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You Jumped Into the Water When You
An Unexpected Sophomore Slump
Publishing my first newsletter wasn’t the goal of writing last week’s prototype. However, I received such great feedback that I decided why not.
My friend reminded me I jumped into the water as soon as I published my first post and I needed to keep doing this to give people energy. Other feedback I received including that this is a good comprehensive read for what’s going on here. Some people recommended I get bolder with the titles and play with the order of the sections.
This is precisely the feedback I need as I move forward with bringing this passion project from the dark. I need to get granular with everything but I really just want to know if the newsletter is worth your time every week.
One of my friends replied Holy Shit when he saw how extensive the newsletter was and another one read it and went back to it as he had time. A few others left me on read and that’s OK.
We Are West Coast Sports isn’t supposed to take you away from what you need to do. It’s supposed to feel like a friend sharing some quality sports information that will help you with your day as well as reads to occupy your time when you’re tired of scrolling through IG and TikTok.
Nonetheless, I planned to send this as an email this week. Unfortunately, I went too HAM on wordcount, underestimated how long it takes to gather info (shoutout to my laptop and wifi) and got wrapped up in a related side project along with my regular life. At some point, this may break into several different emails but I am just validating if people will even read and share my point of view first.
Reach out if you want to help with promotion, proofreading, writing, design or anything else. More of that stuff will come in the next few weeks. However, your eyeballs, time and referrals are really what I’m after.
Take care, stay safe and keep it West Coast.
Pete D. Camarillo aka the West Coast Bill Simmons
P.S. I felt like shit ignoring the WNBA last week, especially after checking out this newsletter. Let me know any more good sources for keeping up with the WNBA because mainstream sources love burying that.
Black Lives Matter on the West Coast
Peaceful protests popped up all along the West Coast from Los Angeles all the way to Seattle.
We can’t talk about sports products or brands composed mostly of African Americans without addressing the injustices and inequalities they face every day. How can anyone stick to sports when the first hand evidence of unarmed black people routinely surfaces on our social media timelines?
Here are some of the athletes who participated as well as statements from teams. Feel free to add any I forgot in the Google Sheet.
Check out all the statements from teams on the West Coast.
Some were better than others as the spectrum varied from general statement about racism to direct stances on George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement. Let me know if I missed any statements or stances from teams.
BONUS: EA, Activision, Xbox and other gaming companies took a stance and even pushed back announcements. WWE also issued a statement. L.A. basketball legends like Baron Davis and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also weighed in.
Who are the Richest Athletes Out West?
LeBron James and Stephen Curry both cracked the top-ten earning athletes, according to Forbes’ annual list. L.A. natives Russell Wilson and James Harden came in at No. 12 and No. 17 respectively. Jared Goff represented the Rams and L.A. in the 15th spot.
Overall, the NBA featured the most players in the list of top-twenty earners. Still, paydays dropped for the first time in four years thanks to COVID-19.
Other notables throughout the list: Klay Thompson (28th), Damian Lillard (30th), Paul George (38), Michael Thomas (39), Kawhi Leonard (43rd), Anthony Davis (44th), Aaron Rodgers (45th), Clayton Kershaw (57th) and Arik Armstead (59) round out the West’s representatives in the top-60 earners.
Good, Bad and Ugly Sports Returns
Sports league’s returns keep changing by the day.
142 days later, the NBA will reportedly return. Woj dropped the bomb that 13 Western Conference teams (yes, the Kings and Blazers made the cut) and nine Eastern Conference teams will play eight regular season games each. There will be double-elimination play-in games for the eighth spots too. Players will need to social distance while in Orlando. The proposal heads for a vote Thursday but the plan as scheduled would feature the NBA Finals in October.
MLS and the MLS Players Association hit a major breakthrough after bracing for a lockout for the first time in 26 years. They also plan on moving 26 teams to Orlando. Group sessions based on compliance with local public health and government restrictions resumed in efforts to get players back to the field. At the moment, MLS is waiting a vote from players regarding the proposal which would begin with training camp June 24. After two weeks of Camp, players would the play three group-stage matches to advance to a knockout round. Players already conceded on salary cuts.
NFL Players could also see their salaries impacted by declining revenue for ownership.
As for the WNBA, there are no plans for when the 2020 season will tip off. However, the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas and IMG Academy in Florida are the top favorites.
The MLB is all over the place. Players don’t want the proposed 82-game format or the paycuts proposed. The MLB doesn’t plan to counter the Players Association plan for 114 games. Some owners are reportedly willing to skip the entire season. There’s a growing consensus around a 50-game season for full prorated pay for players unless the union excepts the 82-game format, according to NYPost.com.
Interesting: Axios Sports broke down what Orlando might look like with the MLS and NBA. Fans will not be in attendance.
All Kings Play-By-Play Don’t Matter
Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer and Radio host Grant Napear resigned from the team after his response to a call out from DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins, who was drafted by the Kings in 2010, asked for Napear’s stance on Black Lives Matter.
Napear, who has broadcasted Kings games since 1988, responded with ‘All Lives Matter… Every Single Day’. Boogie and other former Kings players like Chris Webber, Matt Barnes and Doug Christie called Napear a clown and closet racist which B/R put together.
The broadcaster resigned from his position with the Kings and lost his job with KTHK in a matter of days after. Napear since apologized via the Sacramento Bee and Twitter. However, Napear is also on record defending Donald Sterling’s racist remarks twice. The former Clippers is currently serving a lifetime ban from the NBA.
Say Their Name: Floyd’s death sparked protests in Sacramento as well but the Kings have been supporting the movement. The area is no stranger to police violence. In 2017 and 2018, Mikel Mcintyre and Stephon Clark were both unarmed when killed by police.
Anthony Lynn Leads L.A. Coaches in Speaking Out
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn did more than make a pretty statement with his interview and op-ed this week. Lynn is one of four non-white coaches in the NFL and he pretty much summed how many people of color feel about George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. He said feels frozen since and he isn’t sure what the next step is.
“I don't want to be doing this again 20 years from now, and so I'm looking for ways to sit at the table and have a conversation about this broken system." Lynn told the L.A. Times Monday.
Among other authentic insights, Lynn shared how he spoke with his son about dealing with police at age 16 and more recently at age 30. He also called out the three police officers who did nothing to intervene in the video.
The Chargers head coach even went as far as saying Colin Kaepernick, the QB who started protesting police brutality with a knee during the National Anthem four years ago, should be one of the 32 starting quarterbacks or at least a quality backup.
Other Los Angeles based coaches spoke out in interviews and statements including LAFC’s Bob Bradley, Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, the Clippers’ Doc Rivers and the Rams’ Sean McVay. Roberts called United States leaders bad listeners. McVay said he understands players protestors. Rivers said he’s been Doc on Demand supporting his players through the pandemic and unrest. Bradley challenged his team to speak loud and strongly.
Why it Matters: There’s no simple solution to the complexities behind social injustice or inequality. However, finding those solutions starts with people of color who have made into positions of power like Lynn and Rivers speaking on issues and hiring other people who look like him. It’s one of the reasons why the NFL finally changed their Rooney Rule to include more minority candidate interviews at the coordinator level. Don’t forget Rivers took a strong stance against Donald Sterling in 2014.
Cali’s $500 Million Bet
California’s November election could feature a proposal for legal sports betting in November, according to Front Office Sports. It will need 60% approval in the legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature by June 25 before its in place for a public vote.
State Sen. Bill Dodd introduced the California sports betting bill last June in his chamber which could make Cali the home for $30 billion-plus in annual wagering. As of now, Tribes and horse racing tracks would run the books.
Estimates predict the Golden State could generate between $500 and $700 million in annual taxes by implementing 10% tax on gross revenue for in-person wagering and 15% tax on mobile or online sports betting. Since 2018, 12 active states have collected $198.5 million in state taxes from sports betting.
Coastal Support: Oregon made sports betting legal in August 2019 and there is only one mobile app to wager legally too. Earlier this year, the state of Washington signed legislation that approved sports wagering only in tribal casinos. Guess there’s a few less reasons to go to Vegas now.
Henderson Over Wine Country?
The Las Vegas Raiders put their Oakland days even further in the rear view with the latest announcement they will host the upcoming training camp at their new facility in Henderson, NV. The announcement came after the NFL regulated that teams host training camp in their home practice facilities.
Napa was home to Raiders training camp for 24 years while the Silver and Black occupied Alameda County. We got a close-up of one of the best training camp setups during HBO’s Hard Knocks last year. The Raiders reportedly still had a reservation for camp in Napa a few days before the news broke. Now, they’ll beat the Nevada heat in an indoor field at their new HQ.
Otherwise, Raiders owner Mark Davis is sweating the tight timeline on completion. Still, the roof is up and Al Davis’ torch is being prepared. It’s unclear whether fans will attend the first game but it appears even over a dozen COVID cases won’t slow down Vegas’ construction much.
Plan-B: San Diego could come into play if the Raiders can’t play in Vegas since they denied their option with the City of Oakland. The Silver and Black have always been loved in SoCal. Meanwhile, the Rams and Chargers could play in Vegas if SoFi isn’t finished in time? Yes, the very SoFi that is on land late-Raiders owner Al Davis once wanted for a stadium while the Raiders were in L.A. #Ironic
Clowney is Good Luv, Enjoy
Seahawks free agent Edge Jadeveon Clowney turned down a $12 million base salary from the Browns. It’s the best offer Clowney received, according to reports from CBS Sports.
Clowney made Seattle promise they would not give him the franchise tag whenthey traded draft picks to the Houston Texans for the pass rusher, amid contracts negotiations last offseason. Since, negotiations went sour after Clowney commanded too much money from the Seahawks. Other teams that were interested, like the Eagles, appear out on the pass rusher as well.
Seattle seems good too. They will prepare to move on with second round pick Darrell Taylor and the return of last year’s first round pick L.J. Collier. Collier is ready for redemption after registering zero sacks and zero starts last year. He said is disrespected by the bust label since injuries cost him reps during his rookie camp last year. The Seahawks will hope Collier bounces back especially as they fail to sweep Clowney out of the bargain bin only a year after spending picks on him.
Why it Matters: Clowney is one of the best players remaining in free agency. He’s one of several edge rushers who got the tag this year (Chris Jones with Kansas City and Matthew Judon with the Ravens). However, Clowney tested in the 90th percentile in the Broad Jump, Vertical Jump and 40-yard dash. Some defensive team is going to score on Athleticism you can’t teach. A team like the Tennessee Titans are on Clowney’s radar too.
More West Coast Sports Reads
Damian Lillard expects his team back at full strength when they return.
The Athletic’s Raiders reporter, Sacramento Kings reporter and Ducks reporter discussed their experience with racism in an open access staff piece.
Evander Kane called out Hockey along with Tom Brady and others.
Recently departed Chargers running back Melvin Gordon takes one more jab at the Bolts.
More Chip Kelly criticism.
Eric Reid claps back at his former team over a #BlackOutTuesday.
Ruggs shows why first round picks shouldn’t be your movers.
COVID not stopping Vegas from courting professional teams.
David Price is picking up the minor league bill.
From the mound to moving bags.
Ducks sign the Swedish Hockey League MVP to help their blue line depth.
SoCal beats NorCal in I-5 series.
Angels need more time on stadium proposal.
Silver Knights unveiled in Henderson.
49ers reach out to the class of 2020.
Baron Davis calls out Derek Fisher.
West Coast Sports Jobs
Student Athlete Development Coordinator, University of Washington
Digital Photo Editor, Oregon Public Broadcasting
Account Executive, Entercom
Digital Video Curator, Facebook
Conversion Crew, Earthquakes
Group Creative Director, Elevate Sports Ventures
Multiple, Sacramento Republic
Podcast Lead, The Ringer
Bleav Podcast Network, On-Air Host
Manager/Director, Marketing & Communications, Independent Sports & Entertainment
VP, Marketing, PlayVS
Digital Managing Editor, Entercom
Director of Live Media, Sportico
Social Media VP, Activision
Senior Copywriter, Uninterrupted
Digital Media Producer, Entercom
Content Curator, Facebook
Post Production Manager, Fox Sports
Guest Experience Event Representative, ASM Global
News Producer, Sinclair
Digital News Producer, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Account Executive, Entercom
Lead Recruiter, Skillz
Writing Tips, CCNMA
One More West Coast Vibe
YG dropped a spinoff from his FDT song this week inspired by everything going on.
No disrespect to the police but the beat and hook feel authentically Los Angeles. Like him or love him, YG keeps it 100% himself. You must respect that even if you don’t agree with the method.
Stay safe and wash your hands if you’re participating in protests. If you or someone you know is ethically protecting law and order than thank them.
Otherwise, feel free to send me your content from protest experiences and I’ll share on my channels. You can also support this project and West Coast community by typing in your email and subscribing.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. You can also check out my reads in ClutchPoints from the week covering the Rams, Raiders and Chargers biggest historical heartbreaks as well as the Bolts biggest rivals in history.