Every Friday I am going to discuss the five stories caught my eye in the Kansas City sports landscape. And what better time to kick off this new feature than this week. The week after sleepy little KC-Town found itself in the national spot light this past week. Here are my Five-orite things.
1. KC host All-Star for last time until we get Hoverboards
You may not have heard from beneath that rock you call home but Kansas City hosted the MLB All-Star game earlier this week. A year ago I had fears about how the All-Star week would go off in good ole KC town. The Royals as an organization have done tons of things in the last decade to make it seem like a completely boob fest was on the horizon.
I am here to tell you those fears were completely unfounded. Kansas City did a great job showing the baseball world that we still give a crap about Major League Baseball even though the Royals have not given us much of a reason to do so. For more 2012 All-Star game discussion check out my podcast with Kansas City Star Columnist Sam Mellinger.
2. Robinson Cano gets Royal treatment
Who knew that you weren't allowed to boo a Yankee when they are in your home ball park? I guess Royals fans missed the memo the media elite sent out prior to the Home Run Derby. It amazes me the reaction people in the national media had condemning our horrible and disrespectful actions. I guess it's cool to publicly state that you are going to take a Royal on your Home Run Derby team if he makes the All-Star team then completely go back on your word two weeks later. Well, apparently it is acceptable behavior if you are a George Constanza voice/ NEW YORK YANKEE!
I call booing Robinson Cano awesome. Booing is the inalienable right sports fans have to express their displeasure with a particular athlete or team and fans at the Home Run Derby did that on Monday evening. It wasn't in a vicious or rude way. Kansas City fans found a way to boo the hell out of Robinson Cano in the nicest and most respectful way possible. Only in Kansas City. Speaking of booing...
3. A Cassel of boos
Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel is used to booing. He is a professional athlete who played college ball at USC so this is nothing new to him. But I am sure he didn't expect to hear a loud chorus of boos as he stepped to the plate in a celebrity softball game being played in Kansas City. Did fans boo Matt Cassel because they are unhappy with Matt Cassel and his performance? Or did he get booed because Kansas City has become a city that boos the QB no matter who he is? I lean toward the latter.
Support for Cassel has waned in this city. Hopefully Cassel has thick enough skin to take it because the only way to prevent future boos will be helping the Chiefs appear in multiple playoffs games this upcoming season. And in other hometown-guys-get-booed news...
4. Bill Self makes it rain boos
Man, there was a lot of booing going on in Kansas City this past week. Maybe we really are jerks. Another local sports celebrity who felt the wrath of KC fans was KU coach Bill Self. Didn't anyone tell all of the fans at the Celebrity Softball Game that the first word in Kansas City, Missouri, is in fact Kansas? I seem to remember a certain Big 12 interim commissioner telling me that Kansas City is clearly a KU town over MU. Denny Matthews voice/ Swing and a miss.
5. Making Summer League relevant
You really didn't think we could get through this post without at least one mention of the NBA, right? I am a kind of weirdo because I absolutely love NBA summer league games. It is a goal of mine to one day fly out to either Orlando or Las Vegas to cover them in person. The Orlando summer league has been going all week and many of our local kids are showing very well down there. Recent Detroit Pistons' draftee Kim English played very well in his first game and has continued solid play since.
Former KSU guard Jacob Pullen is getting another chance with the Philadelphia 76ers to make another go at the NBA. He dropped 23 points in 29 minutes in his second game of summer league. Unfortunately for Pullen he was sidelined the next game with an ankle injury.
The real standouts of the local crop at the Orlando summer league have been Tyshawn Taylor and Alec Burks. Tyshawn Taylor has averaged 13 points and 29 minutes per game for the Brooklyn Nets and continues to do what he did at KU. His shooting has not been consistent and he is averaging 4.3 turnovers but he has made up for it with his NBA speed and athleticism. One play in particular stood out when Taylor out ran the defense on a fast break and was able to collect the pass and finish with a dunk and the foul. That is the reason why his NBA future looks bright.
Second year shooting guard Alec Burks from Colorado is proving why he was a lottery pick last year. In his second game of summer league he scored 31 points on 10/14 shooting from the floor and 10/11 from the free throw line. He was driving to the basket, finishing around the rim, and getting to the free throw line much like he did when he played in the Big 12. Colorado is not in the Big 12 anymore so he isn't technically a local guy but he is from Kansas City. More importantly he went to Grandview High School. That is the same high school as a certain writer at SB Nation - Kansas City. I will give you a hint. It's me!
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