on the backside of their career, you automatically think it’s time to tear down and rebuild.

In Atlanta’s case, bringing in a highly regarded offensive coordinator, combined with an aging quarterback and the fourth overall pick in the draft, is the ideal situation to start moving onto the next phase of the franchise’s future.

However, with Matt Ryan hopefully still having another 2-3 productive years left, and Smith’s record of success in Tennessee, however limited it may be, it wouldn’t shock me if those plans are simmering on the back burner for at least another season.

If the Falcons are trying to make one last push before their franchise quarterback rides off into the sunset, bringing in someone who revived a lesser quarterback’s career isn’t a bad place to start.

If I had to guess, how the Falcons choose to use that fourth pick will give us a pretty good indication of what their plans are, and how much leeway their new head coach is going to received.

Trevor Lawrence won’t be available, and I imagine Justin Fields will be off the board as well, so is Atlanta enamored enough with either Zach Wilson or Trey Lance to draft them that high, knowing they probably won’t see the field for a year or two?

Obviously, there are other aspects to take into consideration when you’re trying to figure out the direction of a football franchise, but none will speak louder than Atlanta drafting a quarterback that early.

Like with any hire there will always be questions- are two years enough to judge how Smith will run a team? Were there better options out there?

Regardless of how you answer you those questions, the hire falls right in line with who the Atlanta Falcons have been. Now it’s just figuring out exactly what that means.

High Tide

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

There have been some impressive college football dynasties over the years, but it’s hard to imagine a more successful one than the one currently taking place in Tuscaloosa.

If you take out Saban’s inaugural year in 2007 the Crimson Tide have never won fewer than 10 games in a season (they’ve won 12 or more in 10 of those 13 seasons) own 8 Division titles, 7 Conference titles, and 6 National Championship trophies.

What separates Alabama from other remarkable runs other programs have made is not only the longevity, but the circumstances surrounding it.

As frustrated as people get having to hear the argument about players and teams being from different eras, that does make a difference.

This isn’t the Knute Rockne/Bear Bryant days where all the best players went to one or two schools, making it easier to dominate the competition.

Not only are there more options for players, but a lot of players are spurning some of the bigger programs so they (players) have a better chance of getting their name out there and building their brand.

Yet, Alabama is still able to bring in top rated classes, year after year. They’ve also achieved these feats playing in arguably the most difficult conference in the country.

Clemson, a team some people, myself included, thought could dethrone Alabama as the premier program, is a perfect example. As impressive as the Tigers have been the past 5-6 years, and as deserving as they were in their two championship runs, you knew they were going to have a shot because of the league they play in.

The Tide have been more successful, for twice as long, playing in a much more difficult conference.

One area that seems to fly a bit under the radar is the number of coordinators Saban has gone through, especially on the offensive side.

Over his 14 tenure there have been seven (about to be eight) different offensive coordinators at the helm.

We like to discuss at length the hurdles that come with player turnover due to transfers, graduating, etc., but to have that many different coordinators reigning over the side of the ball Saban is least comfortable with says a lot about his ability to bring in talent not only on the field, but on the sideline as well.

Granted, he’s been fortunate to have some talented play callers on his staff, but to give credit where it’s due, he also was willing to take chances on guys like Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian when their names weren’t exactly well received around the league.

That’s not to say Alabama and Saban are perfect or that they’ve won me over as a fan; of the three people I like associated with the state of Alabama, (Jason Isbell, Charles Barkley, and a player to be named later) none of them have anything to do with Alabama football.

It’s difficult to be objective towards Saban and the Tide- he’s not exactly the most gregarious person there is and winning as much as the program has does automatically brings detractors.

But, with Alabama winning their sixth title in 13 years, I do find myself appreciating what Saban has achieved during his time there.

The argument could be made some were just as good, but regardless of tonight’s outcome, I’d argue nobody has been better.

Malevolent Mullen

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

“My team is on the floor.”

In a movie full of memorable quotes and scenes (Hoosiers) that line may encapsulate the integrity of Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) more than any other.

In six words he not only holds the one available substitute on his bench accountable for not following his rules, but he shows tremendous support for the four players that did.

Regardless of wins and losses the character does exactly what you want a coach to do, set a good example for the players around him.

If Hoosiers was to be remade into a football movie starring Dan Mullen the line may sound like this- “My team is on the field…except it’s not this year’s team, it’s next years…and you know I could just take them all off the field and not play, right…and by the way, what’s with the lack of a crowd, it’s interfering with my current, but yet not current players…hey, how do you like my Halloween costume?”

If adversity is supposed to expose a person’s true character this past season has shown Mullen to be a narcissistic, excuse-riddled coach, whose post game comments are more of a fit for fan base discussion boards as opposed to press conferences. (Seriously, all those jokes about the SEC only losing bowl games they’re not interested in playing, originally directed at delusional fans, can now add Mullen to their intended list of targets.)

For most of the season it seemed like the best way to handle his rants was the same way you would handle a toddler throwing a fit in the toy aisle at a Target; just let him have his moment and move on.

Of course, as any parent will attest, if you don’t stop the fits early enough, they’ll grow into a full blown tantrum, which is basically what Mullen’s post Cotton Bowl press conference amounted to.

There really isn’t any way an objective person could watch that video and justify what he said as anything other than adult tantrum.

Despite all the ridiculous and frankly disrespectful comments he made his lack of integrity was what really pushed the whole thing over the edge.

As I mentioned above, the one thing we hope a coach will do at a minimum is set a good example for their players, right? I mean, I feel like I’ve heard “shaping boys into men” a few times over my 40 years on this earth.

How did Mullen shape his players this year? I assume they learned if things get tough just throw a bunch of excuses and blame towards others and then make sure they know just how lucky they were that you at least showed up?

Coming into this season I didn’t really have strong feelings towards Mullen, one way or the other. I thought he was a good coach who up to that point seemed like a decent guy.

Obviously, my feelings are a little more pronounced than they were a few months ago.

Look, Mullen may be taking the Dabo Swinney approach by doubling down on his comments because he doesn’t care what people outside of his program’s fan base thinks of him.

However, if he does care about his reputation, and since he’s already admitted he’s moved on to the 2021 season, I know just the perfect movie he can watch to help him on his way.

Disney Or Six Flags?

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Since John Calipari arrived in Lexington almost twelve years ago, Kentucky has dominated the SEC.

Over that period of time, in conference play, the Wildcats have won six regular season and conference tournament titles, while finishing in either first or second place in every season but one.

Kentucky has essentially been operating at the level of Disney and the rest of the SEC has been Six Flags.

Still, even when you’ve been as dominant as the Wildcats have been there is usually a season mixed in there somewhere, when other teams are able to get their shots in- last year’s UNC season comes to mind.

Could this be the year the tables are turned?

The one team that automatically comes to mind that’s in the best position is Tennessee.

The Vols are probably the league’s most completely team, with a nice mix of experience, talent, and coaching.

They have played the second toughest schedule of anyone in the SEC (Kentucky’s has been the most difficult, by far) and they have been the most impressive doing it.

The only thing I worry about, and I realize I’m contradicting myself a bit here, is I just don’t trust Rick Barnes.

Yes, I think he’s a good coach, his teams just tend to fall short when they’re the leaders. In a weird way I would actually feel better about their chances if Kentucky were playing at a higher level.

Teams like Arkansas, Missouri, Auburn, and LSU could certainly let wind up at the top of conference if Tennessee were to falter, but there are still too many questions about each for me to feel comfortable separating any one of those from the pack.

I think some of the other teams (Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M) will certainly have a shot at some upset wins, I just don’t think they’ll be able to compete for a shot at the top spot.

Florida is the one wild card in this whole thing. After witnessing Keyontae Johnson collapse on the court and then the aftermath of that event, you can’t predict how they’re going to react.

And just to be clear, these are a bunch of teenage kids who saw a teammate and friend collapse in front of them, so however they respond on the court is really inconsequential.

Of course, this topic is only relevant because Kentucky is off to their worst start in over a hundred years. An optimistic fan will argue the team has played the most difficult schedule in the country and their young players will mature and grow over the course of the season.

Everyone else will counter with the fact Kentucky still lost those games and those young players have more than likely never faced this kind adversity that is currently staring them in the face.

We should have a good idea who may be on the right path after the first few games, since Kentucky begins their conference schedule against some of the league’s weaker teams.

Even though we knew this season was going to be different for all the obvious reasons, I think most still felt like Kentucky was the team to beat and most everyone else was playing for second place.

With Kentucky’s early struggles it feels as if a number of teams have an opportunity to feel what it’s like to be the top dog.

Don’t get me wrong, going to Six Flags can be great, but it’s Disney that most everyone is after.

SEC In Aerosmith Albums

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

With the regular season essentially over, here is how I think each team fared, worst to best, and the corresponding Aerosmith album it equates to, also in ascending order. (No particular reason for choosing Aerosmith, just been listening to them lately and they do have 14 original studio albums. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy Aerosmith.)


  1. Rock and a Hard Place- Vanderbilt. When you lose every game by an average of 22.5 points and fire your head coach, your season is as forgettable as this album. Even the most ardent Aerosmith fans forget these were ever recorded.


  1. Night in the Ruts- Tennessee. The only positive thing I can say about Tennessee’s season was it was better than Vanderbilt’s.


  1. Music From Another Dimension- Mississippi State. Much like the last album Aerosmith has released, there are one or two highlights, but not much else to get excited about.


  1. Just Push Play- LSU. A season most Tigers’ fans would like to forget. Will certainly never be a success story, but ten years from now it won’t be viewed as quite the disaster it is today.


  1. Nine Lives- South Carolina. If you look at their on-field production and results they should be ranked lower. I boosted them up a few spots based solely on parting ways with Will Muschamp, which was their biggest win of the season.


  1. Done With Mirrors- Kentucky. Middle of the road album, middle of the road season. Nothing more, nothing less.


  1. Draw the Line- Auburn. A decent but underwhelming album that immediately preceded Aerosmith’s two worst records. Auburn lived up to the first part, with Malzahn now gone the second part is sure to follow.


  1. Permanent Vacation- Arkansas. The album was a comeback of sorts for the band and even though the Razorbacks only won three games it feels as though they’re on the right track.


  1. Aerosmith- Ole Miss. Their offense is as good as “Dream On”; if they can just get their defense to the level of “Mama Kin” they may wind up being the second best team in the West.


  1. Get A Grip- Missouri. Having trouble finding any correlation between the team and other than it’s my fifth favorite Aerosmith record and I thought Missouri had the fifth most successful season.


  1. Rocks- Georgia. Admittedly this album has held up better over time than this season will for Georgia. I know the end result is a disappointment for most fans, but it very easily could’ve been worse. Plus, you’ve found your quarterback for next year.


  1. Toys in the Attic- Florida. A really good season marred by a bad Austin Powers impersonation (“Really, who throws a shoe”) and a coach who can’t keep his foot out of his mouth. The Gators podiatry program has been working overtime this year.


  1. Get Your Wings- Texas A&M. No standout tracks, solid from beginning to end, just not as strong as the album above it. No standout wins, strong in all aspects of the game, just not as talented and deep as the team above them.


1.Pump- Alabama. You can argue my pick for best Aerosmith album, but not with which SEC had the best season; undefeated, averaged 49.5 ppg, average margin of victory 32.7, and actually played all ten games. You don’t have to like them, but you damn sure have to respect them.

Do You Really Care

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

If you had asked me back in September if I thought there would still be a college football season in December, I would’ve told you you’d be more likely to see a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion with the original Aunt Viv.

The fact we are not only playing football in December, but it looks like most bowl games and the college playoffs are going to take place, is nothing short of remarkable.

Considering the difficulties, we all knew the NCAA would encounter to put any semblance of a season together, I think they’ve done an admirable job, overall.

They put together strict guidelines in regards to testing players and coaches multiple times a week, as well the protocols in place for those who tested positive.

They allowed programs to have the autonomy to cancel and reschedule games as they saw fit, which led to some interesting matchups, like Coastal Carolina and BYU, that we otherwise never would’ve gotten.

Still, for all those reasons I just gave the NCAA credit for, I have never been less interested, or watched fewer games than I have this year.

It’s been difficult getting excited for games where I had no idea what type of roster was actually going to be on the field or if the game was even going to be played at all.

It’s also been hard to care about the outcomes of games and how it affects bowl games and the college playoffs when there’s such a disparity in the number of games played.

The most difficult part has probably been the testing. While I applaud the NCAA’s testing requirements there’s something wrong when college kids can be tested three times a week, simply because they’re an athlete, while thousands of Americans wait in line 3-4 hours to get tested.

In many cases, they have to use sick or vacation time for work while they wait on the results because they are in quarantine.

I know it’s an apples to oranges comparison when it comes to the cost or type of tests being administered (public vs private) but I have to seriously doubt the motives of anyone who doesn’t admit the optics on that are bad.

When you take into account the billions of dollars to be made, or probably more important, to be lost, if there wasn’t a season, I completely understand why the NCAA proceeded with football and continues with basketball.

I just wonder for all those fans that were clamoring at the beginning of the season how much they needed sports so there could be some resemblance of normalcy in their daily lives, did it provide the escape they hoped for?

I, for one, felt that way two months ago, but my perspective has changed entirely since then.

Please understand this isn’t some sort of political statement on my behalf. I’m not arguing whether or not a season should have been played or advocating for any particular side.

The NCAA was in a no win situation and I give them credit for trying to make the best of it.

All I’m giving is my opinion on why my interest in caring about this season has basically been nonexistent.

Unless it was a topic I was going to write about, when given the choice to watch a football game or something else, I chose the latter.

After watching Aunt Viv be reunited with Will Smith, I have no regrets.

Loading The Nest

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

You can tell a lot about where an NBA franchise thinks they are with how they approach their free agency.

Do they sign long-term max deals to players that they want to have around for a while?

Is their approach to sign guys they believe will be able to help push them over the edge and get them into the NBA finals?

Do they even participate in it at all?

The Hawks may not be on the cusp of the NBA finals, but they’re free agent signings announced to the rest of the league, and I imagine to their head coach as well, that anything less than a playoff appearance will be unacceptable.

With the young talent on Atlanta’s roster I think most people believed the organization would target veteran players they could sign for two years at a reasonable salary to help those younger players mature a little quicker; basically, what they did with Rajon Rondo. I don’t think anyone expected them to be nearly as aggressive as they were.

Even if you weren’t a bit surprised when Atlanta signed Danilo Gallinari to a 3-year contact for just north of $61 million, I imagine the most ardent Hawks supporter didn’t see them signing Bogdan Bogdanovic at 4 years/$72 million.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying either of those signings were bad, just not the moves most people were expecting Atlanta to make.

None of the four free agents Atlanta has added (yes, I’m including Kris Dunn) were brought in to merely be placeholders, bridging the gap until guys like De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and Kevin Huerter are ready to take the reins.

They were brought in to not only make the Hawks competitive, but as a signal to those young players that their learning curve just dwindled; it’s time to take that next step and they better be ready for it.

In the matter of a week the Atlanta Hawks went from a team not good enough to play in the bubble, which is like not being good enough to get a participation trophy, to being a team that could cause problems for others in the playoffs.

Which leads me to Lloyd Pierce, who is about to enter his third year as the Hawks head coach with immensely more pressure on him than he had a few weeks ago.

I imagine the next 8-9 months for Pierce will be like watching Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” music video on a continuous loop.

The good news for the soon to be on the hot heat coach (if he doesn’t already begin the season there) is that he has a lot of different lineup options he’ll be able to fall back on, giving him an opportunity to be creative with his substitutions.

If we’re being realistic, the best case scenario for Atlanta is a second place finish in the Southeast behind Miami and a favorable first round matchup as a five or six seed.

There is the slight possibility their season could turn out even better, but I imagine that would have to do with other teams struggling more than Atlanta having success.

Regardless, this should be the best season the team has had in the past four or five years.

It’s playoffs or bust for the Atlanta Hawks, or at least that’s what their free agent signings indicate.

Welcome To The League

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

With everything going on in the world to go along with a lack of star power in this year’s draft, it would be completely understandable if you forgot the NBA Draft hadn’t taken place yet.

Honestly, the only reason I remembered is I haven’t purchased NBA 2K21 yet because the rosters couldn’t be up to date since there had been no draft (or free agency and trades).

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not a fan of giving out grades when to comes to drafts.

I know they’re interesting to read, which is why most media outlets post them, but unless it’s just a no brainer pick, or one that makes absolutely no sense, it’s three or four years before you can really make any judgements.

So, instead of telling you how well or poorly the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic did, here are a few remarks on the type of player each team is getting.

Atlanta Hawks

Oneyka Okongwu, C, USC. The former 1st team All-PAC 12 player was largely considered to be the best low post player in the draft.

Like most young big men with similar size and athleticism his strength is on defense, however his offensive skillset is farther along than most of his peers.

I imagine the plan is for Okongwu to back up Clint Capela while he adjusts to the NBA, but if his development is quicker than expected Capela could become expendable, something that may be appealing to Atlanta at the trade deadline.

There’s a very good chance the Hawks drafted their long-term answer down low.

Skylar Mays, G, LSU. With the NBA’s emphasis on drafting young players based on potential, hopefuls like Mays- four-year players with NBA level skills- oftentimes find themselves waiting until the second round before they hear their names called, if at all.

Mays, who started all four years at LSU and was named 1st team All-SEC this past season, is certainly good enough to play at the NBA level, the only question is whether he’ll get a chance to prove himself with Atlanta.

Not many players drafted in the 50th spot hang around, Mays has the potential to be an exception to the rule.

Orlando Magic

Cole Anthony, G, UNC. As a devout parishioner from the church of ABC (Anybody But Carolina) I was able to watch Anthony a few times during his lone, injury riddled season in Chapel Hill.

I try not to make player comparisons, but the best way I can describe Anthony’s game is “Kyrie Irving Lite”.

Anthony has great handles, can get to the rim with relative ease, and has a knack for making the “no, what are you thinking…. yes, great shot” shot, a la Irving.

But, also like Kyrie, the former Tarheel tends to forget he has teammates he can pass the ball to and avoids playing any semblance of defense.

Now, In Anthony’s defense, he wasn’t surrounded by a plethora of talent at Carolina this past season, so I understand to a point why he was the volume shooter he was.

However, I have a feeling things wouldn’t have been all that different, even if the talent level had been greater.

The Magic may have just found their most beloved, and frustrating, player on their roster.

We’ll see how these guys turn out over the next few years. For both the Hawks and Magic, they’re hoping the 2020 Draft will be a bright spot in an otherwise dreary year.

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