Why Stephen Curry has made a case for his place amongst the greatest of all time.
By Mark Molz
Yes, Lebron James just won his fourth NBA title while simultaneously capturing his fourth Finals MVP, but I still wouldn’t call him the GOAT, of the decade that is.
This article won’t be the stale Jordan vs. Lebron debate that has continued season-to-season, but rather to discuss a relatively new GOAT debate. The GOAT of the past decade has gone back and forth and why I am a little late to the party I still would like to make my case for why Stephen Curry deserves that award. I will simply be re-enforcing Curry’s incredible decade that blows you away every time you read about it.
From 2010-2019, the NBA has mainly been dominated by two teams, the Golden State Warriors and whatever team Lebron James happened to be on. We saw Lebron make it to the finals an unprecedented eight times in the last decade. Four with the Miami Heat and four with the Cleveland Cavaliers. While making it eight times, achieving something many avid NBA fans will most likely never see again, he was only able to capture three of those trophies.
Now, I cannot deny his accomplishments aren’t anything short from incredible, and Lebron will go down as one of the best basketball players ever or the greatest ever in some people's minds. My argument here is that the other team who gave him a run for his money four out of those eight years has a player who might have been even better in the last decade.
Curry and the Warriors were able to reach the finals five times since 2015 and were able to capture three championships in those five appearances. Combined, Curry and Lebron were in nine of the decades finals, captured half of the MVP awards, and were lighting up the stat sheet every night. And thus the argument for Stephen Curry begins.
Curry in the last decade has revolutionized the game of basketball. His three point shooting has single handedly altered coaches defensive gameplans and the outcome of every game by shooting deeper and deeper night in and night out. While Lebron James has been demonstrating pure dominance since he entered the league in 2003, Curry in the last decade has defined what basketball is today.
Curry has led the league in three-pointers five times, breaking the single-season record in 2015 with 402 three-pointers (yes, you read that right) a record that most likely will never be broken, three championships (which is just as many as Lebron), and two regular season MVPs.
On top of all this he led his Warriors to the best record in NBA history in the ‘15-16 season with a 73-9 record while running away with MVP becoming the first unanimous regular season MVP ever, receiving all 131 votes. During that season Curry was virtually unstoppable, averaging 30.1 points per game. 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 2.1 steals. Pulling up from three where nobody has before and averaging 50/40/90 (50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three, and 90 percent from the free throw line).
Curry has paved the way for other players like his teammate Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Trae Young, James Harden, and more. Teams are no longer letting the clock wind down in hope for an easy lay-up, but rather designing plays for their sharp shooters to pull up from 30 plus feet with twenty seconds left in the shot clock. Basketball is in a new era of catch-and-shoot basketball, where players' only job is to sit in the corner and wait for the perfect opportunity to let it fly.
Lebron’s dominance will forever be cemented in the history of the NBA, but as time goes on we can thank Curry for how basketball has changed, whether you think it is good or bad. He is arguably the greatest shooter of all time and he isn’t even close to being finished. With records such as the most three pointers in playoff history, most threes in a season (five times in a row), and only a few hundred back from the most threes made all time, you could guess he will finish his career on top.
He has pushed the boundaries in terms of acceptable shooting distance, brought the Warriors from a sub .500 team to (what almost seems to be) a never ending dynasty, and has captivated NBA fans like no other. With his size, likeability, and revolutionizing play kids are now starting to say “Curry!” as they shoot their crumpled up papers into the trash can.
By Mark Molz
The Yankees and the baseball world lost a legend when Edward Charles “Whitey” Ford passed away Thrusday, October 8th. Ford passed away at his home in Lake Success, N.Y, on Long Island watching the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays in game four of the American League Division Series (ALDS).
“I feel like there was some comfort in that,” current Yankees manager Aaron Boone stated.
Ford spent his entire 16 year career with the New York Yankees, leaving his mark on one of the most storied organizations in sports.
“The Yankees are incredibly saddened to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer Whitey Ford. Whitey spent his entire 16-year career as a Yankee.” The Yankees said in their statement following his passing. “A 6x WS Champion and 10x All-Star, The Chairman of the Board was one of the best lefties to ever toe the rubber. He will be deeply missed.”
In his career with the Yankees Ford was able to notch ten all-star appearances, six world series rings, one Cy Young, and a World Series MVP. During his world series appearances Ford was chosen to be the game 1 starter eight times, showing how dominant he was. His dominance showed when Ford ended his career with a total of ten wins in the fall classic, a record that still stands today and doesn’t seem like it will be broken anytime soon.
“Whitey’s name and accomplishments are forever stiched into the fabric of baseball’s rich history.” Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees managing general partner said. “He was a treasure, and one of the greatest Yankees to ever wear the pinstripes.”
Ford retired from baseball in 1967 leaving the league with an overall 236-106 record, equaling a .690 winning percentage and the most career wins in the history of the organization. He also managed to be a three-time regular season wins leader (1955, 1961, 1963) and a two-time league leader in ERA (1956, 1958). His number 16 was eventually retired by the Yankees and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, alongside another Yankees great, Mickey Mantle.
Whitey Ford is remebered as one of the best pitchers in postseason history, or baseball history for that matter. He was the heart and soul of many of those World Series Championships and forever left his mark on the game of baseball.
The Yankees honored Ford in Game five of the ALDS with a number 16 patched onto their sleeves.
For further information see the links below.
Dylan De Prosperis prepares for upcoming golf season with the Gaels athletics.
By Oliver Collins
Dylan De Prosperis, a freshman student athlete, must attend golf practice almost everyday for a minimum of 4 hours to achieve the standard of excellence required by the athletic department. But for De Prosperis, the daily school workload mixed with the tireless amounts of training time can be too much for almost anybody. On average, De Prosperis, among other athletes, gets about 6-7 hours of sleep. This can cause problems not only on the course and with grades but also physical and mental problems. How does golf compare in terms of training times to other Saint Marys sports? How do athletes deal with the long hours of physical activity they have to do almost every day?
Being from Italy, De Prosperis hasn’t had a ton of experience on U.S golf courses, and the constant training we have in America almost doubles the training time they have in Rome, his home city. From a young age, being a golf player was a huge bright spot for De Prosperis. At age 3, his parents introduced him to golfing and he loved the sport. He always worked hard to become one of the best. Before even entering college athletics De Prosperis ranked in the top 500 in the world of golfers.
De Prosperis’s choice to attend Saint Mary’s came with careful consideration. This chance of opportunity decided his future for him. The U.S. is known for golfing and Saint Mary’s is certainly a prestigious golfing destination for future professional athletes. While Saint Mary’s has proved a challenge, for De Prosperis it is certainly worth it, he says, “Everyday I feel like I am improving on every aspect of my game, and it feels great.” De Prosperis certainly has earned the respect of many as he has already qualified in the top four for an upcoming tournament.
De Prosperis’ motivation every day is to be better than the day before. He constantly works out and conditions, he never misses practice, and always gives his best when he enters the course. De Prosperis hopes to be a pro one day and at the rate he’s going he should achieve that feat with the right amount of effort.
De Prosperis, a member of the Saint Mary’s golf team, has made golfing his life. From training on the course daily to working on homework the minute he gets home, life isn’t exactly easy for Saint Marys athletes. Balancing school work and sports is one of the most difficult things student athletes have to deal with. However, many athletes agree that dealing with these challenges prove beneficial for their future.
By Mark Molz
Quarantine certainly hasn’t been the most motivational tool for exercising on a regular basis.
If you're like me, finding motivation to work out when gyms are closed certainly isn’t the easiest thing to do. And as gyms are reopening many individuals aren’t ready to insert themselves in a public setting that requires heavy breathing and little personal space. Staying at home for long periods of time can pose problems for staying active on a day-to-day basis. As COVID-19 continues to loom over the heads of everyone, coming up with your own exercises calls for using anything you can get your hands on.
Not everyone has their own gym in their garage and with the recreation center at Saint Mary’s closed to start the year, us students are figuring out how to make the town of Moraga our own workout space. Exercise is very important for health and helps us get through the days when we are sitting around wondering what we should watch on TV next. Exercise promotes good habits and can keep you motivated if you are able to set goals for yourself on a daily or weekly basis.
Maxwell Kleeman, a senior at Saint Mary’s stated “home workouts allow me to get out of my room, off the computer screen, and allows me to get fresh air outside.” He continued, “I have been getting creative, doing workouts in my backyard, and doing mostly body weight exercises.”
While body weight workouts seem to be the best or only option for most students not everyone is enjoying it the same.
“Working out has been difficult for me,” Blake Moser, a senior said. “I don’t have any workout equipment so it is hard making workouts fun and exciting when I am doing the same thing everyday.”
Luckily for me living with athletes has its perks and watching them turn our backyard into a home gym was quite entertaining and beneficial for myself. Although it is not much, having a few dumbbells, resistance bands, and a mix match of weights makes working out a little more exciting and bearable when you are stuck at home.
Jack Murphy who is on the baseball team at Saint Mary’s has had fun coming up with different exercises to complete. “I have enjoyed being able to take all the workouts I have learned over the years from training and coming up with my own routine.” Murphy continued to state, “I do wish we were able to use the facilities on campus, but this has been a fun challenge for me and I have managed to stay in good shape during quarantine.”
During a time where everything seems to be a bit out of your control it is important to make the best out of the situation and resources we have. Although quarantine workouts can seem monotonous it is important to stay active. Find a training buddy that wants to work out and someone who motivates you on the days you don’t want to. Staying inside all day can make you feel like you are going crazy. Even if you don’t have exercise equipment, make time to go for a walk even if it is just for ten minutes, some fresh air is better than no fresh air.
By Oliver Collins
With the Saint Mary’s recreation center finally opening to student athletes we take a closer look at the major benefits of this key College facility. The center and particularly the weight room have been under construction all summer and have finally been finished much to the delight of athletes in all sports. But athletes aren’t the only students being possibly affected by new improvements to these facilities, rumors have been swirling that the machines in the main area are soon going to be open to all residents. This could not only boost morale across the campus but also provide a new escape for students to get away from their workload and enjoy some physical activity.
Athletes have not been able to use facilities on campus and it shows, many athletes are forced to find other ways to train and stay in shape for the upcoming season. The men’s soccer team has been doing non-weight workouts in their rooms which isn’t exactly up to par in terms of the conditioning they should be doing in preparation. The weight room and pool opening is a huge step for them and other sports athletes to start the process of their competitive season. Not only is the weight room reopening, it’s reopening with brand new weights and even indoor turf. Very exciting for not only the first year athletes but even the returning student athletes.
The possibility of the gym reopening gives new hope to people around campus; we haven’t really had any big new updates in the decrease in COVID-19 outbreaks. However, if the recreation center fully reopens to those on campus people will definitely feel the morale around campus rise. This comes at the same time Oliver Hall will be open to eat in for the first time this semester, as well as other exciting new beginnings across campus. Students don’t really have anything new to cheer about since the opening of campus to students.
Many use working out or conditioning as a break from work and reality, if the recreation center opens it will be a big step for non athletes that want to stay in shape. Just yesterday I took a look around the recreation center’s facilities and was overjoyed to see all the machines being used. After going almost 3 months without working out in a fitness facility it was a masked breath of fresh air to get the blood flowing and that satisfying sore sensation after the session ended.
Not only are the machines open to residents but also the basketball court. It goes without saying that every gym goer stays six feet apart, even in the basketball court, and masks on at all times. If you fail to follow these guidelines staff will have no choice to remove you from the center until you comply. But don’t let this distract you from enjoying your gym experience and getting back in shape.
As we enter our third month of COVID-19 on campus living brand new advancements are being made to on campus facilities. The most recent, the recreation center is a great place to relieve stress and get your body moving. The basketball gym, machines, and even the pool are all just opening, make sure to go when you have free time. It has to be a great feeling for students to finally have the freedom to do weighted exercises as we have all been pretty cooped up throughout the semester. And it's all thanks to the staff and students who have made this reopening possible.
Saint Mary’s athletes must adapt to socially distant practices to prepare for their athletic seasons.
By Olivia Virgen
The empty University Credit Union (UCU) Pavilion and the quiet Saint Mary’s Stadium are only a couple of the facilities that would typically be overflowing with Gael fans during the fall sports season. However, the typical day in the life of a Saint Mary’s student athlete has been changed this year due to the widespread pandemic. Temperature checks, wrist bands, small group practices, and zoom meetings have been the new reality for sports teams anticipating their postponed seasons. As officials try to organize the overlapping of fall and spring sports, teams have begun training in any way they can with the clearance from the school.
With the recent opening of the new Sports Performance Center on campus, athletes are eager to use the equipment in the beautifully designed space. However, for the safety of coaching staff and students, access to the weight room has been limited to particular teams but is slowly becoming available to more athletes.
Softball player, Angelina Franco, expressed her excitement to use the new facilities. She explains that coaches have been very strict on social distancing and wearing masks at all times. The team has meetings on Mondays and study hall via zoom on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Practices have looked very different this year, as they welcome pods of twelve people or less along with one coach, on the field at once.
Franco elaborates on the extensive safety measures they have to participate in as a team. “We have to sanitize the balls if they were already used”, Franco said, “and we can’t use each other's equipment.”
The catcher explained that her greatest concern is not having any fall games to prepare for the spring season. Franco’s coach, Sonja Garnett, spoke on the guidelines they received from the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Saint Mary’s Sports Medicine staff, and Contra Costa County to follow in anticipation for training and ultimately the season. The softball head coach explained that when coming on to campus, similar to the off-campus athletes, she has to fill out a survey to assess how she is feeling that day using the Livesafe app before getting her temperature checked. Once cleared, coaches will receive a wristband to signify their eligibility to practice; similar to the athletes.
When asked about her expectations for the season, Garnett expressed her feelings as “optimistic.” With the constant changes in the severity of the virus, she is not certain what to expect. Garnett explained that the clearance of basketball and some football programs by the NCAA, will have a huge impact on the league’s decision to follow through with the remainder of the year. With scheduling changes of moving some fall sports to the spring, Garnett describes these sports as a pivotal point for the remaining seasons.
In a similar way, the Men’s Cross Country team has had to make adjustments to their practices in light of the changes to their season. Freshman, Luke Bland, discusses what practice is like with COVID-19 rules in effect. Instead of practicing with the entire team, runners are to stay in their pods of three. All practices are outside, including weights, as the Cross Country team has yet to use any indoor facilities. Bland explains that regardless of the circumstances, he has enjoyed training with teammates; as they anticipate having their first race in the spring.
Teammate Derek O'Connor adds that he felt a sense of relief moving on campus already knowing some of his teammates. The cross country runner explained that he feels very safe on campus and that the school has done an excellent job in taking the necessary precautions. O’Connor added that he agrees with the decision to have all on-campus students live in single dorms because it reduces the likelihood of multiple students in small spaces.
“Even people living in Aquinas, which are suite style dorms, it’s not five people living in one little area”, O’Connor said, “limiting how many people live in one area is very smart of them [St. Mary’s College]”.
Both Bland and O’Connor emphasized that they feel very comfortable and confident on campus and are looking forward to their season in the spring. However, even with the various precautions and safety rules put in place, not all sports have been so lucky.
For rugby player, Ty Lenberg, this was a huge upset for him and his teammates. After moving from Aquinas to Justin Hall, where the entire rugby team lives on the second floor, Lenberg expresses his disappointment in the delayed season.
“We’ve been waiting for clearance from the Saint Mary’s COVID team and have yet to get it,” Lenberg said, “we’ve been told we are basically in limbo for our season.”
After being moved to live in a “bubble” with his teammates, the first year student expresses the devastation of the entire team in light of the delays due to Covid-19. As school approaches the middle of the semester, he has been able to adjust to the college curriculum but is still awaiting the season he was hoping for.
“How big is your moral for school, how prepared are you for your classes versus how prepared are you for your sport.” Lenberg said, “I think we all know we were waiting for our season to come around because ‘student’ does come first, it’s year round, but ‘athlete’ is fifty percent of the statement- student athlete”. Lenberg is hopeful that the team will still be able to have their season. The team has been notified that they will begin practice in the next coming weeks, with restrictions.
These changes have been an immense adjustment for athletes and coaches as the virus continues to be an obstacle. Student athletes, who anticipate their sport all year, have had to make the best of these new realities and remain focused on their performance for the season ahead.
MLB playoffs have begun overcoming team infection rates of COVID-19.
By Mark Molz
While uncertainty and COVID-19 plagued the 2020 Major League Baseball season, the regular season has finally concluded and the playoffs have officially begun.
When the MLB resumed on July 23, four months after its original start date, there were many concerns on how long it was going to take before COVID-19 put a halt to baseball activities. Those concerns lasted less than a week when the Miami Marlins had their season postponed just four days into game play due to an outbreak within the team, drastically altering the rest of their schedule.
Not too long after, the St. Louis Cardinals were infected with an outbreak putting them in a similar situation as the Miami Marlins. Rob Manfred, the league's commissioner, threatened to shut down the season if the teams didn’t do a better job managing the virus. However, despite all the drama and panic ensued, the regular season finished on Sunday and the playoffs are underway.
Although the season was a short 60 games, 102 less than the usual number, it still proved to be full of surprises and disappointments.
Teams that exceeded their expectations include the San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins. Despite dealing with issues involving COVID-19 and coming off a 105 loss season the Marlins were able to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2003, and only the third time in their history with a record of 31-29.
Fun Fact: Marlins have never lost a playoff series in their postseason history, so watch out!
Meanwhile, the Padres were able to finish with the second best record in the National League and coined the nickname “Slam Diego” thanks to their young and exciting talent. 21 year-old phenom Fernando Tatis and all-star Manny Machado led the charge in their shortened season.
When thinking of disappointments, the Washington Nationals initially comes to mind. Coming off a World Series Championship in 2019 they strung together a disheartening 26-34 record, finishing last in the National League East. Losing one of their star players Anthony Rendon with a move to the west coast doesn’t help their case, but a last place finish should still come as a disappointment after finishing the previous season on top.
While it was a disappointing season indeed, the Nationals can still find a positive. Juan Soto, the 21 year-old phenom finished the year with a .351 batting average and winning the batting title, becoming the youngest player in the history of the National League to accomplish this feat.
Another team that disappointed, yet again, were the Los Angeles Angels. Finishing fourth in the American league West, this year has been more of the same for the Angels. Mike Trout had another MVP type season, Shohei Otani disappointed on the mound and at the plate batting a dismal .190, and the signing of last year's World Series champ in Anthony Rendon did not help their playoff push.
While the Angels are attempting to solve their never ending problems, the team across town is enjoying their eighth consecutive year atop the National League West. With the best record in the MLB at 43-17 the Los Angeles Dodgers are once again on their quest to hoisting the World Series trophy they have long been after.
Even though the regular season was lowered to just 60 games this season this year's playoffs has taken an exciting twist. The postseason this year will consist of a total of sixteen teams, which is six more than the usual number of 10 and should be full of endless excitement.
Will the Astros make it back? Even though their trash cans will forsure be heard with the absence of fans. The A’s have finally won a playoff series beating the White Sox 6-4 in the Wild Card Series, but can they keep their winning ways? Will the Marlins keep their streak of playoff series win streak alive?
There are a lot of things to look out for this postseason and while a COVID-19 tainted season provided some good and bad moments it is time to enjoy some playoff baseball. With an expanded field of teams we should expect some exciting moments to come our way with the hope COVID-19 stays clear.
By Oliver Collins
The NBA playoffs have been very interesting this year. And after the end of the Conference semi finals only 4 teams remain; The Lebron led Los Angeles Lakers, The three point specialist Denver Nuggets, The overly talented Boston Celtics and the underdog Miami Heat. As Lebron clinches yet another amazing playoff run we can’t help but ask how much longer can the King perform day in and day out.
Lebron and the Lakers will face a Nuggets team that has come back from 3-1 leads against both the Clippers and Jazz, a feat never done before in NBA playoff history. On the other side of the league, the Boston Celtics who seem to always put themselves in high playoff contention will look to go to the finals for the first time in 10 years. And their opponent the underdog Miami Heat who are behind the young 3 point shooting backcourt including Duncan Robinson and talk of the tournament breakout player Tyler Herro.
Tyler Herro has had a very notorious career, even in high school his decision to attend the University of Kentucky came with lots of criticism, including death threats. After Herro decided not to attend his local Wisconsin college and instead chose their arch rivals, fans were taken aback. After one great season he proved the haters wrong and went off to the Kentucky Wildcats, eventually going as the 13th overall pick to the Miami Heat. In his second season in the NBA, Herro has already cemented his starting position for the very well run Heat and continues to show out even in big playoff games.
On the other side of the league in the Western Conference the Nuggets came back from a 3-1 deficit not against the Utah Jazz but again at the Kawhi Leonard led Clippers. Behind an unreal performance from Jamaal Murray and Nikola Jokic the Nuggets were able to cement their way in playoff history by being the first team in NBA history to come back from 3-1 in back to back NBA series. Nikola Jokic has shown his skill throughout the NBA season, proving that he is a multi talented center with the ability to shoot, pass, dribble and drive. The Lakers however are a completely different team, with the dynamic duo of Anthony Davis and Lebron James they are definitely the toughest competition in the NBA this year.
Throughout Lebron’s legendary NBA careers he almost always goes to the finals or deep into the playoffs at least. This year is no different as Lebron has been virtually unguardable. Matching an amazing player like Lebron with an equally skilled player like Anthony Davis creates a Los Angeles team that is the likely candidate to win the finals this year. Lebron James is a player that anyone would want on their team, his leadership alone makes him a player that has a complete will to succeed. Having already won 3 NBA championships and having made it to 10 career NBA finals Lebron has proven both his talent and basketball iq are a force to be reckoned with.
To summarize the playoffs so far we start with the Heat who derailed the momentum train that was the Bucks led Giannis Anteteccoumpo. After the Bucks destroyed the Orlando Magic 4-1 the Heat beat the odds and dismantled the first seed bucks 4-1. The Boston Celtics managed to beat the Raptors in a seven game series but fell short to the Heat in six. The Lakers ran through the extremely talented Houston Rockets in a short five game series. The Nuggets beat the odds and came back from 3-1 in the first two rounds but fell short to the Lakers in the Western Conference finals. It has been a great tournament so far and hopefully the finals will live up to the hype as well.