Palawan, what keeps the entire United States glued in at home watching a National Television coverage for a sporting event? Very similar to when our very own Manny Pacquiao climbs up the ring for one of his boxing championship bouts where streets are empty with general peace in every area, the same can be said about the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl championship weekend.
This year’s edition pitted the New England Patriots vs the Los Angeles Rams on February 3, a matchup very much similar to a Celtics – Lakers NBA rivalry. Pay per view subscriptions is expected to rack up the numbers once auditing is done. The only Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) contact center company in Puerto Princesa, a company yours truly proudly represents, serves customers’ entertainment packages and prepare well for the NFL season and the Super Bowl. Yes, Palawan, be proud. Palaweños go above and beyond to support the NFL. One of many customers our BPO company serves.
It was an all-defensive final as the Patriots outlasted the Rams 13-3. Veteran quarterback Tom Brady struggled through the LA defense but New England found a way to squeeze points on the second half after a 3-0 half time score. One interesting observation: players now use tablets, reviewing plays and ball possessions on the sidelines. You see, in American football, the defensive teams are different from the offensive lineups so we see a constant shuffling of players in the game. Imagine how technology and analytics invaded the world of sports.
The NFL is indeed a major global spectacle with even music superstars lined up to perform at halftime. This year’s edition featured Maroon 5!
It is an evolution of the business of sports. I believe our local sporting events can learn much much more from how the NFL, the NBA, and the Major League Baseball pro leagues manage and market their initiatives. At the end of the day, it’s still a battle of the best physically conditioned and well-oiled sports machines and there can only be one winner and this year, the Patriots have established themselves as a dynasty in the NFL.
NBA Trade Deadline
Immediately after the NFL Super Bowl weekend, basketball and sports fan shifted their focus to the boardroom venue of wheeling and dealing at the National Basketball Association (NBA) trade deadline…
Some of the big transactions that transpired between NBA teams include the Los Angeles Clippers trading power forward (an All-Star candidate by his numbers this year) Tobias Harris with a couple of back up players in Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott for the Philadelphia 76ers’ Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet and a couple of future drafts picks. The main highlight of this deal is Harris who is performing at a high level this year averaging close 20 points per game. There must be something brewing up at the Clippers front as this may just be the first step of something big up General Manager (GM) Jerry West’s sleeves.
Other big-name surprises are the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis (on the injured list) and Tim Hardaway Jr. with back up players Courtney Lee and Trey Burke being traded to the Dallas Mavericks for DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr., and Wesley Matthews and of course sweetened by two future picks. Personally, we should not be surprised at how the Unicorn (Porzingis) got away from New York. He has spent rocky seasons on his first few years in the league and is most likely not satisfied how the Knicks are building quality players around him. I also believe that this trade-off is beneficial for both teams as Dallas is looking to rebuild now that the Dirk Nowitzki era is about to close and New York is looking to clear cap space to attract big names players in the offseason.
Otto Porter Jr. for Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis was also a star caliber swap involving the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls. I anticipate that the Wizards, with stars John Wall and Dwight Howard out on injury, are bound for an offseason revamp what with Parker’s contract having a team option in 2019-2020.
Up north, Toronto will have former All-Star Marc Gasol in their line up to close the season in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and CJ Miles. It was a season-long rumor that Gasol and Mike Conley are being offered on the block by the Memphis Grizzlies. Personally, I find this trade very intriguing because the Raptors let go of a younger center (Valanciunas) who is not doing badly at all this season in exchange for the 34-year-old Gasol. It seems like the Raptors are pulling stops for a Finals run this year to solidify their chances to sign up marquee player Kawhi Leonard to a long term deal over the summer.
The deal that never happened
The Anthony Davis drama did not pan out as the sporting world anticipated on February 7. The New Orleans (NOLA) Pelicans did not budge on the best possible deal that the Los Angeles Lakers could offer. After throwing young guns Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac and a couple of draft picks, in exchange for “AD”, NOLA General Manager Dell Demps just didn’t give in to Magic Johnson’s trade bait.
I believe the Pelicans are hoping for much bigger compensation for losing a game-changing player and waiting on the summer offseason will give them more possible options especially that the Boston Celtics can be in the mix of things during that period. I also feel it is dangerous to hold on to AD simply because if the Pelicans play him toward the stretch of this season and gets injured, AD’s stock in the trade market automatically drops. I believe the Lakers young core would have been good enough for the Pelicans to let AD go but then again, we don’t know what other variables are in the mix when we talk about boardroom and team chemistry and strategy.
Everybody wants to win. Some teams would make a push for winning today while some teams will make the sacrifice to get positive gains in the future. Let’s see how the second half of the NBA season evolves. I anticipate it to be more and more exciting, Palawan!
(The writer is a senior leader of the only Business Process Outsourcing Contact Center company in Puerto Princesa. He also is the current Puerto Princesa Underground River Festival Foundation President)