A roundup of this week’s top sports stories from Ed in his Weekly Sports Report.
On Wednesday this week, ESPN began a round of employee layoffs which the network says is the result of increasing rights fees and a decrease in its number of subscribers. The job cuts have been targeted toward the network’s on-air and online talent, some of which are well-known names to the average viewer. The layoff has totaled at around 100 individuals thus far, which is less than 2015, when ESPN laid off approximately 300 workers.
Well ESPN, maybe it’s time to bring in some fresh visionaries with creative writing concepts to help turn the network around *AHEM*.
Kobe Bryant debuts as filmmaker
Former Los Angeles Lakers’ star, Kobe Bryant, has taken the lessons he has learned from his 20 years in the NBA and projected them onto the big screen. “Dear Basketball” is an animated film that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City over the weekend. Bryant’s short film was one of fifty-seven screened at the festival. Of those fifty-seven, however, Bryant’s film was the only one ordered to take a paternity test Monday morning.
Bucks vs. Raptors: Barney vs. Bambi war
In game 3 of the first round of the NBA Eastern Conference playoff series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, the Bucks played the “Barney & Friends” theme song while Toronto’s starting lineup was being introduced at the beginning of the game. Then, after Monday’s game 4 win by Toronto, the Raptors trolled the Bucks on Twitter with a GIF of the cartoon deer, Bambi, falling on ice.
Fellow Eastern Conference team, the Brooklyn Nets, was interviewed and asked if it was going to take part in the harmless kiddie battle. The Nets, which has been harshly criticized for resting players toward the end of the regular season, told reporters that it has decided to sit this one out.
NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. retires
Earlier this week, one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr., announced that this will be his final racing season. On Tuesday, Earnhardt, who has had a series of concussions and head trauma in recent years, explained his decision to retire was for the sake of his own mental health.
Earnhardt then went on for 40 minutes about how he has lived the “fast” life and how quickly his pit crew re-“tired” his racecar’s wheels throughout his career. People present during his speech were seen shrugging their shoulders as not one person listening was able to understand what the hell he was talking about.
Stephon Marbury terminates contract with Beijing Ducks
After leaving the NBA in 2009, Stephon Marbury became the star player for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association. Now at age 40, Marbury, who received permanent residence in China in 2015, had hopes to play one more season with the Ducks before retirement. The Ducks’ organization, however, disagreed and the contract for the upcoming season has been terminated.
The good news for Marbury is if he cannot get a job PLAYING basketball in China, at least he can get a job there MAKING them.
Student killed during hammer throw event
Lastly, an unfortunate incident occurred near Chicago last week when a freshman college student was accidentally struck and killed during a hammer throw competition. The hammer, which consists of a steel wire connected to a metal ball weighing nearly sixteen pounds, was errantly thrown while the student was standing close to the field during warm-ups.
Listen, I’m not claiming to be the most logical person in the world, but it’s not 15th century Greece anymore. Maybe it’s time, we as humans, reconsider “sports” which consist of hurling lethal metal objects where nearby pedestrians lurk. But, hey, that’s just me.
Until next week…