It’s been a long, long time since the shoe business first became involved in basketball at the collegiate level. Ever since then, there have been scandals of different form take shape. It’s a very competitive, ugly business at times, and that appears to be showing itself yet again. With the allegations at Louisville still going on, an Adidas consultant has made accusations that he paid families large sums of money in order to try and steer players to universities that had contracts with Adidas. One of the names that has been mentioned, and perhaps the biggest, is Deandre Ayton, who was the first player selected in this year’s NBA Draft. Brian Bowen, Sr. testified a week ago that his son was offered five figured-amounts from more than one school in the hopes of getting him to play there. It’s a crazy world in which we live, and the only way that college basketball might survive in some places is the players start getting paid. Amateurism has well and truly ran its course.
Elsewhere, the Stanley Cup Finals rematch took place in the NHL as the Washington Capitals played host to the Las Vegas Golden Knights. And just like the result last season, the Caps once again proved to be the best side as they suited up 18 of the 20 players that hoisted the trophy months ago. The Capitals would win 5-2 in the end, aided by the brilliance of Evgeny Kuznetsov. In addition to scoring a goal, his third in the last three games, he also had three assists on the night. Big man Alex Ovechkin got in on the act with two goals of his own, including a top-shelf howitzer. That’s now 18 goals in three games for the Caps. Meanwhile, the loss means that the defending finalist Golden Knights are now 1-3-0 on the new season. It’s been a struggle so far, but it is still early days and is much too early to panic or point out that they have no chance of repeating last year’s incredible run.
It’s not often that NASCAR is mentioned here, but Wednesday brought in some breaking news that will alter the sport. Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus have won seven NASCAR Cup Series championships. But this will be their last season together as Hendrick Motorsports has decided to finally split the pair up after 17 years together. This is a very, very long time for a driver-crew chief relationship, as these things usually fall apart much quicker. It speaks to just how good the two were together that they were one team for so long. Perhaps their failure to make it past the first round of the playoffs this year was the final straw for the pairing.