He’s making a list and he’s checking it twice, and he will find out if you have been naughty or nice.Well, readers, I hope most of you have been well behaved – as much as college students can possibly be – as the holidays quickly approach us. For myself, I have found that the older I get, the lamer my Christmas list becomes. In fact, if Santa read my list this year he’d probably break down and openly weep.A suit? Socks? Money for rent? What kind of kid wants that?Well there are some other things, but I’m not sure that Santa can deliver them to me. So here it is, my holiday wish list to Bucky for the holidays and break.Give me a win in the Rose BowlThat one is pretty obvious. Last year, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to travel to Pasadena and experience one of the greatest sporting events that football has to offer. Since I’ll be with the team in spirit watching a television from a Madison bar stool, I’m praying on bended knee that Wisconsin can win The Granddaddy of Them All.Last year, the Badgers were a batted two-point conversion away from sending the game to overtime against a veteran TCU team with arguably the best defense in the country. This time around, Wisconsin’s defense will be tested by the high-flying Oregon offense. Wisconsin has struggled the few times it has faced a great offensive team (Michigan State), and against the Ducks’ spread attack, the Badgers will have their hands full. However, Wisconsin also has one of the nation’s best offenses, both balanced and explosive.This game will also effectively serve to measure the Big Ten against the Pac 12. If Wisconsin hopes to continue its emergence back into the national spotlight, the Badgers must put forth their finest team performance to date. This game is sure to be a great one, but I’m asking Bucky and Santa to deliver the Badger faithful a win this time.I’m also recommending that no one make a drinking game out of the Rose Bowl. One of my friends had the idea to take a shot every time an offense scores. Both teams average over 40 points a game. Count me out.Help Wisconsin basketball find its gameLately, watching the Badgers has given me more gut-wrenching moments than coaching my team of 8th graders back home. The Badgers relied on a 3-point shooting spree by Ben Brust to finish off a pesky UNLV team last weekend while leaning on Milwaukee’s awful free throw shooting to escape with a win Tuesday night.Besides his perfect 7-for-7 effort in the UNLV game, Brust has struggled from beyond the arc in December, as have the majority of the Badgers. Jordan Taylor hasn’t yet reached the scoring frenzy we are all so accustomed to.Basketball is a game that’s all about getting hot at the right time, but lately, the Badgers have cooled off. With the Big Ten season fast approaching and the league stacked top to bottom this year, the Badgers will need to be playing their best basketball night in and night out against the conference. Many analysts are calling the Big Ten the best conference in the nation, so Wisconsin will need to develop a rhythm to continue its dominance in conference play. There is definitely talent on this team and the potential to be a Big Ten title contender, but the offense needs to get in a groove as the team eases into conference play after a weak non-conference schedule.Let Montee Ball break the touchdown recordAt the Heisman ceremony this past Saturday, Ball was in truly elite company with the likes of Andrew Luck, Tyrann Mathieu’s suit, RGIII and Trent Richardson. It sure looked like the running back belonged – Ball handled himself and represented Wisconsin perfectly.Just knowing Ball’s story and perseverance throughout his career here at Wisconsin, I’m not sure there is a more deserving player to break Barry Sanders’ illustrious NCAA record for touchdowns in a single season. The determination and readiness Ball displayed while waiting for his chance last year at Iowa, his extreme dedication in the offseason to cut weight and his unbelievable success on the gridiron makes me proud to wear the No. 28 jersey I have from when Anthony Davis was the running back at Wisconsin. Facing LaMichael James and Oregon in the Rose Bowl is a perfect way for Ball to break the record. I asked for Ball to win the Heisman, but I suppose I can settle with him taking his place in the history books.To all my Badgers and readers, happy holidays and thanks for reading this semester. On Wisconsin.Nick will be back again to write more boring columns next semester. Have a column topic for next semester? Email Nick at email@example.com. Happy festivus!
That’s the kind of mix-up that can only happen at an NBA All-Star event where the crazy and weird is part of the routine.Last year, I pulled a few quotes from the ASAP Sports transcripts to highlight the strange interactions or unusual responses that NBA players give to the literally thousands of roving media members at their All-Star Q&A sessions. This year, I figured it would be fun to bring that feature back:***Q. What skill are you an All-Star at off the court?GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO: I’ll say that I’m a couch potato off the court. That’s one of my best skills. I just try to chill and watch as much TV as I can. So probably one of my skills is that I’m a couch potato.***Q. Say they add a one-on-one tournament next year and you get to choose the person you play against, who would you choose?JIMMY BUTLER: Bam (Adebayo).Q. And then who’s the best trash talker you’ve ever faced?JIMMY BUTLER: Bam.Q. And then lastly, next week – no, don’t say it. Next week there’s a big fight between Wilder and Fury. Who do you got between those two?JIMMY BUTLER: Whoever Bam got.***Q. Do you think it’s important for your teammates to have off-the-court relationships with each other?JOEL EMBIID: It’s important to a certain point. You don’t have to be hanging out all the time, going to the strip club, going to the club and partying and all that stuff. For a guy like me, I don’t know, the last time I went out was probably two years ago. I don’t do anything. I just like to stay home playing video games and be with my girlfriend, my dog, my family.***Q. Be honest, what’s the best bacon, egg and cheese? Bronx, right?KEMBA WALKER: No question. It’s definitely in the Bronx. Any corner store you go to in the Bronx is the best for sure.***Q. Do you have a prediction for the Slam Dunk Contest?KAWHI LEONARD: No, I don’t have a prediction.***Q. Chris, how do you think about the idea of having a one-on-one competition at All-Star Weekend?CHRIS PAUL: To have the one-on-one competition at All-Star Weekend? I don’t know. It’s always up to the guys. If the guys want to do it, cool. I ain’t playing, but somebody will.***Q. Can you talk about how smart you are now compared to before?DWIGHT HOWARD: How smart I am?Q. What have you learned about the NBA scene?DWIGHT HOWARD: Was I dumb?***Q. Why are you going to win the contest tonight?DONOVAN MITCHELL: The contest?Q. The dunk contest. Are you going to win it?DONOVAN MITCHELL: I’m not in it. Me? No.***Q. It’s Valentine’s Day. What would someone have to do to get you to say yes to be their Valentine?ZION WILLIAMSON: Wow, I love these questions. Honestly, I’m not sure. Something from the heart. It don’t have to be nothing grand. It can be something simple, and I’ll say yes.***Simple. From the heart. Now you know. Go shoot your shot.— Kyle GoonThanks for reading the Purple & Bold newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox sign up here. This is the Monday, Feb. 17 edition of the Purple & Bold Lakers newsletter. To receive the newsletter in your inbox, sign up here.CHICAGO — Chance the Rapper and Tacko Fall each got dunked on during Saturday’s All-Star events, and in a way, so did I. A very playful mix-up in the madness that is All-Star Media Day left me feeling momentarily embarrassed.Before I covered the Lakers, I covered the Utah Jazz. This was the 2017-18 season, when Louisville rookie Donovan Mitchell burst onto the scene. I got to know him well and did many stories on him, got to know his family, and in subsequent visits to Utah or media sessions at USA Basketball he has always been cordial and generous with his time. He’s probably one of the most media-friendly players in the entire NBA.So as I crunched into Mitchell’s availability for his first selection as a true-blue All-Star on Saturday, I was expecting a little acknowledgment of recognition. I went to ask him a question about Dwight Howard, and I would later use his response in my story that day. It’s a horde around just about every player, so it took some time to get his attention. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAbout six minutes in, I piped up to ask my first question.“Hey Kyle, good to see you,” he said from his podium.“Yeah, well I gotta show up,” I said, feeling a warm glow of validation, then beginning the question again.“Oh my God,” Mitchell said, interrupting me. “It’s Kyle Lowry.”Mere feet behind me, the Toronto Raptors point guard was passing by on his way to his own podium, and Mitchell started to shout in his direction in mock fan devotion. Meanwhile, my face reddened, and it took me a few beats to recompose my initial query. The assembled media, many of whom I know from my Utah days, shook with laughter. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error A Chicago guy at heart – Anthony Davis talked about his relationship to his hometown and reminisced about the past.That was actually fun – The main event is usually sleepy, but a format change jolted the competition as Team LeBron prevailed.A tribute that hit the right notes – The NBA and Chicago nailed it on a night dedicated to Kobe and Gianna Bryant.Superman flies again – Dwight Howard finished fourth in the dunk contest, but here’s why he views merely participating as a huge accomplishment.Updates from the Commish – Adam Silver talked about renaming the ASG MVP after Kobe, and also addressed the substantial revenue losses in China.Brandon Ingram makes the leap – The former Laker says he was pushed by his injury.Hall of Fame feels Kobe’s loss – What is usually a happy day on the NBA calendar was overshadowed by a finalist who was not there.The NBA’s angels – Mark Heisler reflected on the loss of Kobe and David Stern.Staying above the fray – A determined LeBron James set a tone in Denver, showing how important it is to the Lakers to remain No. 1 in the West.