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June 14th, 2017

It was not a shock that Golden State won the NBA title. Can they become a dynasty?

The potential is there because Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are young and hungry. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will be back too. The Warriors have done a great job with the supporting cast and players like Andre Iguodala and David West having vital roles.

Cleveland fought hard and LeBron James did everything he could. The Cavaliers have decisions to make and need to regroup.

Golden State is in good position for the future.

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June 12th, 2017

What a weekend in sports.

The Pittsburgh Penguins won game six in Nashville to earn its second straight Stanley Cup. Sidney Crosby won his second straight MVP award.

Rafael Nadal won his 10th French Open singles title. He beat Stan Wawrinka easily.

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia won a surprise winner of the women's final. She was ranked 47th in the world before winning.

The Yankees blitzed the Orioles in baseball. The Cavaliers extended the NBA Final to a fifth game.

Great weekend for sports fans.

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June 5, 2017

Golden State set a record with its 14th straight playoff win. The Warriors have looked great in going up 2-0 vs. the Cavs.

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant have dominated on the offensive end.

The Warriors have forced turnovers and scored easily in transition. Cleveland has to go back to the drawing board.

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June 1, 2017

The Cavaliers and Warriors battle for the third straight year with the NBA championship at stake.

There is so much star power as The Cavaliers and Warriors battle for the third straight year with the NBA championship at stake.

There is so much star power between these two teams. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will be tough for Cleveland to stop.

The Cavaliers have Kevin Love plus a dynamic duo in King James, aka LeBron, and Kyrie Irving. I think they are the best duo in the game today.

Tyronn Lue showed he could put together a game plan to win last season. I know most people are going with the Warriors.

I am going with the Cavs in seven in a super series. LeBron and Kyrie get it done.
tween these two teams. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will be tough for Cleveland to stop.

The Cavaliers have Kevin Love plus a dynamic duo in King James, aka LeBron, and Kyrie Irving. I think they are the best duo in the game today.

Tyronn Lue showed he could put together a game plan to win last season. I know most people are going with the Warriors.

I am going with the Cavs in seven in a super series. LeBron and Kyrie get it done.

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May 29, 2017

My buddy, John Perseo, whom I have known for over 25 years, died on Saturday.

I can simply tell you, that if you wanted a real friend in life, John Perseo was your guy. He would go out of his way and do anything for you.

John was an incredibly passionate person. He could talk to you about a variety of topics and you would hear his passion in his voice.

He could discuss politics, going over issues of the conservatives and the liberals. You talk about getting fired up!

If you wanted to talk about college football, all you had to do is mention Penn State, where he attended school. His eyes would light up when talking proudly about the Nittany Lions. He could tell you everything about Penn State’s coaches and players.

John also loved to have conversations about food. He had a role in a number of Italian restaurants over the years. His passion was unreal, especially over Italian food.

His biggest passion was the love of his life, his wife Janet. She is a special woman, who teams up with Mary Kenealy to form the vital dream team working to make the Dick Vitale gala a success.

Janet’s work ethic and passion are so special. I cannot express it enough in describing the love John had for Janet.

John was also a fighter. Earlier in his life, he beat cancer. He led a productive and positive life.

John was a special person who made so many friends in the Bradenton, Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch area. He was loyal and caring. He was there for you when you needed him. You could always count on him.

I am sure he is up in heaven now. He will be missed, but never forgotten. His passion will live on forever.

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May 22, 2017

Always Dreaming saw its Triple Crown hopes disappear on Saturday at Pimlico.

It was a close race, but the Kentucky Derby winner faded down the stretch. It was Cloud Computing that scored the upset victory.

Cloud Computing was a lightly raced horse. Horses that ran at the Kentucky Derby were pushed on Saturday and did not fare well. They had something taken out of them in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

No Triple Crown this year.

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May 15, 2017

Sarasota was the sports capital of the world on May 12th. It was a special night as as we raised over $3.1 million for pediatric cancer research at the Dickie V. gala.

Over 870 people were in attendance at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota as the Jimmy V Foundation was the beneficiary of major generosity.

We honored Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins, and ESPN’s Chris Berman, who was unable to attend following he tragic passing of his wife, Kathy.

The sports world was well represented. Everywhere you turned, there was another celebrity and I cannot thank them enough for their support.

College football had Kelly, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and former Georgia coach Vince Dooley. There were many former Notre Dame players in attendance, including Ron Pawlus, Autry Denson, Willie Clark and Marc Edwards to name a few.

College basketball’s coaching fratenity came out big time. Besides Huggins, there was South Carolina’s Frank Martin, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Georgia Tech’s Josh Pastne, Memphis coach Tubby Smith, Miami’s Jim Larranaga, Floride State’s Leonard Hamilton, Florida’s Mike White and former Indiana coach Tom Crean.

The NBA had former Cavaliers star Austin Carr and former coaches Mike Fratello and Richie Adubato.

The real stars of the night were the young boys and girls that have fought hard against the dreaded disease. I introduced my All-Courageous team. These youngsters have proven that the dollars work to help.

We also gave special grants in the name of my buddy, former ESPN announcer John Saunders. His daughters Jenna and Aliyah came on-stage and accepted the grants.

In the 12 years of the Dickie V. gala, we have now raised over $21 million. My friends, it is not enough. We have to keep fighting to beat the disease that affects so many lives.I will work hard until my last breath on earth, begging and pleading for support. Only four cents of every dollar for cancer research goes to pediatrics and there is something very wrong with that.

Kids should be able to go play outside instead of suffering through tough times.

We will keep going. Next year, we will honor Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, ESPN’s Mike Grenberg and Florida State’s Hamilton.

 

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May 8, 2017

King James and the Cavaliers swept the Raptors. That was vital for Cleveland as they get some rest before facing the Celtics-Wizards winner in the Eastern Conference final

Toronto was shorthanded with Kyle Lowery injured. The Cavs looked much better on defense the last few games. This was a one-sided series compared to the competitive series vs. the Pacers.

Kyrie Irving was a major factor too. Cleveland looks like it can make it to the NBA Finals again the way they are playing.

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May 1, 2017

The NFL draft was exciting for the fans and players alike. Philadelphia looked like a great city to host it

I was impressed by a number of teams. The Browns helped their cause with Myles Garrett and Deshone Kizer leading the way. Seattle traded down to add a number of picks and helped their secondary. Arizona and Tampa Bay made several nice picks.

There were some surprises. The NFL could have sent a message by not drafting Joe Mixon after his off-field problem. The Bengals went for the Oklahoma running back.

It will take some time to evaluate the draft.

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April 24, 2017

The NFL draft is this week. The future of 32 NFL teams and a lot of young men will change overnight

Will Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett go first to the Browns. Will Cleveland surprise people and go with a quarterback.

There are a lot of talented players available. Will we see teams trade up or deal down in the first round?

It should be exciting to watch.

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April 22, 2017

I had a great time speaking at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet in Branson Missouri. We stayed at a beautiful resort the Chateau Lake Resort an absolute first class hotel. The banquet was first class in every way. I can’t thank Brian Mitchell who is the executive director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in south central Missouri for his incredible hospitality. Brian has a terrific sense of passion and pride in teaching people how to develop values that are vital to making it in the greatest game of all, the Game Of Life.

I enjoyed being their keynote speaker and the crowd was a very delight to address. Gathered were many outstanding student athletes who are more then just athletic, but really have a firm foundation with terrific moral views and values.

It was a night my wife and I will always treasure, as it was filled with many golden memories.

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April 17, 2017

LeBron James, I mean King James, willed the Cavaliers past the Pacers by one point. Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points in San Antonio’s big win over Memphis. John Wall had a solid effort in a victory over Atlanta. The Greek Freak led the Bucks past the Raptors. Joe Johnson had the winning hoop as the Jazz stunned the Clippers. Draymond Green’s all-around game was vital for the Warriors.

This is the time of season where the stars come through.

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April 12, 2017

I was absolutely thrilled beyond belief to be honored by the Athletes for a Better World event. It was an incredible event. Famed journalist for the Boston Globe, Bob Ryan did a fantastic job and I can’t thank him enough for his kind words introducing me. It was really special to be the recipient of the John Wooden Citizen Cup Award.

The banquet honored outstanding student athletes. It was night filled with great memories as my wife and I shared our time with Lovie Smith and Vince Dooley. The night was filled with lots of emotion as many of these youngsters honor had to battle big time odds to get to the top of the class. A night I will always treasure!

It was a special night to have my name identified with Coach John Wooden. Previous winners of the award are a who’s who of sports, like Peter Manning, Calvin Ripken, Pat Summitt. To be on the list with those honorees, gives me goose bumps.

A special thanks to all the people to the Athletes for a Better World.

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April 4, 2017

Congratulations to North Carolina on winning the national championship. It was a physical battle with a lot of whistles, but the Tar Heels got to the winner’s circle, 71-65 ove Gonzaga.

Joel Berry scored 22 points and was named Most Outstanding Player. Isaiah Hicks came up with a big basket late and Justin Jackson’s dunk helped put it away. North Carolina won despite shooting four-of-27 from three-point range.

The Zags lost for just the second time all season. Mark Few’s team can be proud of its accomplishments this season. Nigel Williams-Goss and company battled to the very end but fell short.

Roy Williams joined select company with his third NCAA championship. Names like Wooden, Coach K, Rupp, Knight, Calhoun are in that class with three or more championships.

It wasa great college hoop season and the VBDI (Vitale Bald Dome Index) picked UNC over Gonzaga before the tournament started.

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April 3, 2017

The national title will be decided on Monday night and I believe the two best teams will meet in Arizona.

North Carolina and Gonzaga should stage a greta contest to end a fun season. The Tar Heels have seen the basketball gods smile on them with close wins over Kentucky and Oregon. First it was Luke Maye hitting the winner vs the Cats, then four missed fre throws late and survive and advance vs. the Ducks.

Mark Few’s Zags have lost once all season, at home to BYU. Gonzaga fought hard to edge South Carolina Saturday. Nigel Williams-Goss and Zach Collins were stars in the win.

North Carolina will be challenged by the size of the Zags. Joel Bery and Isaiah Hicks were a combined 3-26 FG on Saturday and that won’t happen again. I like the Tar Heels to cut down the nets, 87-83.

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March 31, 2017

The Final Four is always so special. I keep very busy during the weekend, between television commitments on SportsCenter, calling a semifinal and the championship game on ESPN International, plus appearances for several companies.

On Friday, I had a great time at an autograph signing for The Rock. I also spoke for Coke and Allstate. My day started with SportsCenter from the set in University of Phoenix stadium, overlooking the court.

I love the passion of the fans on this weekend. I have met so many of them already. All four schools here are well-represented by their fan bases.

It will be another fun-filled Final Four weekend.

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March 27, 2017

March Madness has given us a clear path to Arizona, baby! The Final Four is all set.

Gonzaga sent a message to the naysayers who claimed that their WCC schedule did not prepare them for the NCAA tournament. The Zags beat Florida, Iowa State, Arizona and Saint Mary’s three times and that was impressive enough for me. Mark Few is finally in the Final Four and this team is not finished making noise.

Few has done a great job blending in transfers to form a cohesive unit. Nigel Williams-Goss from Washington, Jordan Matthews from California and Jonathan Williams from Missouri have been part of Transfer U.

Oregon lost shot-blocker Chris Boucher to a late-season injury and many experts thought the Ducks would fall apart. Dana Altman’s team proved it could play, beating Kansas in Kansas City to reach the Final Four. Jordan Bell was a shot-blocker and double-double guy. Tyler Dorsey had seven straight games with 20 or more points. Dillon Brooks has performed well

inside and outside. The defense held the Jayhawks to 1-for-15 on three-pointers in the second half of the regional final.

South Carolina may be the true Cinderella as a 7th seed in the Final Four. Frank Martin’s team has improved its offense in the NCAA tournament and came through down the stretch in the East regional final against Florida. The Gators did not make a single three-pointer in the second half of that contest and the Gamecocks continue their tenacious defense.

Sindarius Thornwell continues to show why he is so vital. The SEC Player of the Year puts up big numbers in leading the Gamecocks.

Few, Altman and Martin are coaching in their first Final Four. The fourth participant, Roy Williams, has cut down the nets as a national champion before. His Tar Heels edged Kentucky in the South regional final in Memphis.

Luke Maye has become an unsung hero for the Tar Heels. He hit the winning shot against the Wildcats. Justin Jackson and Joel Berry are one of the best backcourts in college basketball and they want to make up fror last season’s last-second loss to Villanova in the national title game.

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March 20, 2017

How many people would have thought the ACC would have just one team (UNC) in the Sweet 16? The conference was the best one n the sport this season. Louisville, Virginia, Notre Dame, Florida State and Duke all lost in the second round.

The Big Ten (Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin), SEC (Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina), Big 12 (Kansas, West Virginia and Baylor) and the Pac-12 (Oregon, Arizona and UCLA) each have three teams in the Sweet 16.

Xavier, even without injured Edmund Sumner, has impressed with wins over Maryland and Florida State. Trevon Blueitt has been solid for Chris Mack’s team.

Gonzaga has advanced to the Sweet 16. Two more wins and the Zags will make their first Final Four.

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March 16, 2017

I had a very busy week, going from Florida to Nashville, then to New York for the Allstate media tour. I did six hours of interviews on the big dance, with organizations like CNN, Fox and Friends, The Sporting News and others.

Then it was off to Las Vegas for the ESPN Bracket marathon. I loved being on with Brent Musburger, Sean Farnham and Adam Amin.

I also got to speak before a great crowd at The Venetian, speaking for Aetna Insurance.

What a wild week it has been.

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March 12, 2017

Today I was able to call the SEC Championship between Kentucky and Arkansas. The Big Blue Nation fans have to be excited as their Wildcats are going into March Madness with an eleven game winning streak. John Calipari, coach of the Wildcats, has to be extremely pleased as his team has gotten better and better as the season progresses. Calipari’s Kentucky team will be a threat in the NCA tournament because they are now getting contributions from their veteran players helping out their young Diaper Dandies.

The Wildcats player De’Aaron was the star of the tournament, he was the most valuable player as he was brilliant making winning play after winning play throughout the entire tournament. Its been a fun journey here at Music City Nashville and the Kentucky Wildcats lead with their third consecutive SEC.

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Quote of the Week

"In discussing the protests by athletes, it is fantastic that we have the right to disagree."

  -Dick Vitale