NBA Return to Play + Postpones All-Star Weekend in Indy

usatsi_15055843The NBA wants to come back in December and begin a new season along the lines of what the NFL has done, tight team isolation and constant testing for all players and staff, as well as travel from state to state to compete.

The league informed the Board of Governors that it is targeting a late December, pre-Christmas return. The NBA’s preference is a 72-game schedule that would end the season by early July, before the scheduled start of the Summer Olympics. On this schedule, training camps would open in early December, less than two months after the Lakers finished off Miami in the NBA Finals.

ESPN first reported the NBA’s plans for a Christmas start, meaning things are settled? The NBA is back?

Well, it’s not that easy in the year 2020 is it?

The NBA may want to return around Christmas, but the league can’t simply get what it wants. It’s become increasingly apparent to team and league officials that playing games in front of fans is unlikely, at least in the first quarter of 2021. As the NBA brainstormed ideas this summer, there was hope that, even without a vaccine for COVID-19, new safety measures, including rapid testing, would make it feasible to get fans in buildings. If not, that means 100% of revenue would be reliant on TV and TV only, a scenario that just isn’t realistic for such an income driven association.

Its biggest obstacle: The players union. Union officials have often suggested that starting the season before 2021 is unrealistic.

“My guess is we’ll probably not start until early 2021,” said NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts.

The annual NBA All Star festivities that many players, coaches and fans adore so much has been postponed until 2024 due to raising COVID-19 concerns.

Originally set to take place from February 12-14 in Indianapolis, it will now be moved for the people and city of Indy to host the events on a weekend in 2024. It is still a possibility that the NBA will host some sort of All Star festivities, but that is unclear as of now and will have to be revisited at a later date.

Evan Power’s Week 12 NFL Power Rankings – TOP 5

merlin_180344997_f9a473de-dc3a-4e0d-a7e3-43e738fbf2e8-mobileMasterAt3xWeek 11 has concluded in this peculiar 2020 NFL campaign, and as many would put it, there is no more ‘2020’ way that the NFL’s power rankings could shape out.
We have a team that is 10-0, and one that is 0-10. The defending Super Bowl champions have only lost one time, otherwise looking virtually unstoppable. The NFC East is a turtle race to see which below average team will be able to host a playoff game at home in January (cringe), and teams are starting to craft an identity that will follow them until SuperBowl 55 in Tampa.
Here are my rankings for the top 5 best teams in the NFL, based on what I have seen watching them and what their pre-season outlook was to begin the year.
#1 – Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs (9-1): Patrick Mahomes is being Patrick Mahomes, what else is there to say? Andy Reid is one of, if not the best offensive mind in the NFL and their defence is looking sustainable enough to push them to a deep run in the postseason.
#2 – Pittsburgh SteelersPittsburgh Steelers (10-0): Yes, Pittsburgh has been blessed by a generous schedule, this is no secret. Yet, there really is something about this team and their stout defence that makes people think they very well could go 16-0. Ben Roethlisberger has been steady while playing through injury and COVID-19 scares, and Abbotsford’s Chase Claypool has the most total touchdowns by a rookie through 10 games in NFL HISTORY.
#3 – New Orleans SaintsNew Orleans Saints (8-2): In my opinion, as of right now this top 3 is unanimous in this order, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it held out for the remainder of the season. Sean Payton has this team playing at a very high level even without veteran QB Drew Brees who is out with cracked ribs. Their defence is coming together at the perfect time.
#4 – Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers (7-3): The Packers should be 8-2.. They really, really should be 8-2. That loss at Indianapolis on Sunday was a tough one when leading by 14 at halftime, and giving up the ball on their side of the field in Overtime, they win that game every time if they replay it 10 more times. The Packers are. sports car, that goes fast and looks cool until something goes wrong and they destroy themselves. They need to use the last part of the year to develop a more physical, bully mentality.
#5 –Los Angeles RamsLos Angeles Rams (7-3): The Rams may be the team that Green Bay should watch a lot to gauge how they should play. They are physical, sometimes too physical, but really know how to bare down and play defence when it matters most. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey are two centre pieces of their great defence that will need to continue to reach a higher level week in and week out to make up for a pretty non-existent run game.

New York Jets Become First Team Eliminated from Playoff Contention

NFL: New England Patriots at New York JetsIt has been a season to not only forget for the New York Jets, but it has been one to pick up, crunch up and toss into a burning dumpster far, far away.

Playing in a city like New York comes with the price of being heavily scrutinized for the quality of the product that is put on the field every game, every week. The 2020 NFL campaign has been a nightmare for the Jets.

To start, their Head Coach Adam Gase seems like a dead man walking, as nobody really understands just how he still is employed for the organization, With their most recent loss on Sunday to the Los Angeles Chargers, the Jets hold a record of 0-10, the league worst, meaning their is no mathematical way possible for this team to make the playoffs this season.

If it wasn’t already bad enough for the team, rumours continue to swirl about how things are in the locker room. Reports suggest that the players don’t believe they are going to win a game, and that they all don’t understand how Coach Gase still has his job.

Other reports suggest that the players think if Gase had even been replaced weeks ago, at maybe 0-5 or 0-6, that they could’ve already won a game, maybe even two.

For Jets fans in New York and around the world, it is just the latest instalment of failure into  a book for even more recent failure for the franchise.

As comes with being the worst team in the National Football League every season, their is a smidge of light at the end of the tunnel, and lucky for the Jets, this is a pretty darn good year to be 0-10 (yes, I said that).

A blue-chip prospect awaits in the shadows, a franchise altering superstar potential player. Labelled as “can’t miss” and “showstopping,” Trevor Lawrence from the University of Clemson is set to enter the NFL Draft, where he is projected to be the clear cut number one overall selection.

As the Jets would have to be out of their minds to not select Lawrence, decisions await on what they will do with young developing Quarterback Sam Darnold, who they selected third overall in the 2018 Draft.

Rams Overcome Brady and Bucs in Monday Night Shootout

nfl-odds-picks-rams-vs-buccaneers-betting-spread-monday-night-football-2020It was a gorgeous night for Football at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay where the 6-3 Los Angeles Rams paid a visit to the 7-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.

Both teams to this point in the season had suffered through the lagging process of finding their identity. The Rams have boasted a top defence in league led by stars Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, while the Bucs have been working to get better as the games go on, attempting to further mesh together as a brand new offence this season.

The game was back and forth for the first 30 minutes, both teams leading opening drives for touchdowns, and the respective Quarterbacks felt like they had a grip of what the game would be like. Jared Goff of the Rams was letting it fly all night long as LA couldn’t find a productive way to run the ball, and the same could be said for the Buccaneers.

The Rams have been building their reputation as a run-first offence, but pass catchers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods stuffed the stat sheet on Monday night, reminding everyone just how good a wide receiver tandem they are. Kupp caught 11 passes for 145 yards, while Woods hauled in 12 passes for 130 yards with a touchdown.

As for the Rams passing game, it looked like it was efficient at some points, while at other being lost and uncoordinated.

Brady threw another two interceptions, both of which to Rams Rookie Jordan Fuller. the Rams grabbed Fuller at the same draft slot (199 overall) as the Patriots took Brady 20 years ago, and on Monday night, their two paths crossed.

Fuller picked off Brady twice for the first two interceptions of his career. There may not be a better quarterback to have your first career interception come against, and Fuller is certainly thrilled to have done it twice.

As the second half slowed down from a scoring perspective, the two teams elite defences found themselves, and it came down to a final drive field goal from LA, and a final drive interception from Brady, to seal the win for the Rams, 27-24.

TNF – Cardinals @ Seahawks

 

For the number of games in an NFL season that take place on Thursday night, more often than not we find ourselves as fans not being attracted to the matchups that are scheduled to take place. Week 11 is going to be much different when division rivals meet in the 6-3 Cardinals visiting the 6-3 Seahawks for division supremacy.

“Is Kyler Murray ahead of Russell Wilson in the MVP race?”

In their first matchup of the season back in week 7, Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson put on a dual for the ages, each rushing for 60+ yards and throwing three touchdowns a piece. The two are neck and neck in the MVP race, and Thursday night could be a strong sign of who has the upper hand.

Just two week ago, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was the unanimous MVP race leader after being able to lead his team to high scoring, exciting victories and a 6-1 start. Now, combatting injury and lack of defensive assistance in Seattle, Wilson has dropped two straight games and has thrown 4 interceptions in that time span.

The Arizona Cardinals are a young exciting team with a high-flying offence that can compete with all of the elite offences in the NFL today. The have daring similarities to the Seahawks on the offensive side of the ball.

Where Pete Carroll believes the game will be won will be in the trenches. Running the ball, ground and pound, allowing for the Seahawks passing game to open up thanks to a successful run game.

The Cardinals took down the Seahawks earlier this season in week 7, 37-34 in Overtime, a game where the Seahawks mistakes led them to beat themselves and leave the desert with a loss.

Tiger Woods: What’s Next?

Screen Shot 2020-11-18 at 11.55.04 AMTiger Woods fell short in defending his Masters title in this year’s delayed edition of the historic tournament, finishing tied for 38th and shooting 1 under par for the event. Other than last year’s memorable 5th career Masters win, we have seen little from Woods to say he can still contend with the best of the best in today’s game. So, what is next for Golf’s biggest icon?

For the first time in his illustrious career, after shooting a whopping 7 over par on a Par 3 at Augusta, Golf lovers and Tiger fans everywhere witnessed a rare sign of defeat from Tiger Woods that leads us to wonder what is next for the man who changed the outlook on the sport forever.

As the 2020 PGA Tour season has concluded, we look into the future of Tiger and ask; “where does he go from here?” Woods has been essentially chasing Jack Nicklaus’ Majors record of 18 tour major wins and as production has slowed heavily, people are beginning to wonder if it is realistic anymore.

Looking towards what is to come for Tiger Woods, sitting on 15 Major Championships and the belief that he still has what it takes to catch the all-time record held by Jack Nicklaus at 18, Golf fans all across the world are anxious to see what the future holds.

Tiger’s blatant history of injury and body breakdown leaves a feeling of a much-needed offseason, one that will be important for his mind and health to get right, before making a decision on continuing his chase for greatness.

Scott Van Pelt of ESPN believes that this isn’t the end, and nowhere close to that. This may just be the right time to step back and re-evaluate the next few years and decide how hard he will chase it.

NBA Draft Primer

Things will look a little, or a lot different during this years NBA Draft. Becoming the fourth of the big four major sports to broadcast an entry draft virtually, there is plenty of work behind the scenes to keep things smooth and secure.

“I could have never imaged that,” says NBA VP of Productions Carlton Myers, when asked whether he thought he’d ever be quarterbacking a virtual event of this magnitude.

After months of fighting a pandemic and an NBA season that started strong, came to a complete stop, then finished in October inside a bubble, the NBA is currently prepping to start a new season by Christmas.

The 2020 NBA Draft is all set for Wednesday night, top prospects LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards prep to be taken somewhere within the top 3, and rumours swirl of potential trades including lottery picks continue.

LaMelo Ball comes from a family of athletic success. His father a pro football player, mother an Olympian as well as both older brothers pushing to make it in the NBA. Yet, there is something different about LaMelo, somehow. He is primed to perhaps be the most successful of them all.

Unlike last year’s class, which was headlined by Zion Williamson, it’s unclear who will go no. 1, with Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman, Killian Hayes, and more competing for the top spot.

The Official NBA Draft is as follows – Top 10

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

 

 

BREAKING: Phoenix Suns Acquire PG Chris Paul

BREAKING NEWS from the NBA

The Phoenix Suns have acquired star Point Guard Chris Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for a package of players and a first-round draft pick in 2022.

The Suns will be sending a package of players including PG Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre, as well as a 2022 first-round pick back to the Thunder in the deal.

Paul, a 10x NBA All-Star, led an underrated Thunder team to a 5th seed in the Western Conference as well as a playoff berth last season when most main stream media outlets touted them as a bottom feeder in the league.

At 35 years old, Paul brings not only talent and a winning mindset to an organization in desperate need, but also experience and leadership, something that the young Suns have lacked for years.

The trade symbolizes what is going to be a jam packed abbreviated off season In the association, with rumours consisting of stars like James Harden and Jrue Holiday also possibly on the move out of their respective cities.

Evan Power

Evolution 107.9

 

How Vancouver is Celebrating Diwali During Dark Times

Every year, Diwali is heavily celebrated around the world and even more so in the Metro Vancouver area, a five day festival symbolizing the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.

Yet, as 2020 has made so common, dark and trying times loom large as Diwali prepares to be celebrated differently.

For many people, Diwali is the single most important celebration in the Hindu calendar. Traditional lighting of clay lanterns known as ‘diya’ and adorn their homes with bright colours. A central and seemingly irreplaceable part of the celebrations is to renew social connections by visiting family and provide gifts, company, necessities and warmth. Thanks to the pandemic that has ravaged its way over many things over the last year, these types of cultural celebrations will be off the table.

The Diwali experience and how it is effected by COVID-19 offers a relevant outlook on what the upcoming holiday season may look like if cases don’t come back down to normality soon within the Lower Mainland. Celebrating integral family holidays such as Christmas, ringing in the New Year, Hanukkah or even arranging a meeting or dinner of some sort with loved ones are all unrealistic. People finding a new way to celebrate through Diwali also offer a lesson in patience and durability.
In Metro Vancouver, Diwali is not going to be pushed tot he side or forgotten. There is a virtual festival to commence celebrations at DiwaliFest.ca and pre recorded performances can be found on Diwali Fest’s YouTube channel.
Local companies that annually contribute to traction with contests and sales of goods from the Punjabi market, have all moved their platforms to the virtual world and created more opportunity for Diwali to be properly celebrated in the darkest times in memory.
“Light over darkness, hope over despair and knowledge over ignorance.”
Words with meaning never so relevant than today and the experience of living in 2020. A lesson can be taken from the celebrations of Diwali for all to learn.

TicketMaster to require what for live event entry in BC?

As the pandemic continues to ravage the province of British Columbia, many people wait anxiously for the day we will be able to return to our beloved live events. Festivals, concerts, sporting events and conventions, all of a list of many that are so tragically missed during the trying times.

TicketMaster, the largest ticketing company in the world, is looking ahead to the future of said events, and is in the process of implementing groundbreaking new requirements to allow consumer entry to these events.

In an order to keep the safety of the staff and patrons of the highest priority, the ticket-selling giant plans to impose a rule stating that in order to gain entry to an event ran through them, a patron must submit proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, or a recent negative test result for the virus in a 24-72 prior time period.

Although this won’t be a set barring for all events to require through TicketMaster themselves, it is a requirement that can be issued for any live event at the discretion of the event organizer based on local health guidelines and personal preference. Patrons would be able to request to have a lab deliver results of their test or vaccination certification to their health information company, who would then verify the results with Ticketmaster.

If a patron has no certified vaccine or negative test result? An event organizer can deny your tickets, just like that.

People have clearly had mixed reaction to the heavy news released by TicketMaster on Tuesday. Some stating that it just seems like a way of government using a high volume company to get people to take a vaccine.

News of these safety features set off a social media frenzy. People on Twitter accused the company of infringing on personal rights and privacy while others suggested they’d do what it takes to see a live show or sporting event again.

What is for certain through all of this though, is that live performances are on their way back, we have just yet to see the fashion that it will be in.

Kelowna to Play Host to the Return of Live Concerts

Since late March when the province of British Colombia set forth strict measures to combat COVID-19, the live performance industry has been one of those that has seen severe impact and regression.

Obviously, the ways of old are far in the past. The shoulder to shoulder contact, limitless dancing and interaction, as well as those jammy crowd atmospheres, but this Kelowna-based production company has their sights set on a new normal for live entertainment, a new ‘show.’

Rebellious Unicorns Production Company Inc. has planned to bring live music performing back in a safe and socially distanced way with their new series; “Live @ the KCT.” Perhaps paving the way for more live concert action in the near future, or in the new calendar year, 2021.

The KCT (Kelowna Community Theatre) has been empty and unused since the start of the pandemic, and Rebellious Unicorns PC were clearly ready to make a change towards a new beginning. “We are very excited to work with local musicians and bring their talents back in front of live audiences in a safe way” executive producer Dustyn Baulkham told BC Local News.

The series consists of two performances a night, beginning at 7pm followed by a final 9pm show. The KCT is a theatre that holds 800 people, but under new restrictions the shows will only allow a maximum of 50 people within the confines, each of the shows run from 45-60 minutes long. Acts scheduled to perform include local Kelowna artists and bands such as Apollyon, Andrew Johns, Jodie B and more.

Live Music is a trademark of British Columbia and the BC Entertainment Industry as a whole. Kelowna has dealt well overall with the pandemic and the handling of COVID-19, so ‘Live @ the KCT’ may reap as a reward for a city that is known for its unique entertainment.

Soon enough, music lovers of the Fraser Valley and lower mainland area will hope their respective area can follow in the footsteps of the Northern neighbours in Kelowna.

Sandybone to Celebrate the life of Hank Williams Through Song

SandyBone is a well respected Canadian musician and bandleader known for his charismatic, passionate performances. Sandy has devoted his life to music: touring, performing, recording and producing across North America and around the globe for over 30 years.

On Thursday, Nov. 12, SandyBone brings “An Evening of Hank Williams Songs” to the Duncan Showroom at 131 Station St. on Thursday, Nov. 12 starting at 7:30 pm, to bring light to the life of music legend Hank Williams.

In his short but so very impactful life, Hank Williams left an astonishing list of songs that not only touched the lives of millions of people around the world, but shifted the outlook on Country music for eternity. Hank’s songwriting and passionate vocals had a special integrity and smoothness, which made him a favourite of many.

SandyBone found a love for the genre through Williams’ work, feeling as if at times Hank was delivering his music straight to him, a special skill that Hank Williams was known for, like magic.

Playing, recording, producing and touring at various festivals, clubs and theatres across North America and around the globe for over 40 years. SandyBone sings, composes and plays guitar, drums and harmonica. All of which should be expected during the live show tribute to Williams’ life and music on November 12th.

The show’s will abide by all COVID-19 measures as well as have a mandatory facemask policy to enter the venue. A limited number of tickets will be sold for $20 a piece the Duncan Showroom Box Office.

More information on SandyBone and the love for Hank Williams is accessible at SandyBone.com and showroom productions.ca

Tickets for the shows can be purchased at

https://www.showroomproductions.ca/buy-tickets

‘Ridge’ – A New Musical Film on The Battle of Vimy Ridge

Canada.

During Remembrance Day week, we as Canadians should always look to educate and humanize our knowledge on the rich history of Canadian Armed Forces as well as the historic events that have paved the way for our freedom.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge, fought in 1917 during the first World War, is known as a battle fought and won to symbolize Canadian pride.

Brendan McLeod is bringing a musical film to Vancouver about the Battle of Vimy Ridge to help provide insight to the sacrifices made and to who the brave soldiers were that fought for their country.

The film runs 80 minutes long, and uses a mix of storytelling, theatre and live music performed by local folk troubadours ‘The Fugitives’ to provide new interpretations of original first World War soldier songs.

Although the film was originally made to be a live concert, participants felt the content was so emotionally and powerfully vivid that it did not resonate. The alternative was 3 days shooting the film, various locations within the Chan Theatre to portray the content as best as possible. Full scale audio, light and film crew was used in attempt to bring the film to life. McLeod completely reworked the theatre script to accuratley fit the motion picture template

Ridge is premiering at the Cinematheque, 1131 Howe St. in two physically-distanced special screenings.

.‘Ridge‘ can be viewed in an online screening of the musical film on Remembrance Day, November 11th at 7pm.

“Performances such as Ridge serve to give the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the sacrifices of those who served and died a human dimension beyond the mythology. These were real human beings, lest we forget.” – The Vancouver Sun

Director: Mike Southworth
Director of Photography: Byron Kopman
Producers: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Mike Southworth
Starring: Brendan McLeod, Adrian Glynn, Carly Frey, Chris Suen